Central Baja California

The Land that God Forgot

The Land that God Forgot

I took my first serious trip to Baja California when I was 14 in 1968. It completely changed my perspective on life – all I wanted to do was go back. That summer I told my  Mexican friends I’d made I’d be back in December… It took slightly longer. The minute I finished high school I moved to San Diego – the closest place I could do all the things I was expected to do: attend college, get a job and come up with a game plan – and still be within reasonable range of the border. I blew the engine of my first VW camper in Baja and wrecked the steering on my Chevy wagon out on the Pacific side a year later. The roads were terrible; some of them, like the road to El Arco, had been paved once in 1970 and left to die. The locals drove on the dirt, next to the pavement to save time & tires.

Baja California has an enormous inventory of western history going back to the Spanish Viceroys. Every stretch, every canyon, every beach has a tall tale, a heartbreaking story or a vanished narrative – from shipwrecks to plane wrecks – and that history is woven into the names and lore of the desert. As soon as I acquired basic photography skills I began trying to capture some of the dark magic that seemed to hang in the air. Everything had a kind of emotional punch to it. The wind carries the acidic tang of agave smoke. The music is tragic. The land is beautiful beyond the human ability to fit it all in.

For very specific reasons I began shooting B&W film in Baja. Black and white is a time-honored format for landscape and but it fits for Mexico because it allows you – the viewer – to fill in the final delicate psychological color that color film doesn’t let you experience. For more of my Mexican portfolio go to http://www.johndurantpictures.com

About John Durant

Professional photographer in California
This entry was posted in American Photographic Artists, B&W negative film, Baja California, Cabo San Lucas, Catavina, Cirios, desert, Kodak Plus-X, Kodak T-Max, Kodak Tri-X, Mexico, Photography, Southwest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Central Baja California

  1. Girly says:

    Oh wow – those are gorgeous.

  2. timm says:

    Beautiful images!

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