Big Sur

Text & photography by Ryan Simon

For Stars – There Was A River
We Are All Beautiful People (2001)

To date, the Basin Complex Fire is the eighth largest wildfire in the state of California since steady data was collected. The fire burned 162,818 acres of land, took 58 structures, but spared all human life.

Wildfires affect wildlife based on the following factors: when it occurs, at what frequency, to what extent, type of burn complexity, length of burn duration, and intensity of energy released during the fire. Consider now that wildlife holistically includes an intricate complex genetic make-up of plants, animals and soils that culminate into a single universal being; we can even consider our own interactions with this wildlife to be a sum of the parts.

big sur california fight

Now compare this entity to the complex make-up of a human being. When something happens to a human, he or she is affected by similar factors. The following and its corresponding images examines a region in Big Sur, California through a particular point of change anchored from a singular perspective in an attempt to shift our views of landscape art, one that traditionally gives us wide views with distinct composition. She deserves this after all.
big sur california fight

The expressions in typical landscape art tend to silo the landscape and its surroundings into one part of a mass scale, something unobtainable, with limited relational connection but of course there will always be reasons to capture them as such. For these very reasons we have millions of unique beauty shots of life on earth, some breathtaking, some astounding, some banal yet unfortunately they can only take us to a certain playing field in the mind. They are technically remarkable, but conjure visions of of a new product when it arrives untouched from the factory. We make these choices when examining landscape because it has been repeated, embraced and understood. Discover, climb, look, frame, and shoot at a particular time of day and one will achieve this remarkable image. This is technique and what she asks is that you embrace her as a life form. She breathes.

Read more in N˚3: Fight.