Alan Barlow

 Fine Art Photography



Home Galleries/Photos Where to Buy Contact




Why the Eastern Sierra?





Why the E. Sierra?

Updated 6/04/11

Why I have chosen the Eastern Sierra Nevada to fulfill my artistic/photographic expression:


In 2001 a photographic acquaintance of mine, knowing I was in a fragile emotional state at the time, suggested that I go to Bodie to check out photo opportunities.  So I started out in that direction, but due to the spectacle of just the Owens Valley I didn't get any further north than Round Valley on that trip. Nine years later I still haven't made it to Bodie, but have studied, read, and explored what I have had time for on the history, geology and peoples past and present of the 400-mile length of the Eastern Sierra. My wife-to-be at the time, before even knowing me as well as she does today, gave me a license plate bracket that reads, "So many roads, so little time". I love the sentiment of my explorer spirit, but at the same time am concerned that there may be too many vehicle-accessible roads in the E. Sierra and the West.


The Eastern Sierra are: relatively local, part of the renowned and remarkable Sierra Nevada Mountains, in history-rich California, fundamental in the exploration and development of California, sparsely populated, not well-traveled, and are rugged, unique and dramatic!  The slogans associated with Inyo, Mono and Alpine Counties are very illustrative; "The Other Side of California", "Wild By Nature", and "Home of the 'The California Alps'", respectively.  These are three of California's least populated counties, but they are full of untamed and dramatic landscape & nature, and therefore are on hand for appreciation and enjoyment.


Debbie and I feel more alive and real in the Eastern Sierra, be it the people, the sense of community, the scenery, the challenges, or the seasons. Neither of us was drawn here in the long run by skiing, rock climbing, backpacking or other outdoor activities, as many here are, but by something more basic required for life: the connection to nature, to community and to ourselves.  This doesn't mean we will not continue to seek out inspirational photographs and locations elsewhere, but that we will concentrate on them here for the foreseeable future.


Certainly feel free to e-mail me at if you are unfamiliar with the E. Sierra and would like to know more.  I hope that I can help you in the right direction.  And if my photos have not inspired you to visit or to know more then I need to work a little harder.


Alan Barlow



Back to "Alan's Commentary"




Where to Buy



2011 Alan Barlow Photography, 2011 Catalina Publications