In the early 60s a developer acquired land from a sheep rancher on the Northern California coast, then assembled a team of architects to design The Sea Ranch––a planned community compatible with the environment. A tenet of the team’s design philosophy was to live “light on the land.”

Flash forward 60 years. While hiking a trail at The Sea Ranch, I saw shafts of sunlight boring through a tangle of tree branches, forming a pool of light on the ground. The sight was so powerful, even sacred, that it stopped me in my tracks. At that moment, “light on the land” took on a more personal meaning. I returned the next day to the same spot, at the same time, and made the photograph that appears in the sequence below.

Thus began Light on the Land, a series in progress. It represents a new and unexpected direction in my photography. Being city-bred, I was accustomed to working in the built environment, not in nature. But the more time I spent at The Sea Ranch, the more its untamed beauty enthralled me, from sculptural rock formations chiseled by the elements to the soaring embrace of a fairy circle of redwoods. Discovering these wonders reconnected me to nature, providing not just new subject matter to photograph but also a much needed escape from the pandemic.

The images presented here take you on a visual hike through The Sea Ranch. May you see, as I do, the light on the land.