ALAN SONNEMAN

THE WORLD OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA

 
 

   With these images I hope to approach photography as an extension of landscape painting. What is observed here has been so for probably the last 10,000 years or more.  The rocks scattered about, dropped where they lay as the glaciers receded, here and there elements from other more recent cooling periods.  I move through the mountains rather slowly, spending several days in one place, trying to gain a sense of its moods, its weight and the changing light.  Time is needed for observation here, for the sense of time is what is significant and the subject to be recorded.


    These images but brush upon the beauty awaiting the traveler in these mountains.  There could be better images, more locations found, more heights explored, but that is an endless endeavor.  Choice is an act of exclusion. It's always mired in circumstance, it’s sheer luck that gives you the opportunity to see what you see.  Your actions are determined by the weather, by the time of year, and angle of light.  You can only hope that they cooperate.  Clear skies make rather ordinary images. These images show but the edge of the place we see, I am not so bold as others who venture farther or climb higher.  In hindsight, one wishes more time was spent, more attention paid, more thorough work done.  The allure to let this place embrace oneself, to disappear completely, is enticing.


Alan Sonneman

For over 15 years I have  returned every summer to these mountains, often for two or three trips, exploring the canyons and basins the best I could.



No area in North America contains a more dramatic landscape than the Southern Sierra, to many they are our own Himalayas.

Traveling in the high country of California