Mount Tom by Benjamin Ditto in Bishop, Round Valley, CA, USA

This photo is of a storm blowing out of Pine Creek Canyon and over Mount Tom and Round Valley. To me, this image displays the forces at work on the landscape. On the one hand we have the limitless power of nature and on the other we have man, whose existence depends on using the resources we find in the landscape.  We don’t often think of mankind as being implicated in the formation of mountains and rivers, but for centuries now we have been involved in changing our landscape for our benefit.  Its getting harder and harder to find a place in the world where man has not had an impact.  In the end, we humans are a part of nature and will have to re-familiarize ourselves with our landscape and the limits of resource consumption.

Name:Benjamin Ditto

Place you live: Round Valley, CA.  near Bishop, CA

Place your photo was taken: Round Valley, California

Can you sum up your area? The “East Side ” of the Sierra is a vast, high desert area with a minimal human population and an impressive landscape that consists of mountains to the east and west, and the Owens river in the middle. The Owens takes a circuitous course as it travels south from its origin near Mammoth Lakes, CA and its natural endpoint in Owens Lake, near Lone Pine, CA. The Owens and its feeder streams are generally the property of Los Angeles Department of Water and is channeled via aqueduct and pipeline to the coastal communities, many miles away.  Bishop, is a small town located in the heart of the Owens Valley and is mostly known for its recreation and tourist amenities. It is a world class rock-climbing destination and is the gateway to the wilderness areas of the Sierra Nevada.

Occupation: Photographer

Preoccupation: Rock climbing

What is a perfect day in Bishop? A perfect day in Bishop involves climbing rocks and soaking in one of the many natural hot springs around the area.

If someone was visiting, what must they do? If you are visiting the East Side, you have to prioritize being outside. This place is all about the landscape. So, put on your sunscreen, and go for a walk.

A perfect meal? Polenta and lentils at our house… we call it Polentils.

What is the best thing about your spot? Proximity to mountains

What is the worst? The history of white settlement in the area and the abuse of the natural resources and native people who lived here for countless centuries.

A little known fact about where you live? The movie “China Town” is based around the Owens Valley water grab staged by Los Angeles in the early 20th century.

Where is your favorite place in the world? On top of a mountain.

Who are your three favorite photographers? Lauren Greenfield,  Ed CurtisVittorio Sella.