Sant Khalsa
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Intimate Landscapes was my first series of photographs of the California environment, created in 1982-1983. These photographs were made in response to relocating to San Bernardino after growing up in New York City. I was hypersensitive to the dramatic change in my surroundings and felt displaced, yet I was intrigued by a new experience of space, light, and terrain utterly foreign to me. I began to photograph the landscape as a means of investigating, interpreting, and expressing my sense of place.

East Highland set the perfect stage for making intimate landscapes. I visited the area often to photograph the rolling hills, orange groves, towering palms and a feeling of vast space. Each time I discovered something new, something I had previously overlooked. I printed very small gelatin silver prints to invite the viewer to take a closer look and notice the seldom seen natural beauty of the ordinary experience. It was in making these works I became aware of the visual dialogue between human evidence and nature; for example, the juxtaposing of carefully planted rows of orange trees to the natural flora, mountains and sky. In the late 1980's the Mobil Land Corporation developed the East Highlands Ranch, a master planned community on the site where numerous groves once stood and most of my intimate landscape photographs were made. Unintentionally these photographs have become documents of a historical era and lost paradise. They are images of memories, recollections of my first romance with our extraordinary California landscape.