On June 8th, I will embark from Seattle WA on a 2 month, 1600 mile trip to southern California, traveling by bicycle, and photographing the mountains, coast and rivers I find along the way. I will be searching for the heart of nature, guided and inspired by the principles of harmony, and dedicated to spreading good will with all those I meet along the way. View my route here.
Over the years I've lived in California, my connection to it as my home, and as a natural treasure has grown to a deep reverence. While working on a variety of photography projects over the years, I've felt a longing to dedicate a serious amount of time creating a portfolio of work that captures this area in all its splendor. I am only too aware that the natural places of the world are on the decline, encroached upon by urban development, changes in climate, and pollution.
As an artist, I feel compeled to create work that is contextually relevant to the world and its challenges. I hope and pray that humanity can reach the critical level of awareness needed to retake the reigns of our destiny and steer us away from the cliff we are rushing towards. I hope that these images will disrupt the stream of doubt and fear with visions of what is still wonderful and worth fighting to save. I hope it inspires people to do and keep doing what they can to create a future of hope.
To make the means consistent with the aim, I will be traveling via bicycle for this trip. I believe that by avoiding cars and carbon emissions, I will be in closer alignment with my hopes of conservation. Traveling by bicycle also allows me to connect with the land in a way I don't when traveling by car. I feel the shape of the ground, the angle of the sun, and a specific feeling for each place I'm traveling through. 11 years ago I walked from the south of France to the west coast of Spain on the Camino de Santiago (506 miles), and felt this connection for the first time. As a method of transportation, traveling by foot and bicycle forces you slow down. I believe the deliberate slow pace will be ideal for helping me connect and photograph the incredible places I will be traveling through.
In addition to capturing images for a portfolio, I also look forward to the trip as a way to spread bonds of friendship with those I meet along the way. As an active aikidoist, I also plan on training at the dojo's in each of the cities I travel through. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, had a vision that the people of this world are all part of one family. I hope that by meeting and training with many people down the Pacific West Coast, I can live that belief, connecting and sharing joy and good will to the benefit to all who I encounter. I feel confident that the principles of love, harmony and dedication can only help steer my trip and this project in a positive direction.
This collection of photographs will comprise the bulk of a portfolio of work on the US Pacific Northwest/West Coast. I intend to show the work in a number of galleries and make it available for purchase after the trip. As a thank you for supporting this project, I will offer a selection of limited edition prints from this portfolio. By backing this project, you have the opportunity to pre-purchase images at a greatly discounted rate. For a $40 pledge, I am offering a numbered signed 8"x12" limited edition print that I will be selling for over $100 after the trip. I will post a private gallery of selected images after returning from the trip, at which time I look forward to hearing from you which print you prefer.
- Beau Saunders
p.s. You can view my prior work on my website; http://rainbeaupictures.com
Risks and challenges
With any project, there is the challenge of finishing. This trip will demand a serious physical commitment over the course of 1600 miles, but I have arranged to have days of rest, reasonable distances to cover (avg 60 miles on ride days), and support location down the coast to help with any problems. One thing is sure, I wont be giving up. I will be traveling with the support and companionship of a friend on the trip, and have made the commitment to see it through.
After finishing the trip, it will take some time to edit and prepare the portfolio for public exhibition. I have accounted this time in the delivery dates of the rewards, and hope you will be able to patiently wait for them to arrive.
I will also be updating this project with comments, details on progress, and images on the road. I will also be updating a blog I have started for the trip, which can be found here:
- (16 days)