My career as a photographer and artist started when I lived in San Diego, California almost 8 years ago. Although I now call Dunedin, New Zealand my home, I have been coming back to visit Southern California fairly regularly in the last couple of years. It's a major change of pace coming from a big village like Dunedin and diving into the massive culture shock that is San Diego. Mainly, there are just so many people, so much traffic and almost nowhere you can go where you are just on your own. Don't get me wrong, I love San Diego! It's America's finest city and rightly so, surrounded by water and funky beach suburbs, great nightlife, local music, arts & culture, stunning skyline, and all the craft brewery's you could possibly imagine... or so it seems! All that said, I personally still like to get out of the big city and unwind in nature. Lucky enough, last week some of my favourite humans invited me up to their place so we could catch up and take a hike to Deep Creek Hot Springs in the high desert of Hesperia, CA. I jumped on the opportunity and enlisted my friend Orin to come along for the adventure. We arrived midday last Friday at my mates' place in Phelan, transferred our gear to their car and off we went to make our way to the trailhead.
Now when you arrive to the trail, you actually have to cross over private land where the owner has provided a car park and a $5 or $10 toll per person to pass through. The actual trail to the springs and the springs themselves are all on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management for those that don't know), however, this guy has taken it upon himself to charge a toll. Fair enough I guess, but he's just kind of a jerk to deal with to be honest so if you can take another route to get to this trail, I'd recommend it! Anyways, we paid our toll, parked the car and began walking. It's the middle of winter here in Southern California and we are just about sweating making our way down this trail in the sunshine. Gotta love it! Gorgeous sweeping views of rolling desert hills with native bush abounding as much as it can in such dry climates. We start getting closer to the springs and you can see the river that flows near by and the canyons of beautiful rock formations and gorgeous trees that surround it. Finally arriving at our destination we find a place to put our gear and strip down. We've got to wade through some very icy cold waters to get to the hot pools, very refreshing to say the least! We don't have the place to ourselves, but the people that are there are easy going and the vibes are relaxing.
Of course I brought my camera on our little adventure and it just so happens that Sinn Sage is not only a good friend of mine, but she is one of my favourite muses to work with. My first exhibitions of my photography work include a wide range of different images of Sinn. The curves of her body are simply divine and her emotions really comes across in her photos. Between the two of us, our adventurous free spirits have led us on some very fun and interesting photo missions. It's been years since we've worked together, it was so lovely to get some shots of her in this setting and just hang out in general. Here are a few of my favourites from the day including a moody portrait of my friend Orin. It was such a great day of relaxing in hot pools and taking photos, meeting new open minded people. We left when it was dark after the clouds rolled in and blocked us from star gazing. The hike out was a bit of a mission, all uphill baby. But we survived to tell the tale... Stay tuned for the next adventure! ;)