Photographer Jane Wilder of Wilder California has a knack for capturing the simple, ethereal beauty of the natural world. Here, she shares snapshots from a recent inspiration trip along the California coast and to Joshua Tree.
Above: The Cholla Garden at sunset- the light and color is just so incredible at this moment. Truly nothing like it!
Above: All Joshua Trees are so unique but I found this one to be especially interesting- it reaches to the sky and toward the ground.
Above: Details of a Cholla cactus- the pink sunset has a perfect way of framing this incredible specimen!
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have always had a love for the landscape and botanical forms. I studied art in college and also taught art, and I never really imagined myself running a business. Wilder California has definitely grown into a business and I'm very thankful for that. I get to travel around my home state and photograph
magnificent places for a living, it's a total dream.
Above: No trip to Joshua Tree is complete without a visit to the Ingratron! A midday crystal bowl sound bath is the perfect way to relax and recharge before going out to photograph again.
Above: Reaching toward the sunlight amongst giant boulders!
Above: The Cholla Garden really glows at sunset. I walked around until dark....
Tell us more about the images you photographed on this trip, and the trip itself: what about Joshua Tree inspires you?
California has around 6,500 species of plants and many that are not found anywhere else. I'm in awe of the plants that adapt to unique habitats and harsh environments; the plants in Joshua Tree are so unique, as well as on the verge of extinction, and I think this is part of the reason that the place has had such appeal recently. The desert landscape has always attracted me because of its expansive space and openness to creative artists and thinkers, another reason why I think it has so much appeal during this time of confusion and transition in our country.
The desert is a place where people can be themselves and it seems to have a special energy that attracts those who are on a similar wavelength. The history of Joshua Tree is also incredible- Mormon pioneers were have said to have named the Joshua Tree and also settled the area around it. On my trip there were several dust and wind storms that swept through at night- I can't imagine having to endure those storms and the unpredictability of the high desert without proper shelter or in a covered wagon!
Above: The cute homestead where I stayed on my trip. The property had so many unique wintry shrubs and a variety of desert plants that were shaped by the wind.
How do you describe your work?
I think it's hard to describe your own work — the visual often transcends words and I get so much more satisfaction when a conversation over a piece appears, rather than me telling someone what I think it is. If I were to describe the work it would be along the lines of: colorful, ethereal botanical-based prints that beautify interior space. I hope that my prints ultimately bring some beauty into the homes of those who appreciate and have a desire to commune with the natural world.
What inspires you about documenting the natural world?
Going out into nature is the ultimate reset for me-it is a must in a digital world where we are bombarded with information, and it always feels like something is demanding our attention. The natural world is the ultimate anxiety and stress reducer-we should do all we can to appreciate and protect it.
Above: A small desert cactus finds a sheltering place at the base of a boulder. There are surprises around every corner while hiking amongst these majestic rocks.
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