Sierra: The Range of Light

Photographer James Martin gives a sneak peak at his images from his classic book, Sierra: Notes and Images from the Range of Light
By James Martin - August 8th, 2012

Editor's Note: 

The Mountaineers Books is reprinting Sierra: Notes & Images from the Range of Light, James Martin's stunning work of images and words that describes his extensive experience in California's Sierra. presents this sneak peak at the images that made the book a classic.

This, the last of a trio of books I photographed focusing on the mountains of the west--including the North Cascades and Mount Rainier--brought me back to my home mountains.

Before I graduated high school, I had hiked over 500 miles in the range, sometimes with friends and sometimes solo, following the classic trails- the John Muir and the High Sierra- and heading over trail-less passes to solitary hanging valleys. 
When I returned to the Sierra years later to photograph the book, I revisited my favorite routes and places, from busy trail hikes to cross country jaunts, camping by sparkling lakes or atop rocky ridges and summits. I love the glacier-scoured terrain, the way the white granite shines against the blue sky or adopts the tints of dawn. I appreciate the ease of cross country travel, at least compared with the tangled underbrush encountered in the North Cascades. These are the most hospitable high peaks. No wonder John Muir said going to the mountain was going home.


© 2011