Mt. Baldy, easily spottable even from Downtown Los Angeles, is LA’s highest peak. It glows a beautiful pink when the right season and sunlit hit it, and it’s surprising how cold it is on top if you can reach its 10,069 foot summit and feel that wind swirling. I know. Some of my artist friends work out a lot of their creative ideas by meditating one step after another up mountains like these, and they’ve dragged me up to the top before. It’s odd how clear your creativity can be in such a situation, with the monotony of climbing a steep slope and being overly aware of your own body and mind, as well as with the accomplishment of conquering that next hill.
LA-based photographer Michael Gabel found his own epiphanies while climbing mountains like these, though much more direct. The artist discovered a contemplation of the meaning behind titling his works, a task often despised by photographers. He began a Tumblr blog, simply called Elevated Photography, and began naming works only after the elevation of the snapshot. Viewing landscape photography that borders on land art in its genuine abstraction of frame, and just a number to accompany the view, the photographs become extremely direct - just like the act of climbing to the top of a mountain and back down again.