by Timothy Kuan Lee
For the amateur photographer, the peninsula of Baja California offers plenty of interesting and scenic subjects to photograph. There are so many picturesque scenes, places, people and objects in Baja that you can see almost everywhere you turn to. So that when school vacation rolled in, i stowed some clothes, my camera and the few hundred dollar bills I saved in my backpack and told my parents I would be backpacking all over Baja for a month in order to get some fantastic pictures.
I had a rough idea of where I wanted to stop by during the length of my photographic exploration of the Baja California peninsula. Starting in Tijuana, I wanted to make my way south towards the southernmost tip of the peninsula which is Los Cabos. After which I would return to the international border in Tijuana using some other scenic roads and paths.
Tijuana was a colorful and vibrant city which is full of life and culture. It was a wonderful place to start taking pictures because the energy of Tijuana is quite contagious and I was energized and invigorated by the scenes I have witnessed in Tijuana. I took pictures of bull fights and greyhound races and these were really amazing action shots. I also took panoramic cityscapes in Tijuana, especially in the Zona Norte at the Avenida Revolucion. Tijuana is a great place to take pictures whether during the day and the night because this city is alive at all times.
Todos Santos, Ensenada and La Paz were all a blur of the most beautiful beaches and deserts. Near the ocean and the bays, the sand was as fine and as white as powder and glimmered as if mimicking the glimmer of the shifting waves. I do not have any idea how many rolls of film I have used up in taking pictures of the sunset and the beach and the sea. I even took the panoramic shoots of the La Paz Bay during dawn which I plan to have enlarged when I get home and turned into wallpaper so that I can pretend to be in Baja while lounging in my own bedroom.
The sand in the desert was of a different quality and look compared to those in the beaches of Baja. They were either dusty white or golden yellow. There were bare expanses of desert dunes wherein the sand formed ripples and waves that did not move but was constantly changing due to the wind. There were also deserts in Baja wherein you could barely see a clear patch of ground because it is beautifully carpeted with desert blooms, prickly plants, cacti and elephant trees. I also took the liberty of taking as much pictures as I pleased in Baja deserts because I do not think I could ever find a desert as captivating as those that I gave visited in Baja.
When I reached Los Cabos, I was able to photograph vacationers, tourists and local crowds doing what they do best. I took pictures of colorful markets when tourists shopped, locals hawked their wares and items for sale stood in their baskets and tables glimmering under the soft glow of the sun. The beaches and resorts were also interesting to photograph because they featured modern architecture seamlessly combined with the natural wonders of the peninsula. There were restaurants located along the beach and hotels standing atop towering rock formations. Roads, mountains, cliffs, old Spanish missions, and cultural hotspots were all recorded by myself through my camera.
I returned to San Diego bearing rolls and rolls of film but I do not think these pictures when developed can relate even half of the enriching experience and discoveries I have made during my stay in the peninsula of Baja California.