MARCH 23 – APRIL, 2021


Wildness is not a luxury, but a necessity

of the human spirit, and is as vital

to our lives as good bread and water.

A civilization which destroys what little

remains of the wild, the space,

the original, is cutting itself off from its origins

and betraying the principle of civilization itself.


– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire    

Click on thumbnails to enlarge


I’ve always loved the desert. You sit down on a sand dune, you see nothing. You hear nothing. And yet something shines, something sings in that silence. I was surprised by suddenly understanding the mysterious radiance of the sands.

–Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince


The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled
by the extreme individuation of desert forms.

– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


So hills and valleys into singing break,
And though poor stones have neither speech nor tongue,
While active winds and streams both run and speak,
Yet stones are deep in admiration.

– 17th Century Christian mystic, Henry Vaughan


Alone in the silence, I understand for a moment the dread which many feel in the presence of primeval desert, the unconscious fear which compels them to tame, alter, or destroy what they cannot understand, to reduce the wild and prehuman to human dimensions. Anything other than confront directly the antehuman, that other world which frightens not through danger or hostility, but in something worse — its implacable indifference.

– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


The love of wilderness is an expression of loyalty to the Earth, the earth that bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we will ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had eyes to see.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view

– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Natural Selection Death Valley

In February 2020, I went with a small group of photographers from The Image Flow in Mill Valley to Death Valley for a photographic experience with Michael Gordon, a Death Valley photographer, who has been leading other photographers through the desert for many years. It turned out to be the last trip I would take for more than a year now during the pandemic of 2020.  

I was so taken by the Mojave Desert that I found myself quickly seeking solitude. Solitary time clears my mind of human perspectives and helps me to listen to, and appreciate, the natural world. 

The images in Natural Selections: Death Valley, range from dunes to mountains. Natural Selections is also a wink and a nod to Charles Darwin, a man who made good use of solitude to develop the theory of evolution. These images are created in a way that spoke to me while in these quiet desert moments.



I enjoy spending time in the solitude of natural places, as well as bringing nature into my studio.  While photographing, I’m always leaning in to what I’m feeling: the mood, and the feelings that I gather from the moment. I enjoy being awestruck by the beauty of nature as well as the mundane that is so often overlooked. I prefer to photograph alone where I’m able to wander, contemplating, looking for mystery, beauty and reflecting upon how I will present in an image that which I feel.  I agree with Wallace Stegner who said, “Thought is neither instant nor noisy.  It thrives best in solitude, in quiet.”   As an introvert, I relish those times of solitude to be renewed in thought and creativity. My reason for photographing and sharing my images is to focus interest in preserving our wildness.

Photographs that not only have an aesthetic beauty, but also reveal the photographer’s experience resonate with me.  Mystery, beauty, emotion and/or surprise create powerful images. That is what I strive for in my photography, whether creating abstracts, landscape, still life or creative expressionism. 

For many of my images, I use in-camera multiple exposure techniques, in-camera blends, and intentional camera movements for creating impressionistic images and sculpting my own artistic vision.

All artists are inspired by others and having spent time learning with Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery, they continue to inspire me with their unique creative approaches.  I’m also inspired by the writings and images of creative, artistic landscape photographer, Guy Tal.  

Art © 2021 Elizabeth Caroli

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey is available from Amazon


If you are interested in purchasing a print, 

please contact me at, 

or call me at 415-717-9780.

All prints are professionally printed on archival quality paper.