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David Hurn’s California

An archival photo essay by the British photographer captures the spirit of the state of California

David Hurn

David Hurn Roller skating on the sea-front walk. Venice Beach, California, USA. 1980. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Santa Monica. Hollywood stars on the Pier overlooking the beach. California, USA. 2002. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Point Lobos. The area of many of Edward Weston’s most famous landscape pictures. I visited as a kind of homage. Californa, USA. 1959. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Roller skating on the sea front walk. Venice Beach, California, USA. 1980. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn The Original Dog Beach in San Diego, CA is nationally famous and one of the first official leash-free beaches in the United States. It is a landmark in the community of Ocean Beach. California, USA (...)
David Hurn Relaxing on the beach. Santa Monica. California, USA. 1980. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Salton Sea (sea level -220ft), a favorite holiday destination for less affluent families. California, USA. 1991. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Mission beach in the early morning mist. California, USA. 2006. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn 4000 wind turbines produce enough electricity annually to serve Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley. The windmills were built in 1982 and effective due to the (...)
David Hurn Whitewater. Highway 10 is the direct route into Los Angeles from Arizona and the West. Thousends of hugh trucks travel directly along the fault zone for at least 40 miles from Indio to Whitewater. (...)
David Hurn On the Doc Bar Ranch is a line of 40-year-old Cadillacs half-buried in the ground. They are exactly following the line of the San Adreas Fault and one of the few visible signs of exactly where the (...)
David Hurn The road from route 48 to Parkfield runs directly on the San Andreas Fault. Along its very fertile route are massive Walnut groves. California, USA. 1991. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Suze Randell, Photographer with her daughter at home. Santa Monica, California, USA. 1980. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn A cross section of ages enjoy the sun. Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, California, USA. 1980 © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Beachfront mural. Santa Monica. California, USA. 2002 © David Hurn | Magnum Photos

From dog walking on the beach to the ubiquity of celebrities, David Hurn’s archival pictures of California create a tangible sense of the unique energy of the state. “I have taken pictures from sets shot in California by Edward Weston, Venice Beach, the San Andreas Fault, spring break in Palm Springs, Skying Mountain High, Disneyland, and Salton Sea,” he says. “Combined, they give my expression of California.”

Café Royal Books, has published Hurn’s photo essay in its entirety, in an unusual move for a publisher. “The nature of the photography I am most interested in is that it is normally explored in what could be called photographic essays. It is rare that these essays are published in their entireties,” says Hurn.

The above slideshow is an excerpt of the full California photo essay.