Saltscapes: The Kite Aerial Photography of Cris Benton (Hardcover)
For 100 years, the salt flats in the southern end of San Francisco Bay have been harvested for salt. Now, on their return to their natural state, Cris Benton documents the dazzling array of colors and forms that populate the area, as seen from a kite flown 300 feet above the water. (Camden)
On approach to SFO, a passenger glancing out the window will see the vivid patchwork of the South Bay's salt evaporation ponds. After a century of industrial salt production, over ten thousand acres of this once vast marshland are now being restored to their natural state. Using a kite to fly a radio-controlled camera to heights of up to three hundred feet, photographer Cris Benton brings this much-overlooked part of the San Francisco Bay into sharp focus, highlighting one of the greatest landscape transformations underway in America. With results as unexpected as they are alluring, Benton explores the "exuberant, otherworldly" South Bay salt ponds and marshes in various states of restoration. He reveals saturated colors, subtle textures, and vivid patterns not discernible from the ground. We linger on the lacy elegance of salt mounds; the stark beauty of a rail line running through ripples of bay water; the softness of willets in flight.