Saturday, April 9, 2016

These 40 Photos of California in the 1970s Are Mesmerizing

Charles O'Rear (1941) is an American photographer who photographed for National Geographic magazine for more than 25 years. He was a contributing photographer to the Environmental Protection Agency's Documerica project in the early 1970s, during which time he traveled through several states. This album below contains amazing photographs taken in California from 1972-1975.


Transmission lines and railroad near Salton Sea. District of Los Angeles smog obscures the sun, May 1972.

A hundred-mile ribbon of sand dunes separates the Chocolate Mountains of southern California from the Imperial Valley, which stretches from the Salton Sea into Mexico, May 1972.

California--near Calipatria in the Imperial Valley, southwest of Blythe, May 1972.

Marshland and migratory birds at Lake Havasu national wild-life refuge, which is about equally divided between California and Arizona. The lake is fed by the Colorado River, May 1972.

Egret in flight over the Colorado River Indian Reservation, May 1972.

Farm youngsters playing at sunset near their home in Ripley, May 1972.

Farm workers shoulder tools at end of day near Ripley, in the fertile Palo Verde Valley of the lower Colorado River region, May 1972.

Little league baseball along Havasu Lake in Lake Havasu City, May 1972.

Moving cattle raise dust along the highway--near Calipatria in the Imperial Valley, May 1972.

Swimming in Havasu Lake, May 1972.

Gypsum plant at Plaster City. White dust from the plant is part of the atmosphere, May 1972.

Two young people overlook the Colorado River from "Castle Rock", a promontory north of Lake Havasu City, May 1972.

Fertilizing fields, May 1972.

Pickers in field near El Centro, May 1972.

Moving cattle raise dust along the highway, May 1972.

London Bridge, transplanted here in 1971, crosses arm of Havasu Lake, which is fed by Colorado River, May 1972.

Fertilizing, May 1972.

Sand dunes in the Imperial Valley--near Brawley, May 1972.

Irrigated field of the Imperial Valley, May 1972.

Dry heat and high winds equal eye-stinging, nose itching dust storm, May 1972.

Grain harvester in the Palo Verde Valley. The field lies 200 yards from the Colorado River, May 1972.

Desert real estate, May 1972.

Marshland birds at the Lake Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, May 1972.

Processing plant offers its discarded onions to all comers, May 1972.

Checkerboard fields of California's Imperial Valley are fed by Colorado River. The drainage from them flows into the Salton Sea (background), which is all but dead from increasing salinity, May 1972.

Imperial Valley. Interstate highway (i-8) slices through green croplands, May 1972.

Imperial Valley, May 1972.

Marshland fowl at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, May 1972.

Fertilizing a field, May 1972.

Crop duster plane over Imperial Valley farms, May 1972.

Fertilizer plant near El Centro, May 1972.

Cutting barley in the Imperial Valley, south of the Salton Sea, May 1973.

New Mazda cars awaiting shipment at Terminal Island, June 1973.

New cars lined up at dockside terminal, June 1973.

Snorkler and surfer in the waters off busy Doheny State Beach, September 1974.

Youngsters boating in the early morning on Malibu Lake in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California, May 1975.

Youngsters doing a little early morning fishing on Malibu Lake in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California, May 1975.

Early morning at Malibu Lake in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California, which is located on the northwestern edge of Los Angeles County, May 1975.

Morning fog clearing over Oxnard Plain a prime agricultural area now being developed for housing near Oxnard California, north of Los Angeles, June 1975.

Sunset over Buena Vista Lagoon with Oceanside, California in the background, June 1975.

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