Taking up the tradition of landscape photography to situate his musings, Pattengale probes photographic methods as well as the truth in color perception. His photographs are strikingly abstract, psychedelic in the way that they vividly depict valleys and vistas, yet they maintain a certain realism in the subject matter. Utilizing an unorthodox set of tools to capture his chosen terrain—Pattengale travels to the far reaches of the world to find new sceneries—he calls into question the role of the camera as vicarious viewer relative to an image making process that involves other mechanical and non-mechanical agents. As was said by Goethe in his Theory of Colors, colors belong to the eye; Pattengale conveys this in his images, which are entirely true in their retelling of light and, therefore, vision, while they are also altered in their process prior to the instant of the photograph.


Spring of 2014 I decided to dive off the deep end, quit my job and fly out to Bolivia in search of a mythical bright green lake named Laguna Verde. I booked a plane ticket where I flew from Los Angeles to La Paz, Bolivia with a return flight departing from Santiago, Chile three weeks later.

My main goal was to explore the volatile volcanic landscapes and colored high altitude lakes in Southern Bolivia. I spent a few nights traveling by bus south from La Paz, Bolivia; eventually starting my nature adventure in the otherworldly, reality-bending, Salar de Uyuni.

I took roads that seemed non-existent, basically following the path of the previous vehicle that went through the barren, harsh environment. Around every corner there was a towering volcano full of color, surrounded with luminous low dwelling clouds that came and went with the wind, eventually reaching the high altitude lakes found very close to the Chilean border.


To my surprise, I came across Laguna Colorada and that’s where the world stopped for me. I approached from the north and upon first glance, I witnessed the brightest red I had ever seen in nature. Getting closer and closer I realized Mother Earth was revealing herself to me and all I had to do was just sit back and observe her in all her glory. What’s interesting is that all of my senses were heightened at once. Not only was I seeing pure beauty, but I was also able to smell and taste the flock of thousands of flamingos below. My heart beat fast. I felt the wind blow across my face. My ears tuned out all the ambient noise around, thus putting me in a trance I have only experienced one time since.

Alas, I came across Laguna Verde. My initial reaction was of disappointment. It was not as vibrant or magical as I imagined it would be. Perhaps coming from Laguna Colorada the previous day impacted my impression.

The following day I planned to arrive in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. I left Bolivia with a profound impression of natural color, shapes and flat out spontaneous adventure.

click to view the complete set of images from Bolivia


Color of Love California explores three unique parts of California; Mono Lake, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree.

After flying from one side of the globe to the other, you obtain a certain perspective and realize there is beauty close to home. Being a native of Los Angeles, I classify these landscapes as “being in my backyard.”

Growing up I’d visit all of these areas frequently on family vacations. I was raised spending summer’s backpacking through California’s Eastern Sierras, witnessing at a transformative age the nature areas famously captured by Ansel Adams. We went to Death Valley multiple times to stargaze during the Perseid meteor showers. Lastly, we’d get pre-historic and camp in Joshua Tree National Park due to its close proximity to Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2016 I asked a friend if she wanted to take a hike on an ancient crater on a full moon to overlook a magical lake. Panum Crater rises above and flanks the southwest end of Mono Lake, allowing an unobstructed view of the glistening water below. We walked along the trail as the sun was setting, arriving at the northern apex of the crater just in time for the moon to rise. The wind was howling and our feet crunched on the obsidian below, our way illuminated by moonlight.

That fall in November I decided to go camping in Death Valley. I had not visited since I was a teenager. I took the scenic route through Searles Valley, entering the park from the south over the Panamint Springs pass. I set up camp at Furnace Creek, arriving at a fiery red sunset. A few highlights were a sunrise at Zabriskie Point, a trek through The Artist’s Palette, and eventually, I ventured to the north end of the park landing at Ubehebe Crater. My artistic interest in Death Valley surfaced because it’s an incredibly harsh environment. An area extreme in temperature and elevation results in a diversity of scenery and color, aptly fitting to further my visual language.

A handful of months later in March 2017, the deserts of California were experiencing a super bloom of wildflowers. I ventured out to Joshua Tree on a last minute weekend getaway and found myself exploring Amboy Crater 65 miles northeast of Joshua Tree proper. I was drawn to the black rock of the crater spreading its tendrils across the desert floor. There was a peculiar juxtaposition between the white desert sand, the black rock, and lastly the golden wildflowers.

click to view the complete set of images from California


I visited Chile first in 2012. My initial reaction conjured up a mix of California and Paris, however, everyone spoke Spanish. I was fully enamoured with the scenery and the culture, vowing to visit again.

Chile’s northern desert region spurred my curiosity further, eliciting a similarity to California’s desert landscape. My first trip to the Atacama desert came on the heels of traveling through Southern Bolivia in March 2015. I was initially drawn to a nature reserve named Valle de La Luna, where reddish-brown rocks jut out of the earth creating an otherworldly vast landscape.

After traveling through Bolivia, my mind was still stuck in awe of the high altitude lakes and at the time I could not fully grasp the beauty of the Atacama region. Perhaps I was spreading myself too thin, however, I left the Atacama feeling like it was a wash artistically.

Nearly two years passed and I found myself visiting the Atacama once more. Once I arrived I realized there was much more of the area to explore. In close proximity was Valle de la Muerte, Valle de Arcoiris, plus the volcanoes and high altitude lakes further east where Bolivia, Chile and Argentina conjoin.

The second adventure was in December 2016, during the height of the summer in South America. I flew from Los Angeles to Santiago, connected to Calama, a town 100 km northwest of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The warmer temperatures allowed me to explore the unusual rock formations, lakes, volcanoes, a huge sand dune and colorfully streaked mountains in varying conditions of light. In retrospect, I felt I had fully experienced the vastness, uniqueness and diversity of this acclaimed area. I left satisfied and content that I had completed my artistic endeavours.

click to view the set from Chile


I visited Iceland during the first two weeks of September in 2015. I strategically planned my trip in order to experience as much weather diversity as possible. My first week I witnessed fleeting showers of light misty rain, glowing sunsets, the aurora borealis and lastly wispy clouds traversing the sky above. My second week, the weather continually worsened. To sum it up, it went from pure magic to doom and gloom.

During my first week, I drove until I got tired, found a campsite in the nearest town and set up for the evening, usually going for a hike upon arrival. I made my way all the way to Djúpivogur, 552 km east then north from Reykjavik along famous highway 1. I’d stop at gas stations, look at some postcards and ask the gas station attendant “where is this?” The clerk’s response was “take this road, or that road, go get lost!”

I drove up and down mountains, through rivers and streams, getting lost, however most important searching for color.

My entirety in Iceland was a balance of being completely in awe of the natural beauty while at the same time I was completely frightened by the looming danger of the surrounding landscape. I definitely felt a rush when traversing glaciers and driving through fast-moving rivers.

My second week I had made notes as to areas I wanted to further explore on my way back south then west. As the days progressed, the weather escalated, I witnessed the same landscape in a completely different atmosphere. Some places I could not access due to unsafe roads, others the rivers were too high to cross. I’d come across places that seemed familiar, however, the landscape looked completely different.

My adventure ended when I drove my 4x4 Land Cruiser into a 4-foot ditch of snow. As I approached the summit, the snow started falling heavily and the winds were blistering. I was attempting to summit Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano on the west side of the island, which ironically is the setting of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. There was a moment where I thought the Earth was going to open up and eat me alive.

click to view the Iceland set of images


The Southwest is a study of natural color existing in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. These images have been compiled over multiple trips between August 2016 thru December 2017.

During August of 2016 I had a family reunion in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I drove from Los Angeles, stopping at the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park along the way. On the way back I took the scenic route and ended up in the middle of nowhere Utah and Arizona.

I had no visual memory of The Grand Canyon, think the last time I visited I was a small child, and I had never stopped at the national parks in Utah.

I woke up early to catch the sunrise cascading over The Grand Canyon. Further that afternoon I hopped in a helicopter to take an aerial tour as the sun was getting low. I was surprised at the vastness of the area, and had not expected the landscape to be so lush and colorful.

The next day I drove to Arches National Park. I wasn’t interested in the typical, traditional photos of the “arches” rather I waited for the sun to go down and was immediately drawn to the clear night sky. Rather I was more drawn to the shape of the red round rock walls jutting from the ground below.

My favorite part of the Southwest is New Mexico. I get great inspiration from painting, especially Georgia O’Keeffe. If I recall correctly, my first visit to Ghost Ranch was in the late 1990s. 2014 was the inception of Color of Love and my initial inclining was to study the red rocks surrounding Ghost Ranch.

I’ve taken multiple trips to Ghost Ranch since 2014 and have learned my favorite time to study color there is at night.

Lastly, there is White Sands. I have frequently visited New Mexico since the late 90s due to immediately family living in or near Albuquerque. Oddly enough it took until December 2017 to for me to visit White Sands. I allowed myself a handful of days and nights to explore the ever-shifting dunes, witnessing the landscape in the bright harsh light as well as watching the moon rise over the park. I strategically planned to visit on a full moon because I was interested in the difference of color between the sun and a full moon on a clear night. While at White Sands I studied color in full spectrum and ultimately let the Earth reveal herself.

click to view the images from Southwest