Behind the lens

Peter Bohler: Strange Gatherings & Remote Places



Where are you based?

Los Angeles

How do you make a living?


What camera do you use?

Pentax 645Z and Canon 5D3, though there are some Pentax MX (B&W film) images thrown in there too.

How has travel made an impact on your life?

I’ve learned so much about the world through traveling. Bringing that knowledge (whether it’s how to make Pho, or what life is like on a ranch in Montana)  back has made my life at home so much richer.

What is your relationship to travel/adventure, and what does it mean to you?

I’ve always wanted to live a thousand different lives in a hundred different places. Traveling, and photography, let me do that.

I went out to Ouray, CO to shoot this ice climbing festival for the NY Times Magazine. I spent three days rigging ropes and shooting all over the park, but this is one of the first shots I took when I arrived at the canyon. There’s something to be said for first impressions.

Glamis Dunes are in the far Southeastern corner of California, and they’re the birthplace of dune buggy culture. I shot this over Thanksgiving weekend, and there were over 100,000 people at the dunes on every kind of vehicle you can imagine. This was also shot for the NY Times Magazine.

This is rock climber @alexhonnold, who is famous for free soloing. On a winter day, we hiked up to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley. Alex just stepped out to the edge and peered down into the void, and I took this picture. Everyone focuses on how he handles fear and danger, but I think he’s filled with wonder at the vertical world.

I found out about Woodstock Poland on Youtube, and I had to go.  The story turned into my first assignment for the NY Times Magazine.  750,000 people go to the three day festival, and it’s all free. I shot this picture from a bungee jump crane–the tents continue like this for miles.

My girlfriend @celiahof at Arches National Park during a road trip out to Colorado for a friend’s wedding. Along the way, we went canyoneering in Zion and llama trekking in the Rockies. The stretch of country between Los Angeles and Colorado has to be one of the most incredible anywhere in the world.

The view from Aries Butte in Zion National Park. Despite months spent in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, Zion is my favorite National Park. There’s nothing like the otherworldly slickrock expanses.

A couple years ago, GQ sent me out to Illinois to photograph this professional wrestling event that Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins was directing (15 year-old me was excited). He said that he found the same kind of grassroots energy in wrestling that he found when he first started playing rock shows.

A cypress swamp in Alabama, shot on assignment for Field & Stream. I grew up hiking and backpacking, but I’d never been on a hunt until this assignment.