Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History

Jesse Amble White’s Photographs Show Modern Landscapes That ‘Push Back at the Moment’

All but one of these photographs of California by Jesse White come from California Exposures, a book that he and I, his father, did together. Like all photographs, they don’t speak for themselves. They demand a thousand words. They are part of a conversation, and they are as apt to ask questions as give answers. The photographs of California Exposures tell a history of California, but not in the conventional sense.

The photographs are historical not because they are old—all were taken within the last few years—but because the elements you …