Disconnected and Disappearing – El Toro Air Station
We live just a few minutes from the Orange County Great Parks in Irvine, California. The parks hosts many interesting events from the Sunday Farmer’s Market to gardening classes – just to mention our most favorite ones. During our visit there in March I picked up a flyer about photography workshops lead by The Legacy Project*. The opportunity to attend a few of these events was awesome, because in addition to learning more about photography and the history of the park, we could also visit and photograph areas that are closed to the public. I was able to attend two workshops; one with Clayton Spada and one with Robert Johnson. During the two days we visited Hangar 295, Area 396 and one of the runways of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. I was really taken back by what I saw. The Air Station closed in 1999, 14 years ago. Now, only a fraction of its original buildings remain, and soon they will be all gone. I feel lucky that I was able to capture some of its last moments.
I’ve entitled my set of images Disconnected and Disappearing. These two words came to my mind while we were walking around. It was hard to imagine, that a little bit over a decade ago this place was active and alive. I hope my pictures will take you to this Disconnected and Disappearing place, even if just for a few moments.
*About The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project is dedicated to documenting and interpreting the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, simultaneously honoring the history of the site and celebrating its transformation into the Orange County Great Park. This group of six photographers have created over 200,000 images of El Toro in addittion to shooting several videos. Their most notable work is the world’s largest photograph, The Great Picture, a 32-by-111-foot image of El Toro created by turning a former f-18 hangar into the world’s largest pinhole camera. The six members of the project are: Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada.