Hi, my name is Josh and I have been running this website with the help of my wife for over five years. In that time, it has been viewed more than 10 million times from countries all over the world and has been written about or mentioned in places like the LA Times and Good Morning America. I have an immense love for the outdoors and photography, so I created the site as a way to document my adventures and encourage others to do the same.


Feel free to reach out to me with questions and feedback via email (Josh at CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com). Thanks again for supporting the site, if you are new check out the spots below for where to start.

Where to Start on the Blog:

With over 1000 posts it can be pretty daunting to know where to start. Here's what I recommend:

Browse the map of every post I have written

See strange & unique spots in Southern California

See strange & unique spots in Northern California

Plan a Pacific Coast Highway road trip

Drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Visit all of California's National Parks

See California's best day hikes

Explore 35 Natural Wonders

100 California Bucket List Items

Here are some of my Frequently Asked Questions:

This video shows some of the most asked questions, or you can continue reading them below as well.

Why did you create the blog?

Throughout my life, I have been intrigued with traveling and seeing the world through my own eyes. I have always been in love with different forms of art and decided to take my photography to another level during a mission trip to Ethiopia. While there I photographed many different beautiful places, juxtaposed with the sadness of the poverty in the area. This experience instilled in me a need to see more than just what is outside of my window, as we Americans can be very sheltered to the harsh reality of the world.

Now while I admit I am not saving the world through my photography, I have been trying to fill my need for travel by documenting as much of my surroundings (California) as I can. I desire to get people to spread their wings and experience the beauty of life all around them. If I can get someone to realize how many amazing things they have within 45 minutes of their house, that may instill in them the love for travel, then maybe they will want to continue to see the beauty of our world and in turn, work to make it a better place. A lot of wishful thinking, but that is the basis for why I created this blog.

How did you learn photography?

I am completely self-taught, and I have only been doing it seriously for about five years. Every day I spend doing photography, I learn more about the camera while exploring more of California. Hopefully, as my posts and writing progress, my photography will as well. If you are interested in what I am shooting with now, check out these products.

What's your favorite place in California?

I get asked this question all of the time, and it is incredibly hard to pick as I have fallen in love with so many places in the state over the last five years. A few that stick out to me are the Big Sur coastline, Yosemite, and the Eastern Sierras. Each of these locations have so much to experience and explore, and I never get tired of visiting them.

Can you come check out my event/restaurant/business and write about it?

I would be honored to be invited to check out your event/business/restaurant; however, since I get a lot of requests, there is always a chance that I will not be able to come or that it may take me a while to get there. That being said I am always looking for fresh new places to check out and love being tipped off to them by my readers. Feel free to contact me (Josh at CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com), and I will be sure to get back to you.

Can I use your photos for my blog/site/social media page/ etc.?

Unless otherwise stated, all photos on the site are copyright Josh McNair; however, I am generally okay with you using the images on your site or blog as long as you follow the steps laid out here.

Can I write for you?

I am not currently looking for guest contributions, but if you think you have an fantastic California experience you have to share then feel free to contact me regarding it.


 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog may accept forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.  This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion, and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. The owner(s) of this blog may be compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.  This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

California Through My Lens is a researching resource for its readers. Due to many unforeseen conditions such as US Forest Service Policies, State and Local Park policies, construction and other natural changes to trails and activities, California Through My Lens does not assume any liability for the accuracy of posts, trail conditions and directions. California Through My Lens always attempts to document all of the posts as accurately as possible, but many external circumstances like trails and locations tend to change over time. Please be safe and respectful when following any of the documented hikes and posts on this blog.