Born in Los Angeles in 1949, Misrach began his career in the early 1970s as a black and white photographer. At first he concentrated on the denizens of Berkeley, California, but then he moved away from portraiture after discovering the desert at night. He turned to color in the late 70s, broadening his exploration to include not only the desert's magnificence but the many vestiges and scars left by human encroachment.
Through his cantos's (groups of pictures) Misrach has created one of the most extensive projects in contemporary photography. In Misrach's deserts, the land vibrates with underground nuclear testing and the sky illuminates with radiation seeping into the atmosphere, creating fantastic colors at every glance. For the past two decades, Richard Misrach has been photographing the American enviroment in all its permutations. From the natural wonders of its terrain, to the cultural artifacts left by its human inhabitants, and the technological horror of its history as a dumping ground for the United States military. In the course of his epic investigation, Misrach has photographed all over the western United States, and as far away as Egypt and Israel. Misrach latest interests are waters and inverted color negatives with large scale format pictures. His On the beach project has travelled to The Art Institute of Chicago, the Contemprary Museum in Honolulu, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Photology has exhibited Richard Misrach Golden Gate serie in 2001.