I’m not some armchair outdoorsman or researcher. I’ve been out in the elements my entire life and have seen things and experienced the unknown. I’ve travelled solo, thousands of miles, into some of the most isolated and rural areas where cellular service is nonexistent for days on end. The darkness of the desert has never spooked me and neither does the shadows that perk and stare at midday. I’m at peace in this world and I have walked a walk of experience that has given me the confidence to speak out…
Despite Texas almost possessing no public lands, the entire region felt like a secure warm blanket. Most of the locals around Terlingua, and Alpine, Texas, were very down home and caring. I had the opposite experience upon entering Big Bend National Park after getting harassed by the park rangers for taking photographs inside of the park. If that day ever comes back to haunt me, I will write about it in grueling detail. I felt my Freedom of Speech was trampled on simply because I was covering border issues while working on a Kickstarter project which involved my photography.
So my hat’s off to West Texans. Their desire for freedom and liberty was refreshing in light of the post-9/11 world we are starting to sober up to. I don’t know where our country is headed? Back home in Utah, I grew up and was raised around BLM Public lands. There are pros and cons to the Federal Government managing lands out West in Utah. For the preservation of sacred Indigenous Sites they have done a relatively good job but some citizens in Utah feel like their rights and livelihoods have been trampled on by Federal Government Overreach. It seems we are reliving another Sage Brush Rebellion. Water and land in the West are becoming heated issues right now.
As an artist, I have never believed in wilderness but I do believe in the preservation and protection of sacred sites. In so many ways I have to maintain neutrality on some of these political issues because they are sort of like a catch 22.
The above photos was shot from Terlingua, overlooking the valley during sunset.
So, if you have never been out to Area 51 – America’s most ABOVE top-secret military installation, I just want you to know that it is my most top-ranked favorite place to photograph in the American Southwest. Why Area 51? Well read my itinerary to find out by clicking on this sentence!
Yes, I am a firm believer in Flying Saucers. I want to believe in Aliens and UFOs and I believe there’s evidence of their history out in Rachel, Nevada. I’m now offering 2-3 day photographic tours through Anomaly Conservatory.
The photo right above is the mind boggling Extraterrestrial Highway which traverses along the Northern boundary of Area 51 between Alamo and Tonopah, Nevada. Join me on one of my Area 51 Tours!
Using the Mextures App on my iPhone 6s Plus – I edited these images I captured in Southern California near Victorville, Barstow and Baker California. I’ve been struggling to evolve a new workflow using my mirrorless cameras with Eye-Fi SD cards and just my iPhone. I then uploaded them to Smugmug and posted here. It seems to be an awesome process that takes some getting used to. Southern Califonria has some amazing decay and rural subject matter. I hope to revisit there soon!
Will post some more images in a few days! Stay tuned…
I love hearing about photo junkies spending thousands of dollars on the greatest and latest cameras knowing for a fact that having the latest-greatest fancy-pants camera will STILL NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER. Remember this and save thousands of dollars! That being said, if you are going to invest thousands of dollars spend it on glass (camera lenses) because good glass is still key to higher quality, and not necessarily the newest cameras along with their marketing hype. Cameras depreciate faster than lenses and the latter hold their value longer. I’ve been with Micro Four Thirds for 8 years now. That’s a pretty good track record. Why do I recommend this format? Because it’s dirt cheap, affordable, excellent image quality, and the fact that it works well, being mirror-less technology. In the end, It’s going to be the practice and passion that you put into composing images that will help you grow to become a better photographer. Remember that and avoid the marketing hype. I purchase old discontinued camera bodies at steeply discounted rates and invest the money in glass instead. It’s been a while since I’ve purchased gear and I’m happy with my choices. Practice makes better photos!
I post this because the wilderness is not pristine. Such a concept is foreign to humans and is a false-construct because we are a natural part of the landscape. When used in reference to the new world, it almost makes it sound like nobody was here before Columbus. Yes, I do believe in protecting and defending beauty as long as we come at it from a different angle. In the end, I think we all want clean air and water but humans are natural part of this earth.
This shot was captured on the outskirts of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert near sunset using a Sigma Foveon sensor. I was a real strong supporter of this technology but it doesn’t seem so practical these days, anymore…
This month of September marks a little over One Year and a month since I located my stolen Nikon V3 with an 18.5mm Nikkor lens in a pawn shop in Cedar City, Utah. It was turned over to the city police in August of 2014. Since then, It’s been in police evidence for longer than it remained stolen from me which is pretty aggravating. I’ve called the police multiple times and even met up with a few officers in their physical offices but the bureaucracy failed miserably to return my stolen photo gear.
Since then, I have given up ever hoping to get my gear back. Even when your valuables are stolen it doesn’t do any good if the police secure them because there’s a good chance you’ll never see them again. By the time that you do, your gear will be so outdated it will be a waste-of-time anyway. I just wanted to go on the record about this for the journal.
The image above was one of the last photos I captured with the Nikon v3 which I hadn’t even owned for longer than two weeks before it was ripped off in a vehicle burglary. The robber broke into my Jeep while I was watching the Hobbit movie at the theater. I learned a lot that day.
This image is of Alisa Meshkova – from one of my earliest model shoots. I titled it because of the light coming into the basement of this abandoned house through a window. The wind was blowing pretty hard and is what lifted her hair. I’ve always been inspired by the UFO Phenomenon and so I titled the image accordingly. Alisa attends Southern Utah University and is very intuitive as a model. She knew how to pose so I could focus on taking images.