To wake up in Mammoth mountain with friends on this beautiful holiday! Thank, Dr. King!
Vacation for me usually means; up early, out all day, all night, everyday. go go go. Too much to see and so little time. Usually exhausted by the time I get home, ready to jump in bed and rest from "Vacation".
This trip to Mexico was different. The 12 days I spent traveling through Baja was incredibly relaxing. Being with my friends who live there, I was a part of Baja life, rather than the "Cabo scene". I can't thank my friends enough for being amazing hosts and as usual, perfect travel partners. A great start to the New Year.
Relaxed, focused and ready.
There are few joys greater than being with a couple of friends on a road while photographing.
I've been meaning to visit my friends Joe and Mj for the past three years since they moved to Los Cabos, Mexico. These Holidays they had decided on visiting family in Northern California and making a Road trip out of it with his Parents. After learning that his Folks would not be making the drive back I said, 'Swoop me up!'.
Few weeks later and here we are!
A beautiful country
3 great friends
If theres one thing I have learned, its that the quote, "It is better to travel well than to arrive".. could not be more true
Those Vista signs on the HWYs and Freeways are there for a reason.
Take a pause
and 'Vista' your eyes out.
Cheers to a new year, 2015!
This past weekend, my buddy Rick, gave me the opportunity to shoot his lovely family. These would be my first family portraits. It was a bit different than most of my photography, as they weren’t a landscape, nor a wild animal (although a young child sits about as still as one) or an extreme sport. Plus, they had more clothes on than most I’ve had in front of my lens. While this is not my typical subject matter, it was a great new experience that I can see myself doing more of in the future (in case you know anyone one).
This past weekend, Brittany and I decided to head out to the Salton Sea and surrounding area for a photoshoot. We had plans to make several stops; Joshua Tree, Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, an oasis, and Salvation Mountain. We decided to head to our furthest destination first, a little town called Niland, Ca.. 4 miles outside of Niland lies a decommissioned military base now known as, Slab City or "The Slabs". A place I knew nothing about two weeks ago.
Slab City is a"snowbirds" campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California used by several thousand campers, many of them retired. They use the site during the winter months. Its a bizarre stretch of area also filled with tweakers, eccentrics, army vets, hippies, Artists, and a few just plain fuckin weirdos that have moved to 'The Slabs' to learn how to live off the grid and to be left alone. The camp has no electricity, no running water, no sewers nor toilets, and no trash pickup service. Many campers use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. Supplies can be purchased in Niland. But they really love it if you have beer or cigarettes for them. As I learned trading a few cold ones for directions to a man named 'Two Horse Jack' located next door to East Jesus.
The entrance to Slab City is easily recognized by the colorful Salvation Mountain and where we began shooting. Salvation Mountain is a small hill approximately three stories high which is entirely covered in acrylic paint, concrete and adobe and festooned with Bible verses. It is a project of over two decades by Leonard Knight. While there we were invited to a painting party from a young girl, listened to another girl sing a beautiful song in one of the small caves and a polaroid was taken of us from two other girls we chatted with. Following some shooting in the campsites of Slab City, we realized our day was quickly passing us by and that we most likely wouldn't be making it to any of our other spots we had in mind. We still had ideas of what we wanted to do at the slabs. Like take photos inside in an abandoned trailer. This is where "Two Horse Jack' would be of help.
East Jesus is an experimental, sustainable, habitable, art installation located in the Slab City area. There is no religious connotation in the name East Jesus – it's a colloquialism for the middle of nowhere beyond the edge of services. In early 2007, Charlie Russell left his job in the technology industry, packed all his belongings into a shipping container sent to a trash-strewn field, and began to surround his two art cars with the sculptures that would become the foundation works of East Jesus. Made from discarded material that has been reused, recycled, or repurposed, East Jesus encourages visitors to imagine a world without waste in which every action is an opportunity for self-expression. East Jesus is a living, growing, and ever-changing artwork that embraces the varied voices of the thousands of contributing artists who have added to the installation. The people here are so nice and inviting, Jack took me into his home and shared stories of different murals on his walls from guests from all over the world had painted for him as a thank you for letting them stay at his site. He let us to shoot in and around his home. The people who we met at East Jesus as well, gave us a small tour of the grounds and let us shoot anywhere we liked.
More pics of our shoot on my Instagram: reallysortofamazing
If you're looking for an off the beaten path day adventure, I highly suggest the road trip. I look forward to my next visit. Check out their site for more info: East Jesus
Its been a little over 2 and half years since I sold my R6 and lately Ive been feening for a ride. There is few things like getting on two wheels and feeling the air hit your chest as you crank the throttle. I especially missed hitting those winding mountain roads. With that said, this Saturday I called up a friend and borrowed his Harley for the day.
6 hours, 270+ miles, sore and almost Frozen. I had the absolute best day.
I see a purchase in my future.
For the second year in a row, I spent Thanksgiving with my Brother, Alex's (middle bro) In-Laws. They're pretty awesome.
Whatever today looked like for you; I hope it was with good peeps, good eats and good drinks.
Thankful for another year with a loving and healthy family
With a heavy heart, I write this weeks' update. My family lost one of our own a week ago, today. His name is Leo, my parents' two-year old Golden Retriever (offspring of my 7 year old Golden Retriever, Shaka).I received a call at 6:30am from my Mother crying so much that I couldn't make out what she was saying. Springing up and flying out the door; half dressed with shirt and shoes in hand. Arriving at my parents home, I found my mother crying in a chair close to the front door, I asked "Whats wrong!? Where are you hurt!?"My mother replied "not me, its Leo..." Turning my attention to the rest of the home, I soon found Leo, he was no longer with us.My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach and tears fell from my eyes.Joining my Mom in the living room and hugging her; with both of my brothers whom arrived shortly after my arrival.
Leo had arrived at a perfect time -almost 3 years ago. My Father had just put down his dog Harley from old age. My neighbor had asked me if I wanted to Stud Shaka with her Golden Retriever. My Dad had wanted a Golden his whole life but my brothers and I had always chosen a different type of Dog as our family pet. I couldn't wait to surprise my Dad when Leo was born, he would finally be receiving his Golden and better yet, he was my boy, Shakas' son. My Pops latched on to Leo like no dog he has ever had before. Took him to obedience classes with me and Samson (Leo's brother), brought him to the office everyday, and couldn't stand to be away from him for more than a few hours; they had a bond like none other.We think he eventually ranked #1 above all of us.
As a family we kept the saddening news to ourselves the past week due to my Pops being in Mexico visiting family and friends. We didn't know how he would take it and knew he was in a part of the country where a medical facility was not readily available. While risk was minimal, it was still a concern of ours. Just about every phone call received the following week was pre-faced with a "hows Leo?".Upon my Father's arrival home last night, I felt it my responsibility to deliver the incredibly difficult news about his bestfriend, Leo. The look my father gave me upon hearing the disheartening news cannot quite be described in words; all I can say is, it sucked, every bit of it.
As I come to a close, I write this to you, Leo. Although you were only here a short time -you made a huge impact on our family, you brought my Dad joy and love that I only hope you felt in return. With Thanksgiving approaching, I want you to know how grateful and thankful I am for your presence in our lives. Please Know he's in good hands, I've trusted my #1, (your Dad) to keep him company right now to help ease the loss of you.Until you reunite with him one day, I hope you're chilling with PeeWee, Lady, Harley, Dolo, Bailey, and MaryJane. You're in great company. We love you, buddy.
Jan 3, 2012 - December 13, 2014
"All dogs go to Heaven"
This past week was the Birthday of one of my closest friends, Andy. Usually would have been spent on the green, trying our best to not be the worst golfers on the course. I wanted to switch things up, being that andy got some new photography equipment, I knew he would enjoy testing it out in a new environment. So I called him a few days before the weekend and asked if he wanted to take a day trip to Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree is one of Americas newest national parks. The park is located in southern California about 150 miles east of Los Angeles and north of Palm Springs, preserves sections of two of North America's great deserts and several mountain ranges in its 793,000 acres. Despite its desert location, the park features a wide variety of plants and animals, not the least of which is the famous plant for which the park is named, the Joshua tree. Not actually a tree, the Joshua tree is a giant yucca plant--Yucca Brevifolia--the short leaved yucca. The plant was supposedly named by the Mormons who thought it resembled the biblical Joshua welcoming them with upturned arms. These plants, along with the rocky hills, create an other-worldly appearance unlike anything else that can be found in the national park system.
After arriving at sunset, we went for a hike and just admired the parks beauty at a site called "Hall of Horrors" which my brother had recommended. The colors and stars that appeared in the sky was breathtaking. Joshua Tree is well known for its dark skies, which are largely free from southern California's extreme light pollution. Our minds were blown. Once the moon started to rise we got our photo gear out and put Andys lights to the test with some killer portraits. We also did some light painting and one of my favs, long exposures. It was a rough drive home at 2am from Joshua Tree, but completely worth it.
Joined an indoor soccer team a couple months ago with friends. Did damn good, considering most of us hadn't played for some time. A loss, a tie and the rest wins. Steam rolled the playoffs and last Thursday was the Finals.
We got murdered, by a group straight off the Argentina National squad. (I'm sticking to that story)
sounds closer than it was
This past weekend, my friend Mal flew in from Canada. Mal and I met 2 years ago in Budapest, Hungary, on a day walking tour through the city. The next day and a half we did what most travelers do, we followed it up with more sights, a few bars, randomness and getting to know each other. We swapped emails then we were off on our separate ways to new cities and adventures. We stayed in touch afterwards and a few weeks ago I received an email that said,"Hey, Im coming to visit!" "Sweet! Finally! " Mal brought her friend Krystle with her and I tried showing them a fun OC / SoCal experience. Newport, La, HB, Hollywood, Knotts Scary Farm, Venice, Rainbows, Triangle square, Roscoes, Laguna, San Clemente, a hike, party night, party day, paddle boarding and even some surfing lessons. They met several of my amazing friends and genuinely had an amazing time (i hope).
Along with awesome memories, my travels have blessed me with so many amazing friends across this beautiful world from different cultures, religions, and ages. We all found common ground to build long and lasting relationships. Next year, I’ll be traveling to France, to go to a wedding of people I met in London. I love the randomness of it all. There is so much out there if you choose to seek it. Think about how much you limit your life by only experiencing what may be in a 100 miles radius. Your future best friend, wife or husband may be out there.
Appreciate the world beyond your doorstep.
My friend Quan and I talked about starting a 52 project some time ago. Well, he started and now is more than half way through it. lol Every week I had some excuse to put it off and with that, the weeks passed.
I knew with this pic, this would be my week to start. On Friday I had a trip planned with friends to go deep sea fishing. Last minute, I asked if they would mind if I brought my Pops.
We had a great time. He was one of the boys. Sharing drinks, stories and the sea.
With a couple spare minutes before we had to check in to the boat. I had an idea for a pic. He used to take me fishing off Balboa Pier when I was a kid. We never caught much. But it was something we always did growing up and it was always the "best day ever!" That long walk down to the end of the pier. Holding his hand. Ready to play with the slimy bait. Excited for the hundreds of fish, my imagination had me reeling in. Here we were once again. Gone fishing with Pops.
Best day ever.