Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Movin' On

After making a few changes, including building my own teardrop trailer, I've finally found the right travel rig for me. Follow the link below to find out what I'm doing now.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wet Dog, Happy Dog

As the temperature rises here in the California desert, Rita, an energetic Golden Doodle seeks relief in the cool waters of the Coachella Canal.
This image was processed with Lightroom PS for tablets, one of many tablet editors I'm testing.

Spring is here!

Hooray, Spring is here!  A season of new beginnings, a time of unbridaled optimism, and of course a chance to photograph wild flowers. This shot of a sunflower opening with the morning sun was made at Nate's Butt Farm, ..sorry... Bate's Nut Farm in 2014.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Solar Cows

This solar array provides shade for milk cows off Hwy 78, ten miles east of Brawley, Ca.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sun, Sand, and Snow?

Hotel del Coronado ice skaters enjoy the warm weather while skating. The hotel had several employees pushing sqwigees around the rink  to handle the melting ice.

Tomato Festival- Niland, Ca

These photos are some I took during the 2015 Tomato Festival Parade. Follow the link below for more.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

After The Storm

A few of my latest Arizona sunsets. Almost makes all the rainy days (and nights) worth it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mardi Gras is coming!

Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world and it's no different in Slab City. Tuesday, Feb. 12th will find most of us "Slabbers" workin' for beads.
The photo below is one I shot in New Orleans a couple of years ago. I've reprocessed it for a totally new look. For more Mardi Gras photos, check out other posts on this blog.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

East Jesus

As the largest art installation in Slab City, East Jesus, an artist colony, begs to be discovered.  It’s a little off the beaten path but well worth the visit.  The ever-changing group that works here are completely self-contained, relying on the sun to power their existence.  The late Charles Russell created East Jesus in 2006 and described his vision in this way.
Wedged between the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range and the Salton Sea in southern California's exotic Imperial Valley, East Jesus is an experimental, comprehensive habitat and artwork comprising vernacular architecture, technophilia, common-sense environmentalism, desert survival and sculpture/assemblage using predominantly recycled, re-purposed or discarded materials, sublimating the unwanted and ugly into the purposefully beautiful. The main structure is built around a 27' fiberglass shipping container, extended by walls composed of junk (lockers, computers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, bookshelves, tool chests, shipping crates, TVs and other electronics) and recycled, re-used lumber and steel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My First Book

Slab City- Then and Now is finally finished!

It's 40 pages and has lots of pictures from Slab City's past (as a military base) and pictures of the way it looks now.  Here's an excerpt.

From the moment you pass the first guard shack on your way into Slab City, it’s pretty clear that you’ve left conventionality behind. Ahead of you lies a place where rules are few and individuality reigns supreme.  No plumbing, no electricity, and no running water and yet hundreds of people call Slab City home for part of each year. 

Despite the primitive conditions, Slab City offers visitors and residents alike, many amenities without the ever-present oversight of local government.  Enclosed within its borders, Slab City has a church, a library, a restaurant, art exhibits, a music venue, internet cafĂ©, radio station, mechanical repair, pet graveyard, golf course, and barbershop.
It's listed on eBay and will soon be available on Amazon in both a paperback format as well as an ebook download.  Here's my website address:  www.slabcitybook.com.
Thanks to everyone that helped me on this project.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Back to the Slabs

Well, another summer has come and gone and I find myself chasing the sun again.  I'm in Slab City for the winter, hanging out with friends I met last year.  Nightly fire ring conversations, crisp, cool mornings followed by sun packed afternoons are the norm here. If you're in the area, look me up. I'm at 200 Fred St. on the south end of the Slabs.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Church on Wheels

Not far from my property in Concho, Az, I found this. After asking questions of people in my area, I found out that this miniature church on wheels was a parade float built by the Mormons for local parade use. The wheels and tires are missing but the frame and most of the float remains.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Concho Morning Walk

Here are a few pics from my morning walk with maci.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Arizona Sunset

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winter In Slab City

When the temperatures start to dip in the winter time, my thoughts turn to the warm, dry heat of the southern California deserts.  This year I wintered over in the famous (or infamous) Slab City, just east of Niland, CA on the eastern side of the Salton Sea.  There is plenty of room for everyone and "Snowbirds" from cold, snowy states arrive to stretch their feathers and enjoy days in the 70's and 80's.  The area has several club houses, a church, two music venues, an internet cafe, a library, pet cemetary and a couple of "restaurants", though I wasn't brave enough to dine in one.  Here are a few pictures from the area.

Yuma Proving Grounds

As you leave Yuma, AZ heading north on I95 toward Quartzite, the Yuma Proving Grounds will be on your left and offer a nice rest stop with tanks and guns from earlier wars.  All the photos in this post were process with nothing more than Picasa 3 (a Google product that is completely free to use).  The photos speak for themselves.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Salvation Mountain

As you leave Niland, Ca. and head east toward Slab City, you're greeted by one of the strangest sights in North America.  This amazing work of art (and spiritual mecca) has taken over 26 years to build and it's not finished yet!  The man that created Salvation Mountain, Leonard Knight,  still works on it a bit each day and talks with the many tourists that stop by to visit.  He has gone through hundreds of cans of paint (mostly donated) and adds to the mountain with straw bales and tree branches.  You can climb the stairs to the top of the mountain and take photographs of the surrounding desert.  Best time to visit is during the winter as the summer temperatures can reach 120 degrees F.  More photos Here.
Update:  Mr. Knight has recently been taken to a resthome in the San Diego area.  The area is still open for viewing and pictures.  I wish Mr. Knight all the best for the new year ahead.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tower at Night

This tower stands next to the San Diego Old Globe Theatre in beautiful Balboa Park. 

Although picture-worthy during the day, the tower mesmerizes visitors at night.  High-powered spotlights bathe the tower with light making it stand out against the blue-black sky.  A great landmark, the tower is visible from almost anywhere in the park. 

This shot was taken from the Alcazar Gardens  and is a glowing example of the architecture found throughout the park.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sax Man

This is another image made in Balboa Park near downtown San Diego.  Street performers entertain visitors most weekends and this gentleman graciously posed for this portrait near the arboritum.  I thought black and white was the right choice here as I wanted a timeless feel to the image.  I used an aperature of f/2.8 to blur the background and make my subject appear to float in the frame.  If I could change one thing about this shot it would be to make sure that his left hand was included in the frame.  Oh well.  I'll remember next time.  Just another beautiful day in the park.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Deep Purple

This image was made in Balboa Park in San Diego, CA during a groupshoot organized by the San Diego DSLR group.  Having shot there many times before, I went looking for unique photo opportunities and found this lilly near the edge of a very iconic pond in front of the arboritum.  What makes this shot unique is that is was shot after official sunset and I used my Maglight mini flashlight to "paint" the flower with light during the long exposure.  This light painting gives the lilly a ghostly, surreal feeling.  I then played with the white balance temperature and tint to render the overall image in purple.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Friend for the Road

As I prepare to leave the San Diego area for the deserts of California and Arizona, I decided to find a travel mate with the same passion for travel as I have.  It hasn't been easy.

After an extensive search and countless introductions, I have chosen Maci, a 1-1/2 year old reddish-gold spaniel mix to fill the seat next to mine.  She has a keen interest in everything, tempered with a wide streak of caution.  I found Maci residing at the San Diego County Animal Control facility after she was picked up as a stray.  She is smaller than what I was looking for, only weighing in at 20 lbs, but what she lacks in physical size she more than makes up for in heart.  She loves truck rides, cuddling, and treats, not necessarily in that order.

If you have room in your house and your heart, consider giving one of Maci's friends at the shelters a home.  You will get back far more than you put into your new relationship.

Please have your pet spayed or neutered and micro tagged.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Remember the Alamo!

Remember the Alamo?  I did, when visiting San Antonio this summer on my way back to California. It was hot, over 100 degrees both days I was there, but San Antonio is such a great place to visit, I really didn’t mind the heat. I woke early and drove downtown to the area known as The San Antonio Riverwalk. It was nice to walk along the river before most folks got out of bed. The “river” is really a loop off of the San Antonio River that is lined with concrete and landscaped with trees and flowering plants. Construction on the loop began in 1939 as a bypass channel for flood protection. Today, there are boats that navigate the river giving tourists the best views of downtown San Antonio and its shops and eating places. It has become the #1 tourist attraction in the state of Texas.

As I walked beside the river, I found my destination for my noontime meal but I had some time to kill, so I made my way a couple of blocks east to the Alamo. I decided not to take the guided tour, rather, I moved through the grounds of the old fort and mission looking for photo ops and reading history written on plaques along my route.

After lunch, I decided to visit a few of the other remaining missions in the area around San Antonio. Each was as different as the last but they were all carefully maintained and in some cases restored to most of their former glory. Texas loves its history and is proud to show it off wherever it can.

There are other attractions including Sea World and amusement parks, museums and art galleries. But my time here was limited. I will definitely return to San Antonio and the lone star state and will plan to spend more time here.

Travel Tip: Each year they drain the Riverwalk and clear trash and spare change from the bottom, so check before you go. It would be a shame to miss it.

More pictures HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oak Alley Plantation- Vacherie, LA

Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans, LA is a National Historic Landmark and for good reason.  As you drive along Great River Road near the banks of the Mississippi River, nothing prepares you for your first glimpse of The "Big House".  This antebellum mansion was built in 1839 as a gift from a wealthy Creole sugar planter to his young bride.  The twenty-eight live oak trees had been planted by the previous land owner as a walkway from the banks of the river.

Today, you can tour the "Big House", walk the grounds, eat in the restaurant, stop by the Ice Cream Parlor or stay at the bed and breakfast.  Whew!  Weddings and receptions can also be held at the plantation.  This location is a little off the beaten path, but...most good things are.

More photos HERE.

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Orleans-Marde Gras World

When folks think of New Orleans, they usually think of Marde Gras and the bars and hotels along Bourbon Street.  I've been to the French Quarter (although not during Marde Gras) and enjoyed the french flavor and nice people that I met there.  This trip, I wanted to peek "behind the curtain" and see what it takes to put on one of the world's biggest parties year after year. 
Over 90% of the floats and costumes for Marde Gras are created by the amazing artists that work for Blaine Kern's Marde Gras World.  They build, restore, and house most of the floats used each year during Marde Gras.  The best part is that you can tour this wonderful company most of the year (not during Marde Gras for obvious reasons).  I enjoyed taking the tour and learned quite a bit.  For instance, each invited float rider spends nearly $2000.00 of his/her own money on beads and candy to throw to the crowd along the parade route.  Also, there are permanent float figures created out of fiberglass and less expensive figures made of styrofoam and covered in papier mache.  Each float can cost as much as a million dollars and no city or state funds are used for the parades with the exception of a police presence during the parades and street cleanup after Marde Gras.  I recommend a visit to Marde Gras World if not for the history, then for the awesome photo opportunies.

More photos HERE.

Friday, July 1, 2011

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine Florida is a great getaway destination with something for everyone.  For kids (and adults alike), the Pirate Museum is the place to let out your inner pirate and explore the artifacts once owned by the likes of Black Beard and others.  This is also a cool distraction during the heat of the day.
Other attractions include the historic district filled with small homes and shops demonstrating how things were done in the 17th century.  There is also an Alligator Farm (and zoo) for those that like things a little on the dangerous side.  My favorite, and the reason I went to St. Augustine, was the Castillo de San Marcos.  This spanish fort (seen above) was built in 1672 to protect Spains interest in the new world.  It is the only surviving 17th century fort in North America. 
Best of all, all of the attractions (except the Alligator Farm) are located within a 5 block radius of each other.  Makes for an easy day of exploring. 

For more photos... Click HERE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The crew of Space Shuttle Endeavor has finally left Earth after two lengthy delays.  The first was a docking schedule problem, the second, an equipment failure.  STS-134, the final launch of the Endeavor, is in the history books.  The crew will dock with the International Space Station early Wednesday morning and will return to earth after 16 days in space.

The weather was overcast and the skies were filled with clouds as we arrived at Kennedy Space Center about 6:30a for the 8:58a launch.  After walking around a bit and taking a few photos, we sat down on the grassy area just north of the Rocket Garden and waited nervously for the final countdown.  I told my friend that with a cloud cover that low in the sky, we probably wouldn’t see much of the actual flight.  Truer words were never spoken.  As the shuttle took off, I had my camera in continuous mode snapping 5 frames per second and only got off three shots before the Shuttle vanished into the clouds above.  Only one showed the entire Shuttle and it was a wide shot, so, I cropped in tight on it in post processing.  It is what it is, no redo allowed.  Oh well.  The best laid plans…and all of that.

I have all the images taken that day and others taken at the Astronaut Hall of Fame... Here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mission NOT Accomplished

When I heard that the Space Shuttle Endeavor would be launching during my stay here in south Florida, I put my name on the “interested” list in December of 2010.  I never really expected to have the opportunity to buy tickets, but in mid February I received a notice that I had made the initial cut.  I still had to hope that I would get a ticket on the day that tickets went on sale, though.  The odds were still not in my favor due to the tremendous interest in the second to last launch of the shuttle program. 

On the day of ticket release, I got on the predetermined website early and waited for my time to buy.  The clock ticked slowly on the wall as I sat, not too patiently, waiting.  Then it came; my time to enter my info into the form on the screen.  There was a time limit so I had to work fast, but I was able to complete the purchase before time ran out.  The tickets were on their way.  Yay!

This last Friday (Apr 29th, 2011) was supposed to be launch day and after checking for any updates, we turned the car north for the 3+ hour drive to Kennedy Space Center and the Visitor’s center there.  Traffic was horrible as we neared the complex and it took us another hour to travel 6 miles.  We had arrived and walked quickly to find a spot on the grass to put our chairs.  While waiting, a couple of us walked over to the Nasa Store to buy some things.  I got the mug that’s shown above.  I didn’t notice until we returned to the grassy area that the back of the mug has three words in blue ink.  “Endeavor”, “Mission”, “Accomplished”.  I immediately had a bad feeling about the launch scheduled that day.  Could’ve been a G.W. Bush flashback.  “Accomplished”?

After a 4-hour road trip up to KSC, 1-hour waiting in line to pay for my mug, and another 2 hours waiting on the grass, the launch was scrubbed for the day due to a wiring problem.  You can imaginethe somber mood of the crowd leaving the space center that day.

 If time allows, I may do it all again on another, as yet unannounced, launch day.  After all, I’ve already got the mug.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Palm Beach may be the center of wealth and influence in Florida now, but at the turn of the 20th century, South Miami was the place to build your castle in the sand.

In 1916, James Deering, V.P. of International Harvester, completed construction on his winter home “Vizcaya” on Biscayne Bay, just south of Miami. It has 34 rooms, and one of the largest private gardens in Florida. Deering and his architects traveled extensively throughout Europe seeking inspiration before designing the home and gardens, combining elements of Renaissance Italian and French designs. The house was intended to appear as an Italian estate that had stood for 400 years and had been occupied and renovated by several generations of a family. More than 1000 workers were employed in the construction process.

The house and gardens were eventually sold to the city in 1952 at well below current value and Deering’s heirs generously donated all the furnishings and artwork, provided the house would be opened to the public as a museum.

When the house was built, it contained an open courtyard and the entire home was open to the east. The breezes must have been lovely. Today, large glass doors and a pavilion style glass roof help to keep the interior furnishings and the priceless artwork safe for generations to come. A bit of a shame really. It’s still a very beautiful house and has spectacular gardens, but one can only imagine arriving at the obviously Venice-inspired boat landing and walking up the coral stone steps through the airy portico and into the courtyard. It must have been grand. I’ve included a link to some interior photos as photography isn’t allowed inside the mansion.

Vizcaya is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Miami area.

More of my exterior photos Here
Vizcaya-Interior photos by house photographer

Monday, April 4, 2011

South Beach, baby!

No visit to South Florida would be complete without a stop over in South Beach (Miami). With its art-deco buildings, palm trees, and healthy, tanned bodies, South Beach blurs the line between a laid-back beach town and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Throw in a vibrant nightclub scene and you have a destination truly unique to the planet.

A simple red dot on a map cannot begin to pin down a place like South Beach. As a latitude with attitude, to borrow a phrase from Jimmy Buffett, South Beach offers so much to its visitors. With its crystal clear blue waters, pink, green, and blue neon art-deco hotels, it’s no wonder South Beach has such a strong artist community with art galleries and street art around every corner.

Of course, the beach in South Beach is amazing. Brilliant white sand and palm trees make this beach the place to be during the mid-day hours while lifeguards in pastel art-deco inspired towers watch over swimmers and sun-bathers alike.

There are plenty of street-side cafes in which to grab a bite and more than a few upscale restaurants when you want to dress up a little. Seafood is plentiful here and is usually caught fresh not far from the grill. Cuban inspired fare is a favorite as is Caribbean island food. Grilled Plantains and black beans with Jerk Chicken are a personal favorite.

The nightlife in South Beach is legendary and has been written about extensively so I won’t say much about it here except to note that fashion is a huge part of going out in South Beach. The choices for what to wear are endless and you’ll see folks come in right off the beach in swimming attire and those that have obviously hit the high-end boutiques on Ocean Drive. What else would you expect… it’s South Beach.

**NEW** More South Beach images at https://picasaweb.google.com/Greg.Stotts/SouthBeachFloridaApr42011#

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A morning to myself

I like to walk early in the morning before the "world" wakes up to a new day.  Other than the middle of the night, it's the best time for me to collect my thoughts.  This image is of a golf course near where I'm staying.  I had walked by this spot several mornings and noticed that the fog would roll through. 

Today, I decided to return with my camera and tripod.  I was hoping for fog.  I wanted to show the fog moving through the scene and still be able to make out the bridge on the left. The shot before this one wasn't foggy enough and the one after this was too foggy.  You couldn't even see the bridge.  I processed this image in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efx Pro to add a little more contrast and a grainy "film" feel.  I was going for that look of a 1920s Paris art pic.  Missed the mark on that one, but I still like the mood it conveys.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Back

Can you believe it?  This is my first post in over three months.  I've been saving my money to buy a small RV, (more details to come) and I've been on a very tight budget.  With the cost of gas these days, getting out to shoot in a place like South Florida, where everything is spread out is challenging. 

I spent this morning driving along the A1A from Ft. Lauderdale to Hollywood, FL, stopping a few times to check things out.  I was mostly scouting for early morning photo ops but managed to shoot a little.  This image was made on the sand at Ft. Lauderdale City Beach.  It is straight out of the camera with no editing at all.  I'm shooting both Raw and JPEG format now to cut back on post work.  I'll save the RAW images for further post production work at a later date.

The clouds and fog were beginning to burn off and the the sun was coming on strong.  We've had temperatures hovering in the low to mid 80s for as long as I can remember and the nights have been wonderful.  High humidity is coming this weekend, so, we'll see how that goes.

I'll try to publish more often in the future.  June 20th, 2011, I'll be taking off to San Diego via New Orleans, San Antonio, White Sands, and Tucson.  I'll be shooting and posting as I go so stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lighthouse- Key West, Florida

One of the tough things about getting good lighthouse photos is perspective.  Most of the time, our only position to photograph them is from the ground and without a perspective correction lens, lighthouses (and other buildings) appear to fall away from us, distorting the image.

In this situation, I looked for, and found, a vantage point about half as high as the lighthouse thus giving me a more pleasing angle to shoot from.  This vantage point was the second floor porch of the Hemingway House Museum.  I must admit, in all honesty, that this was a deciding factor in my decision to purchase a ticket.  I think it was worth it.  I positioned myself so that palm trees would frame my subject adding more interest to the shot.

Land's End- Key West, Florida

This image is of the southern most point in the United States which lies approximately 90 miles north of communist Cuba.

The weather was beautiful while I was in Key West but turned bitter cold the day after I returned to Ft. Lauderdale.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hemingway's Cat

As one of the decendants of Ernest Hemingway's cats, Ivan has no worries as he is well taken care of , along with the other feline inhabitants of the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida.  Ivan was named after the hurricane that blew through south florida the month he was born. 

There are approximately 60 cats on the property all related to Snowball, the first cat owned by Hemingway and his then wife, Pauline.  The cat was a gift from a visiting sea captain.  Snowball had six toes.  Several cats currently on the property have six toes as the trait has been passed down with each generation.

I processed this image with Nik Silver Efx Pro and used the Holga preset.  This is one of my favorite images from the trip.

Little White House- Key West, Florida

Long after his passing, Harry S. Truman continues to be one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history.  During his presidency, Truman accomplished quite a bit including establishing the Everglades National Park. 

Truman spent a lot of time in Florida and created the Little White House as a winter office of the presidency.