Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Monday, March 23, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Monday, February 2, 2015
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
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
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
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.
Friday, November 16, 2012
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
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
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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.
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
Friday, October 7, 2011
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
Friday, September 30, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, April 18, 2011
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
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
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 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
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.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
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.
Truman spent a lot of time in Florida and created the Little White House as a winter office of the presidency.