Isolation: Bombay Beach

Two chairs sit ready for a couples therapy session, in juxtaposition between Michael Daniel Birnberg’s (also known as Midabi) “The Only Other Thing is Nothing.”

The message is profound in the context of the relationships we have with others as members of the human race. Midabi created the installation for the 2019 Bombay Beach Biennale.

A new kind of Polaroid Camera – from 1961

The Polaroid Land Camera model P66 with a built-in flash was offered from 1961 until 1963. This example has been in our family since 1961 – sixty years next month – when it was a gift from my stepmom’s family to ours for Christmas.

Occasionally, I was given permission to make a photograph using this very camera. Those first photos are long gone, but it introduced me to the joys of making pictures – and the photo that magically appeared just seconds from pressing the shutter.

Old timers will remember the print coater stick soaked with a mystery sweet-smelling chemical that needed to be wiped across the newly developed photograph to preserve it. A cartridge with a dried-out coating stick was still in the leather case, as well as a few unspent flash bulbs, all shown above.

Somehow the camera, which sold for about $90 (almost $700 in today’s dollars) has survived countless moves and garage sales and emerged from a dusty box hidden towards the back of the workshop earlier this week. The image was created as a faux advertisement for a photography class assignment I’m tackling this semester.

P.S., the family photographs shown as “props” of this faux advertisement were made in the late 1950s and early 1960s – but not taken with this camera – they are likely from a Kodak camera. The subjects include my sister, brother, and me.

Photography Lighting with a Gnome.

This week’s photography lighting study assignment is now complete. Can you identify which is “Paramount (or Butterfly)” lighting, “Split (sometimes called Hollywood)” lighting, and “Rembrandt” lighting.

Our subject for this week’s assignment is Kartell’s “Attila” whimsical gnome designed by Philippe Starck.

Rhino Savanna arrives in Southern California!

Made a stop at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Southern California today for a peek at the new Rhino Savanna!

Set to debut this Friday to the public, the new four-acre habitat is an incredible new home for Jaali and Nia, a pair of African black rhinos and twelve other species of animals. Here’s Jaali chomping on a pumpkin while prancing around his new home.

Nevada’s first National Conservation Area.

Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Time to decompress from a wild and crazy #semashow, so we took a trip to the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area just a few miles out of town for enticements of a different nature, including its amazing 13-mile scenic drive. Check it out next time you visit Las Vegas.

Spotted at SEMA 2021: 1978 Ford F-100 retro-electric Eluminator

Ford’s retro-electric 1978 F-100 pickup is gorgeous. The all-electric all-wheel drive F-100 Eluminator delivers 480 horsepower through two Ford Performance Parts’ Eluminator electric crate motors.

Ford’s 1978 F-100 Eluminator retro truck at #FordSEMA is based on the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition powertrain, and has two Eluminator motors — one at each axle, delivering all-wheel drive w/480 horsepower, 634 pound-feet of torque.

Priced at just $3,900, the e-crate motor, part No. M-9000-MACH-E, has a total of 281 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. And, it’s legal in all 50 states.

Ford’s F-100 Eluminator gives new meaning to “Sleeper Hot Rod.”

Levitated Mass is a 340-ton rock

Smoke and haze from the Northern California fire storms were lingering in the air when I made a visit to Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass a few months ago.

Levitated Mass is a 456-foot-long concrete slot constructed on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s campus along Wilshire Boulevard. Sitting atop the slot is a massive 340-ton granite megalith. It’s a popular detour for neighborhood athletes who seem to be tempting fate by running underneath.

Levitated Mass opened to the public on June 24, 2012.

Roadtrippin’ to Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace

Early morning before the crowds showed up in Pioneertown, California

The roots of this legendary hangout and music palace goes back to 1946, when a movie set façade was built on the lot to look like a “cantina” for many of the western films filmed at Pioneertown, California in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace” originally opened in 1972 by Harriet’s mother, Francis Aleba, and her husband, John as a biker bar called the “Cantina.”

In 1982, Harriet and her husband, Claude “Pappy” Allen, took over and renamed the place “Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.”