Kodak 400 Ultracolor (no longer available)

Santa Rosa Island summer 2015.

Shot on my old Nikonos III with Kodak 400 Ultracolor, my favorite color film for 35mm. Now gone forever...

The horses are left from the old Vail and Vickers Ranch, and they are the only non-native animals allowed to stay because it was decided that the island is their home, and they would probably not handle the move off of the island well in their  mature age. Some of them are probably 40 years old. The ranching story of Santa Rosa Island as well as the many other fascinating human stories of the other islands is described elegantly in the wonderful film West of the West.


Pacific Standard Time LA/ LA Around LA

I've been trying to take in as many of the Pacific Standard Time LA/ LA shows as I can before they all close. I have been able to make it to shows at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, LACMA, the Getty, and at the Huntington Library and Gardens.

I was super stoked to be able to witness Ana Serrano's Cartonlandia at CAFAM. She is one of my favorite current artists and she works with cardboard, one of my all time favorite mediums. You can turn cardboard into anything you want, and Ana creates little dioramas and cardboard hillside neighborhoods that reflect the densely populated Latino neighborhoods in LA and beyond.

Also at this show, U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, was a display focusing on the work of an architect who works out of Baja California. I got really into Alejandro D'Acosta's sketch book illustrations, as well as his creations out in the Valle de Guadalupe area near Ensenada. The images were of some of his Baja desert Eco dwellings and winery structures.

At the Huntington my sister and I went to see Visual Voyages which took a look at how early South American naturalists documented their country and how many of them were native born people who helped to illustrate and describe these new discoveries. Imagine being the first guy to illustrate the pineapple? And it was a fitting show for me as I will soon be transitioning hemispheres. I also had just read The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf. In this book she tells the story of Alexander Von Humboldt and of his many major contributions to our understanding of the natural world and that of South America. She writes the he would inspire Simon Bolivar to liberate the continent and would inspire Muir and many others to look at the natural world as a connected living thing, the beginning of modern day ecology. Of course there was a big portrait of Humboldt in the show. As well as some wonderfully drawn botanical illustrations.

We were also very excited to see a wonderful specimen of a Cork Tree. Domineque had to touch it herself.

Finally I made it to the Getty to see a few more PST: LA/LA shows there, including the Metropolis of Latin America 1830- 1930. Another fitting show as I try to learn as much as I can about the South American city and life. This show included historical images and video of 6 major cities; Lima, Havana, Rio de Janiero, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Santiago de Chile. In the show one is able to see how all six of these cities grew along with their population and early European influence to shape the major centers of population they are today. Also at the Getty was a radical show highlighting photography in Argentina, the exhibition largely focused on the country's economic probelms and political corruption and the effect it has had on many Argentinians. The final show I saw was Kingdom of Gold, the Getty's attempt at linking gold artifacts from South America up into Central America and Mexico, showing them as one continuous trend throughout the many native cultures and times. Many of the pieces displayed were from the Moche and Chimu cultures of the northern Peruvian coast, where Magdalena and I visited in 2016. During our trip we were able to see many of these sites and the same artifacts, so seeing them here in LA wasn't nearly as unique as seeing them down in Peru. Nonetheless, it was a very well put together show and an appropriate ending to my PST  LA/ LA jaunt through the museum kingdom of Los Angeles.

Malibu Creek State Park, Fall in California, and the Backbone Trail

There were some nice fall colors this past year just before the winter solstice along Malibu Creek where Piuma road meets the canyon. This is the spot where you can find some of the best fall colors in all of the Santa Monica Mountains. The colors have mostly faded by now but the hiking weather has been ideal. The kind of weather that makes climbing hundreds of feet vertically on the backbone trail seem almost like a walk in the park, or kind of like effortlessly floating the thermals just as the Turkey Vultures do, well sort of. The views on the first day of 2018 were quite spectacular too and Malibu Canyon is still charming after all these years.

One day this year I hope to make the grand tour of Malibu Creek State Park, a roughly 17 mile loop that takes in a good chunk of the upper park, and travels along one of the most scenic sections of the backbone trail.

Fields of Cotton

Mormon Lake

A trip out to Arizona and Mormon Lake, up near Flagstaff. It was a short fishing trip with my pops before I get hitched. We lost a brake caliper out way of some dirt road, but we're able to gingerly roll back to the lodge where we got towed out to Flag the next day. The ride through that high elevation forest in the cab of the tow rig in the early morning was something unexpected but quite wonderful.

Nov. 2017