Today’s Image #402

Title“Street Art”
Dimensions – 4″ x 6″
Format – Lomograph
Date – February 2003

I took a lot of Lomographs walking up and down 2nd Street in Belmont Shore when I worked at the Gazette Newspapers as a graphic artist. Usually I was going to get lunch or coffee and for a time in 2002 and ’03 I ALWAYS had my Lomo LC-A camera with me.

During that period there was a bunch of construction work going on hidden behind plywood barriers, nice “canvases” which provided a number of street art pieces as I randomly snapped my Lomo camera while walking by…

This Lomograph reminded me of a Robert Rauschenberg painting.

Today’s Image #400

Title“Green Lights Into The Twilight”
Dimensions – 4″ x 6″
Format – Lomograph
Date – April 2003

Throughout the early 2000’s I was very interested in “bleak” images and I ended up taking lots of photos full of late afternoon light glaring in my eyes, creating a hot and dusty, middle-of-the-summer kind of feel and photos with lots of sky and the tops of buildings… this kind of thinking went into this “bleak” Lomograph.

I took this while on my way to pick up Tania from work at Terry’s Camera, a shop that no longer exists in downtown Long Beach – death by digital camera.

I believe the white spot just under the top of the light pole is Venus as the evening star…

Off-The-Grid In Hidden Valley

Tania and I don’t just go camping, we mount a small expedition in our Honda Element. We pack our car with all the camping gear and supplies we’ll need for the next few days. We’ve got our tent and chairs, a stove, 3 bundles of wood, 9 gallons of water, food, flashlights, lanterns, firestarter, pots and pans, cooking utensils and on and on… and usually nothing that we don’t end up needing.

We usually spend a couple days preparing our supplies in a process refined by years of camping, and especially camping at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, (where we’ve camped at least 7 times so far – each time a unique experience.)

Then, along with our two dogs, Moseley and Suki, we leave cellphones and computers behind and enjoy some time off-the-grid… this year we spent our time in site #25.

In Our Element

Our love affair with Joshua Tree began eight years ago when we got our Honda Element, which we bought because we wanted a camping-mobile (among other things.)

Here’s a photo from our first camping trip at Hidden Valley in June of 2004 with our green Element in the background.


The Element has been an awesome mini-expedition vehicle. Before we got the Element we had not gone camping for a few years and really missed the time away from the city, just the two of us together, or with a small group of friends.

Our history of camping together goes back twenty-some years. Tania and I even got married while camping in Big Sur twenty years ago on October 12, 1992.

Here’s a photo from just after the ceremony under the redwood trees at Limekiln Campground in Big Sur. We had a Volkswagen Vanagon back then for our expeditions…


Boulders and The Light

Over the years many different things have been my focus-of-the-moment in this love affair with Joshua Tree, from the Joshua Trees themselves to the Gram Parsons legacy to the broad landscape of trees and boulders.

Currently I’m fascinated by the way the light changes the shape, color and presence of boulders. As an artist I marvel at the light and wonder how to capture it’s majesty in some kind of medium – a painting, sculpture, something I haven’t thought of… It’s a problem I keep turning around in my mind.

So far, I can only capture a photo of the idea, a mere representation of the real moment. This (see photo below) is what the light really looks like at sunset in the fall, but the real moment was 100 times better than any photo we could have taken.

This year’s expedition was the first time we camped in Joshua Tree during October. Usually we camp around September 19th in remembrance of Gram Parsons, one of my favorite musicians.

The light in October is very different than September. The angle of the light is steeper and full of contrast. Around our anniversary on the 12th the light is magical, and this year we had an unseasonal cold front that added a coolness we’d never experienced in our September camp-outs.

This Year’s Expedition

We arrived in Hidden Valley on Wednesday the 10th. Of the 44 camp sites, only 3 or 4 were still available. One of those sites was #25, on a side of the inner loop we had never camped on before.

The first night we had thunder and lightning in the middle of the night with rain. Our Hobitat tent which we bought a few years back from R.E.I. was very water-tight, and just we laid there enjoying the sounds and lightning throughout the night.

The next couple of days were unseasonably cool all day with beautiful clouds flying across the wide open sky. I wore a hoodie and knit cap most of the time, and really bundled up for the evening’s campfire.

We spent our time taking walks with our dogs, boulder scrambling, taking photos, talking, hanging out, napping and generally relaxing. It was a bit of heaven. And everywhere we looked were beautiful boulders basking in the changing sunlight.

At night the temperatures dropped down to 38 degrees one night and 40 degrees another night – very cold when you have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

On Friday the 12th we celebrated our 26th year together with special beers in the afternoon, a nice nap and a great afternoon walk… later Tania cooked-up an outstanding rib-eye steak and potatoes for dinner and then we relaxed around the campfire for conversation and more beers. A magical day all around.

The weather was finally warming up when we were packing up camp on Saturday morning the 13th to come home.

Moseley (a real homebody) was happy to be back home, while little Suki pup is already waiting for the next adventure.

Gallery of Photos

Here’s a selection of photos from this expedition into Joshua Tree. The photo order starts with morning photos and goes into the night, but covers several days of camping. All the photos have captions to tell you more about our expedition – Enjoy!

Today’s Image #394

Title“Public Pay Telephone”
Dimensions – 6″ x 4″
Format – Cross-Processed Lomograph
Date – March 2003

This Lomograph has an odd color-tinting because it was cross-processed. The shot was taken on slide film and then processed (developed and printed) as prints instead of as slides – this messes with the color processing.

Using cross-processing with a Lomo camera always created some strange color magic…

Today’s Image #393

Title“Public Phone #2”
Dimensions – 6″ x 4″
Format – Lomograph
Date – March 2003

Another image from my collection of Lomographs of Public Phones, circa 2003.

This shot, like all Lomographs was taken without framing using the viewfinder, but was taken by holding the Lomo camera with my arm outstretched, or “shot from the hip” while I walked by my subject, snapping the shot by intuition. I didn’t know until the film was developed if I had captured the image I wanted.

Another Public Phone Lomograph coming up tomorrow.

Today’s Image #391

Title“Public Phone”
Dimensions – 6″ x 4″
Format – Lomograph
Date – February 2003

I remember walking by this public phone on 2nd street in Long Beach in early 2003 and snapping this lomograph with my Lomo camera… this was the moment I decided it was time to get a cellphone.

More lomography coming up this next week. Enjoy!

26 Years of Love!

Adding another photo to our annual Anniversary Day post…

Above – Photographed on the eve of this year’s anniversary – October 11, 2012 at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park…

The Jon and Tania Story – In 27 Photos!

We started going out on October 12, 1986, got married on October 12, 1992 (our sixth anniversary) and now 26 wonderful years have gone by…

To celebrate our Anniversary, here’s a gallery of photos of us together from 26 years of love – From 1987 until now, with one photo representing each year of the journey.