Wandering makes photos
If anyone asks me how did I learn photography, I tell them, by walking the streets of Tokyo for hundreds of hours with my very first DSLR camera, a Nikon D80. What is great about living in a city with wide spread public transportation is you can take a train to one area, walk randomly to where your eyes take you, then just hop on another train and get back home without having to worry about returning to where your car is parked. This is how I went about finding one of my more famous photos, at least in Japan, which I titled, “Last Green Leaves Before Autumn.” I submitted it to Metropolis Magazine (the largest weekly English magazine in Japan) and they featured it in the Photo of the Week section. Picking up a copy of the magazine the Friday afternoon it came out and seeing my photo featured inside, I was stunned and even stopped strangers passing by to say (in English), “that’s my photo!” It was a moment of exhileration I have rarely ever felt again. Read More
Slab City no longer like Easy Rider era
Slab City. It was a mysterious place floating in my mind for decades, ever since seeing Easy Rider. In my memory the movie showed Slab City as a place in California you can just setup and live, on empty slabs of concrete out in the desert. In preparing to go to Slab City recently, I read up some about it. It was supposedly still a lawless place where the police did not go, and were not wanted. I was actually concerned about safety issues trying to just drive through Slab City. I expected to be met with very unwelcome looks, as an outsider. Slab City, I thought, is not a place for casual visitors. Read More
When was gas 32¢ a gallon?
Driving back to Albuquerque after a weekend of rural land real estate photographer in Angel Fire along the very scenic Route 66, one can find amongst an unbroken stretch of canyon, trees and river a place that very much stands out, the Johnnie Meier Classical Gas Pump Museum. Thanks to Atlas Obscura, a great website for finding strange and odd things, we knew to be on the lookout for it. There are not just old gas pumps, but any number of things from a past that is slowly being forgotten. For me seeing the old coin operated animal rides that I used to take in the 1970s and 1980s, it was a strong shot of nostalgia. Even the old cigarette machine jogged my memory to when you used to see them in every restaurant waiting room. And when was gas only 32¢ cents a gallon last? Read More