frontier drive-in

remember the old frontier drive-in near monte vista? check out the polaroid in the right hand column. yep, that's the one. polly and i ventured out there on our journey and explored the property more fully. what we discovered was mind blowing. beneath the giant screen were three trailers, one blue, one gold and one white & red one. we snuck in all but one (it was locked) and explored the fabulous interiors. the gold one was all gold and yellow on the inside. super 70s chic. the red and white one had many wires strewn across the interior. polly suggested it could be a series of booby traps so we cautiously avoided the wires. i did, however, find a super sweet old gm am radio in one of the closets. call me a looter, if you must. i just feel the need to collect. further down the field we found a couple giant buses and about five more deserted airstream trailers. i also found the old film projector near the projection building. how wild is that?
so here are a couple polaroids from that adventure. i have some digital photos as well that i'll post soon.

why were these super sweet trailers left underneath a drive-in movie screen? so strange.

a trailer for the ladies man. the gold and yellow accents could certainly set the mood for romance. again, tainted during development, hence the bizarre slug-like smudge on the photo.


more adventure 'roids

here are the last of the best polaroids from my adventure days with polly. while i did take some 600 polaroids and some digital i have to say that the spectra is boss. the wide frame of the spectra polaroid is best suited for the wild west landscapes and brilliant colors. the colors weren't captured quite as strikingly as i had hoped due to the mostly overcast days during polly's visit. but all in all i am pleased with the outcome of the shots i got. i hope to get copies of polly's prints soon; then i'll get those on here as well.
anyway, please enjoy the following miscellaneous polaroids below.
(life update and fotos to come soon)

this is probably my favorite of all the polaroids i took during polly's visit. the combination of dilapidated space, big sky and tiny polly put the experience of the wide open west into perspective. it is massive yet contained. the dirty snow and barbed wire fence keep the recklessness of abandonment in check while the vague rocky mountains in the background remind us of place. this is also a great example of how the spectra functions as a landscape medium.

it's true, i did take many photos of polly taking photos. the documentation of documentation. call it lazy, call it post-modernism, call it whatever you please. i personally find something so intriguing about the way one goes about photographing a scene and how inherently by documenting one becomes part of the space they are capturing. so here is polly at sunset capturing a forgotten corral near the taos gorge. sunset can be a tricky time to take photos but i think i did a decent job.

remember nickelodeon's gak? i had forgotten about it until i took this polaroid. for some reason i had a hard time with the film becoming tainted during development. as you can imagine it can be hard to let a polaroid develop untouched when taking photos on the go. so at some point during the development of this photo the edge was tampered with and therefore produced this gak like image. at first it really annoyed me, but i have learned to accept it as being part of the image however strange and unwanted it may be. polly and i found this old gas station on the way to taos. one of the grayest moments of the day. but hey, isnt that a sweet car?

normally i might find a shot like this kinda boring. big road, big sky, silos, blah. but the addition of little miss polly totally changes the view. with her tiny figure against the barbed wire fence we are able to see just how expansive the landscape is. and suddenly other tiny figures become visible. the tiny farmhouse in the far right center, the telephone pole and wires, the mountains peeking out in the distance, the parallel poles of the restrictive fence. it may not be terribly exciting, but this is the west; a collection of tiny details laid against big space takers.

i will end this post with the portrait of a photographer on a windy day. here polly poses for me, bundled against the harsh western winds in the parking lot next to the taos gorge, new mexico. at this point in the day we only had so much light left before the sun completely disappeared. polly and i had just been immersed in conversation with a couple from new jersey, half of whom was too afraid of heights to cross the bridge across the gorge. i was eagerly chatting them up when polly finally said "um, the sun's almost gone. we should go." always the persistent artist; feisty and determined. thats what i look for in a lady.


great sand dunes

a trip to the san luis valley would not be complete without a journey to the great sand dunes national park, just east of alamosa. polly and i trudged through the sand, cameras in tow, in what felt like a pilgrimage to a grander, holier place. while we were not spiritually changed, polly did get some sweet super 8 footage and i got the following polaroids.
the whole experience was beautiful with the slight exception of a man with a remote control dune buggy. it made this obnoxious buzzing noise, seriously interrupting the serene natural setting. but polly got him on film so maybe it was all worth it.



abandoned structures often mean broken windows and dilapidated frames. in many of the buildings polly and i explored i found myself drawn to the layers of frames created by multiple broken windows. i've always been drawn to the way door frames and window frames create a sort of screen as you look through them. i'm thinking particularly of hitchcock's rear window, wherein jimmy stewart's window acts as a movie screen portraying the events of his neighbors as he sits stranded in his new york apartment.
below are some shots of a collection of abandoned farm houses near san luis, colorado.


narrow gauge motel

polly and i explored many wonderful deserted spaces including an old motel off route 285 in alamosa. im not sure when the narrow gauge motel went out of business but, like many abandoned spaces, it looked like it had been left in a hurry. this adventure was especially scary as the alamosa spring winds knocked multiple screen doors open and caused an eerie whistle to race through the building. the whole experience was definitely spooky but simultaneously beautiful. i captured the moment with these polaroids while polly shot the space on super8.


adventure days with polly

the past five days have been jam packed with adventure. my dearest paulette made the trek from brooklyn to alamosa to see my little town and explore this massive valley. it was so wonderful to have her here. believe it or not but it's incredibly difficult to find people ballsy enough to bust into abandoned buildings with me. and the san luis valley is extremely conducive to ramshackle adventure; falling down barns, abandoned motels, forgotten trailers. polly and i blazed this valley with multiple cameras and got some really cool shots. over the next couple of days i'll be posting the highlight fotos.
it didnt take long for polly and i to get into adventure mode. on the way back to alamosa from the springs airport we stopped in walsenburg to explore an abandoned, wall-less building. we couldn't quite figure out what it used to function as, but we can assume something in between agricultural and mechanical.

the east facing wall of the building was completely gone, with the skeleton and stairs exposed. gray skies with not a lot of light made getting a perfect shot difficult. but the gloomsday atmosphere added to the overall experience.

it seems whenever i find an abandoned structure there is always an old, weed-eatin ford somewhere near by. this one was almost completely lost to the tangled arms of nature.
inside the building we found many inexplicable items including this giant, pipe covered structure. it looked like a giant rounded hairbrush, the pipes acting as fearless bristles. or some sort of twisted organ waiting for the right moment to let out a cacophony of wounded wails.
at the end of the day polly and i wandered around the valley taking in the colorful sunset. here polly trails off to get a perfect shot.


day drive and housesitting

today i am starting my day with an everything bagel with cream cheese and blackberry jam. it is delicious.
this past sunday i went on a short afternoon drive with my friend steven and took a few polaroids. then i went back to allison's house where i was housesitting while she and aaron were away.
here are some highlight 'roids:


let's draw a polaroid! part duh

i've learned a lot in the past couple weeks. about myself, my journey and the road ahead. i've learned that i can't draw people to save my life, so im practicing, and trying to develop my own style. i've learned that to appreciate the freedom and solitude i currently hold i need to stop thinking about every moment ahead and enjoy the moments i have now. i've also learned that grad school is possibly the scariest thing in the world and that's okay.
i've passed the six month mark of my time here in alamosa. so far it's been a wild ride. sometimes i can't handle the small town day to day but most of the time i love it. im in the midst of figuring out what's next in my life. i've already received a rejection from berkeley. c'est la vie. while my ego is bruised i am able to see this news as a step forward. all in all my life is good and exciting and bright.
anyway, im committing myself to a completed drawing a day, just to discipline myself to practice and get better in all i do. below are some recent 'roid drawings:

may 2007. ink and prismacolor on bristol.

this isnt by any means a completed drawing but i wanted to share it because im kinda in love with this portrayal of john wayne. the polaroid sketch is kinda, sketchy. it's all about the wayne. john wayne.


the voice of la puente

i just drew the cover for the spring la puente newsletter. it didnt come out exactly how i imagined but i like it nonethelss:


let's draw a polaroid!

some saddening recent news: polaroid is discontinuing the production of polaroid cameras and a polaroid film. the products are expected to be completely unavailable by 2009. this news has left me distraught. what am i supposed to do with myself? where will i turn? who am i????
i decided the obvious first move is to gather up as much polaroid film as i can in the next year and take as many photos as i can (the shelf life of the film doesnt allow for bulking up to last a lifetime). this i will do with as much effort as possible. but another notion that struck me is the idea of giving the polaroids i have already taken new life. in the past week or so i've taken the time to draw and paint some of my favorite images of polaroids past. below are some of those creations:

last summer on my cross country trip to colorado i took this photo at an oklahoma rest stop. here i have re-drawn the image with ink and watercolor.

this is an image of my dearest paulette at the adirondack hot air balloon fest september 2005. the polaroid is drawn with ink and prismacolor alongside a collection of aspens drawn in ink.

recent 'roids.

kate cocoons herself in a sleeping bag.
she is a sad sad caterpillar.

la puente home.