Tag: photography

In a freshly renewed effort to vanquish the demon known to the ancients as Procrastib'el, I've been spending my evenings this past week wading through the years of photography I've accumulated on the road.

I've been avoiding it for quite a long time, deliberating with myself on just where I should begin among the countless subjects I've had the pleasure of visiting these last few years. With no clear answer in sight, I finally decided just to cannonball my way into the middle and start posting. Please enjoy these first few, totally random subjects:

Chris Barbee's Bowling Ball Yard Art: A folk artist's obsession with bowling balls.

Volkswagen Spider: A huge, German-engineered arachnid.

The Grave of Mister Ed: A horse is a corpse, of course, of course.

Recycled Roadrunner: Officially titled "The Roadrunner," a 40-foot-long bird made of junk.

The World's Largest Steer Skull: Entrance to an Arizona steakhouse, natch.

Camp Scott: The site of the still-unsolved 1977 murder of three Girl Scouts.

The Holga, an inexpensive film camera introduced in the 1980s, has developed a somewhat cult following due the wonderfully unpredictable exposures resulting from its cheap construction. And now industrial designer Saikat Biswas would like to bring the little hobby camera into the digital age.

Biswas's design, which is just a concept for now, is beautifully simple, and aims to retain the inexpensive form factor that makes the original Holga, and similar "toy cameras," so popular. The lens remains plastic, the controls remain few and fully manual, and the overall construction is intended to be less than refined so as to retain the original's beloved distortions and ability to be easily modified.

And just to retain the surprise and delayed gratification that come with the original Holga's film format, Biswas has eliminated any preview screen, so you don't know what you've got till you download your photos later.

See video

Photographer Brian DeFrees recently completed a 12,225-mile loop around the United States, an epic road trip that he's consolidated into a single 5-minute video.

With his camera positioned for a driver's-eye view, he rigged it to pop a photo every 5 seconds. He then compiled the resulting frames to create a time-lapse journey recording every highway, back road, bridge and tunnel along the way.

The full compilation of photos added up to two and a half hours of footage, but thanks to some selective editing, you can enjoy the whole trip in just over 5 minutes.

It's been quite a while since the release of my last book, Weird Arizona, but the time has finally come. Weird Oklahoma is officially on the shelves!

Weeks on the road, months at the keyboard, hundreds of gallons of gas and nearly as much beer, and it's finally here. Head on over to the Souvenir Shop and find out all the bizarre stuff I've dug up across the Sooner State.

Stay tuned for excerpts, bonus photos and videos from my myriad research trips!

Night photographer Troy Paiva, who has contributed his work to both Weird Texas and Weird Arizona, e-mailed me recently to let me know he's made a major update to his website Lost America.

"I've just launched the largest update to the lostamerica.com website since I first put the work online in 1999," he says. "Literally, hundreds of new images. Even if you follow my daily postings on Flickr and Facebook, there will be well over 100 new images you haven't seen before."

If you aren't familiar with Troy's work, which depicts the forgotten, decaying side of America by the light of the moon, stars and specially adapted strobes, I highly recommend you head over to Lost America now and take a long look around.

With summer in full swing, detourists are hitting the road in search of roadside attractions and capturing their adventures with their brand new digital cameras. Unfortunately, many of them will subsequently bring home a slideshow full of mediocre photos they'll force on the rest of us.

Before you commit the same faux pas, you might want to peruse a few of the links below offering helpful tips on taking better photos while out and about.

And if you're in the market for a new camera, Consumer Reports recently posted a list of cameras they recommend specifically for travel.

Innovative photographer Troy Paiva, whose work I'm proud to say has appeared in both Weird Texas and Weird Arizona, has just announced a fresh redesign of his Web site Lost America: Night Photography of the Abandoned West.

Featuring an updated layout, the site now offers even more of Paiva's captivating images shot among the urban detritus of the American West, some of which have never been displayed before.

To celebrate the grand re-opening, he's also offering a limited-edition folio comprising 10 prints of his amazing and colorful night shots captured at California's Pearsonville Junkyard. Only 25 sets will be made, each signed and assembled in a hand-made slipcase.

Photographer Andrew Qzmn (just you try pronouncing that) braved last year's Russian winter to visit the town of Chukhloma, where he found breathtaking examples of 19th-century, handcrafted, wooden architecture left abandoned among the trees.

Located about 300 miles northeast of Moscow, the houses, known as Terem, are wonderfully ornate, trimmed heavily in detailed latticework much like the Victorian "gingerbread" houses found in the U.S.

Such elaborately carved homes are evidently scattered all across Russia, slowly succumbing to the elements, though some have been incorporated into open-air museums in an attempt at preservation. Sounds like an idea worthy of adoption here in America, where our urban ruins are instead fenced off and left to the weeds.

A series of photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe before her rise to stardom, which have never before been seen by the public, were discovered just last month filed away in the archives of Life magazine.

The photos depict a more innocent-looking Monroe, free of the formulated, glamorous image for which she would later become famous. At the time, she was better known as a model; her biggest film role so far was a small part in The Asphalt Jungle.

The photographs were discovered by Dawnie Walton, deputy editor at Life.com, as she was looking through the company's digital archives. Upon further investigation, Walton found that the photos had been stored away and forgotten in a New Jersey warehouse.

Life photographer Ed Clark spent the afternoon photographing the 24-year-old model and actress in what is believed to be Griffith Park, Los Angeles, sometime in 1950. ... Continued

Just an update to let everyone know I've been digging through more boxes of discarded old snapshots and have uploaded a whole new batch of oddball images over at Junk Shop Photos.

New ones are published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so be sure to keep checking back or sign up for the RSS feed. Enjoy!