A golden yellow tree in an autumn breeze.
Red roses thaw in time lapse.
The road is my religion. I never feel closer to God, my lover or my brother than when I’m riding through a moonlit Death Valley or the pine- filtered light of Tuolumne Meadows in spring. No church can match the power of the Kings River or the grace of a forest at dawn. No preacher’s words can sway like the silence of the Escalante plain. That we shoot stock footage for a living is such a lucky twist of fate.
I have friends who’ve lived in California for decades and never walked along the Guadalupe Dunes or through The Forest of Giants. I don’t know why. No life is trouble-free and the peace and answers found in the humbling landscapes that still abound are only the cost of a few tanks of gas away.
I miss my brother desperately, as for God I only have that dream cruising down a highway under starlit skies with the top down, my love at my side and the promise of another wooded path to walk down, a mountain stream to picnic by, a foamy wave to walk through…
Time lapse golden clouds travel across a sunsetting sky.
Abstract organic forms flicker and shift (Loop).
A peaceful river runs through a forested Yosemite valley.
There are many bends in the Merced River as it carves its way down the middle of Yosemite Valley. But there’s one little bend that if you catch it in early morning light around the second week in May that’s a little piece of heaven.
It usually takes us a few times driving around the Yosemite Village Loop to find it. The perfect spot to see it is a pine-needle bedded wide bank on the west side of the river where you can pull over. It’s an easy few yards down to the river where you can set your tripod up on the river shore rocks, shoot your stock footage or just dream. Here you can see the river as it bends toward the pines, framed by the forest, lit by God. Early morning diamonds dance on the current, endlessly flowing through time.
Norman Maclean wrote “… all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” Sure wish I could write like that. Or paint like Munch or Burne-Jones or take photographs like Ansel or Arbus. But I can’t. What I can do it appreciate it all. I am a passenger.
Dark red dahlias sway in a field of green.
A data screen of pulsing grunge and digital graffiti (Loop).
Time lapse grey and white clouds sail across a blue sky.
A full Moon rising over the eerie white dunes in White Sands Monument, southeastern New Mexico is like walking on the moon. Not that I’ve walked on the moon, but I could imagine.
And as strange as that experience was, Alamogordo was stranger. The city, slammed up against the Sacramento Mountains in Tularosa County, glowed in neon in that great desert twilight light as we approached from the west. We passed the requisite auto-body shops and bars on the outskirts of town and then we hit the main drag. One long, long, long straight boulevard lined with every fast food joint I’d ever heard of. I’m talking McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Del Taco, Sonic, Lotaburger, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Arby’s, Subway, Quiznos, Long John Silver’s and more … They lined the Main Street , bright plastic lights glowing in the magic blue desert night like airport runway lights guiding hungry aliens down from the heavens for a cheap greasy snack.
I’ve got nothing against fast food; love Carl’s Jr. onion rings and Taco Bell burritos bring back fond high school memories. So, I don’t know why but one of the things I love is eating in hotel rooms. I don’t mean room service – most of the joints we stay in don’t have it anyway – I mean going to a grocery store, getting packaged salads, deli stuff and cake and bringing it back to the room and eating in bed. So, as we drove that long fast-food boulevard, we searched between the bright grease joints for a grocery store. There were none. Then, at the end of the strip… There it was, glowing like a massive UFO hanger: Walmart.
We don’t have Walmarts in L.A. so we’d never been to one. But they had a grocery section. So we went in. The place was as massive as am airport hangar. Smiley people greeted us under huge banks of fluorescent lights so bright I swear you can see them from the moon. Hot pink Fuzzy fleece pajamas hung in racks next to cases of macaroni salad. There was a deli! And it was huge! We got Southwestern chicken salads, mustard potato salad and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. We managed to find our way out of there and back to the friendly Best Western motel.
We only got two stock footage shots that day. But the scenery was great and strange, Alamogordo was odd and cool and damn that potato salad was good.
The statue of an Angel on time lapse blue clouds (Loop).