Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Once again, work and a road trip (this time to Arkansas for fall foliage enjoyment!) has put me behind on my blogging. Gee, I haven't even shared all of my summer road trip photos yet! Well, next week is Flickr's biannual Roid Week, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

What the Kids Want (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid 779 *expired*

Skeletor (2008)
Camera: Velveeta Shells and Cheese Dinner Plastic 110 Toy Camera
Film: Solaris 110 film (200 speed)

American Gothic (2006)
Camera: Holgaroid
Film: Polaroid Type 88

Friday, October 16, 2009


Everyone who follows my photography knows that I have a penchant for signs. Sparked by my post yesterday about Tucumcari's retro wonders, I thought I'd post a few more sign photos from my summer roadtrip today! All of these photos were taken using my Polaroid SX-70 and the beautiful Polaroid Artistic TZ film.

Lounge (2009)
Location: Tucumcari, New Mexico

L&J (2009)
Location: El Paso, Texas
By the way, you should really eat at L&J if you go to El Paso! It's one of my favorite places in a city of great Mexican food. I particularly love their guacamole tacos and their unique salsas. It's directly across the street from Concordia Cemetery, so it's easy to find as well!

Tepee Curios (2009)
Location: Tucumcari, New Mexico

The Plainsman (2009)
Location: Holbrook, Arizona

More to come! It's incredible how many cool retro signs exist in the Southwest!
Signed prints in my Etsy shop!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some snippets from the road

I took a road trip this past summer between Texas and California, and I'm still wading through countless hundreds of photos, analog and digital. I still have so many images to share, and I don't know if I'll ever catch up!

Here are a few that I have scanned, from the insanely beautiful--in a decrepit retro way--town of Tucumcari, New Mexico. I spent the night there in a fabulously restored Route 66 Motel built in 1959, called Motel Safari:

Motel Safari (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Artistic TZ

I highly recommend this comfortable blast from the past if you need a clean and cool spot to sleep in Tucumcari. It's been totally restored, with the original retro furniture, but with brand-new Sealy Posturpedic mattress, flat screen TVs, in-room coffee, and free wifi!

Not all of Tucucmcari is in such great shape, however. The town is full of decaying places that seem to be barely holding on, as well as full-on abandoned shells.

Home of Quality Food Drive-Inn (2009)
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

The Buckaroo Motel (2009)
Camera: Holgaroid
Film: Polaroid 89 *expired*

I have many more photos of Tucucmcari to share--hopefully soon! To close this post, here is a photo I am particularly excited about, in part because it's a handheld night shot that came out very clear, and in part because it was selected as a winner in this contest! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to Las Vegas to redeem my prize, but I am still honored!

The Blue Swallow Motel (2009)
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

Signed prints are in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Simple (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid 600 black & white *expired 2003*

Signed print in my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Concordia Cemetery

Although I haven't explored one lately, cemeteries are some of my favorite photographic subjects. I've visited several beautiful cemeteries over the years, but there is one in particular that really stands out to me. It is Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas. This graveyard is rich in historical significance; however, what really appeals to me about Concordia is the amazingly vernacular sensibility of the place. Many--perhaps most--of the graves are handmade, usually by the families of the deceased, rather than by memorial professions. It is a cemetery of the poor as well as some of the most famous people in El Paso's storied past, and this really shows in the grave markers. It is a cemetery dropped into a brutal landscape--a punishing desert rich with snakes, scorpions, prairie dogs, birds of prey, squirrels, lizards, fire ants, and other creatures. It also has a history of crime; my husband (an El Pasoan) has always warned me about Concordia's violence, not only in the night, but sometimes in the day as well. Most of all, though, if you're shooting in Concordia, you need to beware of the sun. Even on a day that doesn't seem too hot outside the walls of the cemetery, inside Concordia you can succumb to heat exhaustion--or worse--very quickly.

I first shot a lot of photos in the cemetery back in 2005 when I had just got my first SLR, a digital Olympus e-300 (which I still have; it's a great starter camera). You can see those photos here and here. This is my favorite grave at the cemetery, and my favorite photo from that summer of taking photos in Concordia:

Guadalupe of Concordia (2005)

However, this past August I was able to go back to Concordia to take some photos with some Polaroid cameras. I am excited about these images, because they seem to evoke the haunting pain and beauty of this brutal place.

The Concordia Polaroids (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Artistic TZ
view larger here

Concordia, Beautiful (2009)
Camera: Polaroid 104
Film: Polaroid UV/ID (expired)

The Chocolate Graveyard (2009)
Camera: Holgaroid
Film: Polaroid Choco80

Concordia is a place of desecration and crime, but also of love and honor. It's my favorite cemetery I've ever visited; I can't imagine a place that so perfectly mingles loss and sadness with beauty and hope. If you are ever in El Paso, you should visit Concordia Cemetery.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Circus Liquor

Anyone who has a casual acquaintance with my photography knows that I love to take pictures of signs, particularly of the retro neon variety. One of my favorite signs I've ever seen is the classic Circus Liquor Sign in North Hollywood. This was the sign under which Alicia Silverstone's "Cher" character was mugged in the film Clueless, and it's one of the best examples of mid-century neon I've ever seen. I was lucky enough to shoot some photos of it in August, and these two are my favorites.

Probably my last-ever Time-Zero photograph:

Circus Liquor (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero (expired)

North Hollywood's Circus Liquor (2009)
Camera: Polaroid 104
Film: Polaroid UV/ID (expired)

Signed prints available in my Etsy shop!