In 2000 all of my film photo gear was was stolen from the back of my computer store. This was a tragedy for me photographically and I didn’t get a new camera for months. The plus side was that it made me learn an important lesson: Don’t look at the world through a viewfinder all the time, if you do you’ll miss all of the spectacular if not photogenic scenes around you. You need to put the camera down and just take in the vistas from time to time. I did get a new camera eventually, and when I was looking through the viewfinder I came up with the photos below.
The Year Two Thousand and One
We weren’t on the way to Jupiter, but we did have digital cameras and I got my first in 2001.
This is the Rinconada mercury mine on the road from Santa Margarita to Pozo.
One of my more dangerous, yet most awesome, adventures, crawling through the abandoned mercury mine. This mine has since been plugged to prevent any further spelunking.
There are a few cars on the roads built by companies that no longer exist, but here’s a car built in a country that no longer exists.
Ok, so I’m a bit warped, but a “No P” sign on an outhouse made me giggle.
Two Thousand and Two
This is an FAA radar installation atop the mountains east of Pozo.
The California coast from Highway 1.
This is just a cool photo of my Jeep.
And another in the mountains near Shaver Lake, California.
Two Thousand and Three
Above: In 2003 I opened up a Compaq laptop and found proof that computer technology was brought to us by Captain Kirk from the 23rd century.
Right: The Trans-America building in San Francisco from a parking garage.
Two Thousand and Four
2004 was uneventful photographically so there isn’t anything here.. I still didn’t have a really nice camera and almost all of the photos were of family gatherings.
Two Thousand and Five
2005 was the year of my first solo train trip. I wanted to see what it would be like to go to Montana in December. Here are a few of photos from that trip.
This is at the Dunsmuir, California, railroad station. It was shot from the window at the back of the train.
And another photo from the back of the train, Mount Shasta in the background.
This is one of my favorite photos, I just wish it was shot with a better camera and not through a tinted window on the train.
Lounging in the lounge car.
Far left: Glasgow, Montana, -16 degrees F. Interesting sensation to have your nose hairs freeze as you take a walk through town.
Left: Me getting ready to leave my motel. I had more layers on than Kenny in Southpark.
Far left: The Empire Builder approaching the station in Glasgow, Montana.
Left: Union Station in Portland, Oregon.
Two Thousand and Six
2006 was when I really returned to photography. I got my nice Canon S2IS advanced point and shoot and got creative control of my pictures again. It’s also when I started getting enlargement quality photos.
A pile of sea lions in San Francisco, California
Coit Tower through Skygate sculputre in San Francisco, CA
A tree on Mt. Hamilton, Santa Clara Country, CA.
A spooky tree on Mt. Hamilton, California near San Jose.
Just some cows near Mt. Hamilton.
This is a composite of a flag flying over a farmhouse in San Luis Obispo and a Western Gull in San Francisco.
In 2006 I went on my third long-distance train trip. The three principle destinations were Chicago, Essex (Montana,) and Denver. It was a twelve day epic adventure. I’m not going to include too many photos from that trip here. I hope to someday transfer my tale and photos to this blog, but if you’re willing to experience a website from 2006 you can see it all at my old website, Trainwacko.com.
This is the Los Angeles Hall of Justice, a building that went from being condemned after the Northridge earthquake, to being revived 20 years later. Click the “Buy” link to read the full story.
Gilbert Chaves, of Trio Amor y Paz, entertained us through Arizona.
I think this was my first attempt ever at “street photography,” outside Union Station in Chicago.
Chicago’s famous “L train.”
The Izaak Walton Inn, in Essex, Montana.
An Amtrak conductor collects tickets at Union Station in Portland, Oregon.
Denver, Colorado, Union Station.
Reno, Nevada – 2006
Back home to Atascadero and a few more local photographs. These two are from the Paso Robles car show.
And these two are from the fields around my house in Atascadero, California. I’d always wanted a photo of the brown grasses, and the barbed wire picture was one attempt. It turned out boring as Hell, so I messed with the saturation and came up with the photo as you see it here.
Two Thousand and Seven
Another year, another train ride. This time to New York City. Many more photos and videos are at Trainwacko.com.
Like the LA Hall of Justice, this train station in Omaha, Nebraska has risen from the dead, this one thanks to the local TV station that decided to make the abandoned station it’s home.
Ellis Island – 2007
New York City taxicabs in Manhattan.
Street fruit vendor in New York City.
Home from my New York train trip, it was time to photograph California again. The next set of photos are from all around the state.
Shell Beach, California.
Park ranger at Yosemite National Park.
An abandoned workshop in the Mojave Desert.
Death Valley National Park.
Bodie State Historic Park. The rest of the lanterns were dull red and the picture fell flat. I got this by desaturating the red and green, leaving just the blue channel alone.
Long Beach, California, photographed from the deck of the R.M.S. Queen Mary. This is one of my favorite photos, but it gets killed by the plastic wrapping the turret and entire wall of the beautiful building in the foreground.
Two Thousand and Eight
Another year, another train trip. This time to Denver. I shot mostly video on this trip, not a lot of stills. This tale is also available at Trainwacko.com.
Inside the lounge car of the California Zephyr.
Watching the snow fall while stopped in the mountains of Colorado.
2008 also had me on my first good road trip in a long time. I started off at home in California and visited Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and Hoover Dam.
Bryce Canyon National park, Utah.
Petroglyphs at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.
Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
The powerhouse on the Nevada side of Hoover Dam.
As usual, not being on a road trip doesn’t mean I’m close to home. These two were taken in northern California on the back roads between San Jose and Livermore.
Back on the road – this time I’m getting my kicks on Route 66.
An abandoned building near Amboy, California.
Grand Canyon Caverns, Arizona.
This is a golf course that butts up against a red cliff. Look further down the page for a view from the sky.
Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch in Helendale, California.
Back on yet another train – to Vermont to visit a friend I met on the train to Denver.
Union Station in Los Angeles, California.
The lesser known part of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, this is the 346,774 square foot hanger of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles Airport in nearby Virginia.
The White House, Washington DC.
The Amtrak station serving Vermont’s capitol city of Montpellier and the nearby town of Barre.
Looking straight up from a beautiful path in Vermont.
Remember the golf course above? On the trip back from Vermont we just happened to fly over the same golf course near Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.
And that’s the end of Part II. Next month, the final chapter in my 30 Years of Photography series.