Lori Carey Photography

Monday, June 30, 2014

Abandoned Car, Carrizo Plain National Monument

Abandoned automobile, Carrizo Plain National Monument

What photographer doesn't love to shoot old abandoned cars? This beauty was in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, not far from some old farming equipment. There is no badging left on it so I'm not even 100% sure what it is, but someone on G+ had mentioned that it would make a great rat rod and I agree.

I took so many photographs while I was at Carrizo Plain at the end of April (was it really that long ago?? May and June have flown by!) that I'm just slowly working my way through them whenever I get a chance and I've hardly made a dent. My story about that three day off road trip kicked off the Ultimate Road Trip monthly series at DrivingLine and can be read here The Ultimate Road Trip: Off-Roading at Carrizo Plain. I know that rain, wind, and sand storms isn't exactly everyone's idea of the ultimate road trip, but for an adventurer who loves to explore like I do, this was definitely one of my all-time favorite trips and I can't wait to go back. Not to mention that stormy skies are great for photography! It's a lot of fun if you do it with others who have a great attitude. Like my favorite saying goes, "The only difference between an adventure and an ordeal is your attitude.".

My other recent photos and stories on DrivingLine are two more articles in my series of Off Road 101 for beginners Off Road Basics: Trail Etiquette and Off Road Basics: Post Trail Vehicle Maintenance, and photos and a summary of the 2nd Annual Asuza Canyon Family Fun Day which featured some insane rock crawling competitions.

July is shaping up to be a busy month of shooting for me and I find myself already wondering how to fit it all in, but I have some really fun stuff coming up (even if it is work). I think I'm due for another escapist weekend soon so I can shoot merely for pleasure, just need to find time to fit it in.

Abandoned car, Carrizo Plain National Monument

Monday, June 9, 2014

Carrizo Plain - I come to speak for your dead mouth

Abandoned farmstead, Carrizo Plain National Monument

Whenever a writer I like quotes another writer, I always try to find some time to check out their work. I think it was Edward Abbey who led me to the powerful words of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, which perfectly expresses the feeling I have as I wander around these old places...

"Rise up to be born with me, brother...
Tell me, “Here I was punished,
Because the jewel didn't shine or the earth
Didn't yield grain or stones on time.”
Show me the stone you fell over
And the wood on which they crucified you,
Make a spark from the old flints for me...

I come to speak for your dead mouth. "

~From the Heights of Maccho Picchu
Pablo Neruda, as translated by Jodey Bateman

Prints available here

Monday, June 2, 2014

Carrizo Plain Grain Thresher

Grain thresher, Carrizo Plain National Monument

I can't help but think of ships every time I see these threshers, great giant ships sailing vast golden seas of grain.
I know that this one is currently sitting on a barren expanse of desert sand, but work with me here.

When I visited the Goodwin Education Center last month during my visit to Carrizo Plains I learned that all of the old farming equipment scattered throughout the area might not be there much longer because of the solar energy plan. As explained to us by one of the rangers, many of the old farms are located in areas that are protected for birds and wildlife, but there is no protection status in place for the historical cultural artifacts on the lands that are now owned by the solar company. At best, if someone wants to spend the money, some might be moved to exhibits, at worst they might be removed and destroyed. This breaks my heart because seeing something in a museum, or behind a fence with an interpretive sign nearby, doesn't compare to seeing it in situ and letting your imagination run free, envisioning what life was truly like back then and how hard it must have been to scratch out a living.

If you're truly in it for more than just the sake of making photos, if you care passionately about the subjects you photograph, it is a bittersweet feeling. There is a sense of honor and respect in knowing that you just might be documenting some of the final days of an important piece of our culture and history, and a feeling of profound loss knowing the same. It instills a sense of urgency.

That is why I like to create both documentary images and fine art creative images. This is what it looks like; I hope to return soon (under different weather conditions) to capture what it feels like.