Bombarded day and night by U.S. and British fighter pilots, the Chocolate Mountain Bombing range in California’s low desert stands on the cutting edge of America’s global war on terror. Marines and Navy Seals also train amidst the ashen craters on the eve of foreign deployments.
But with each lull in the bombing and strafing shadowy groups of scrappers infiltrate this no-man’s land in Mad Max-like trucks and dune buggies, to scrape together a desperate existence scavenging the impact areas.
The images above were shot on Fuji RTP 64T tungsten slide film and cross-processed in C-41 chemistry. I often shoot Kodak 400VC film in the Holga, preferring to err on the side of overexposure when shooting negatives — sometimes 160VC just isn’t fast enough on cloudy days. I was a bit concerned that the Fuji 64T wouldn’t be fast enough, but cross-processing yields an effective 1 stop speed increase and it’s been sunny lately. The Fuji film is $4.95 per roll, and also works really well for night photography.
On a musical note, I was doing some organizing in iTunes a few weeks back and stumbled across a track from the Hammers of Misfortune album The Bastard. Somehow I never bought the CD before it went out of print. According to the Hammers website, The Bastard will be back in print soon. I happened to have an Amazon gift card and found I could download the album for 9 bucks. I’m kicking myself that I waited so long to get the full version of this masterpiece. The second Hammers of Misfortune album The August Engine is one of my all-time favorites. The Hammers often get filed under heavy metal. I guess that fits. If you listened to Iron Maiden as a kid, you’ll find this music irresistible. If you like prog rock, krautrock, or 70′s psych, but aren’t much of a metal fan, you may still find that both of these albums have strange powers. You can read more and listen to some sound samples at the Aquarius Records website. Andee from Aquarius released The Bastard on his tUMULT label in 2000. I hope it comes back into print soon!