Abandoned Nevada Drive-In Movie Theater 360 Night Panoramas

Stand under the movie screen and gaze at the stars at the abandoned Sage Crest drive-in theater in Yerington, Nevada. These 360 night panoramas were shot in 2013.

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Road Runner's Retreat: Abandoned Route 66 Full Moon 360 Panoramas

These 360 night panoramas of the Road Runner’s Retreat were shot back in 2015. This abandoned Route 66 restaurant and gas station was apparently built in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s, and is located just west of the Mojave Desert ghost town of Chambless. The vintage neon sign and roadrunner mural are fantastic. A recommended visit if you’re exploring this part of the desert along 66. Right down the road from Roy’s in Amboy, which is another great photography location.

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3 Portraits of Mark Pauline, Founder of Survival Research Laboratories (SRL)

I recently photographed Mark Pauline, the founder and director of Survival Research Laboratories (SRL), for Hi-Fructose Magazine. Check out issue 48 of Hi-Fructose for a brief and fascinating history of industrial art pioneers SRL written by John Law. I've been a big fan of SRL since reading about their crazy machines and performances in the 1980's, so this assignment was very special for me. 

Below are 3 portraits from the shoot.

1. After I arrived at SRL headquarters in Petaluma, CA, I spent some time walking around and looking at all of the amazing machines. Mark was working on a project near the table pictured above, and I set up the general framing without interrupting him.

Existing lighting was a mix of daylight and fluorescent. I turned off the fluorescent lighting to control color temperature. I set my exposure to have the room be a little bit dark.

Next, I set up a single Nikon SB-910 Speedlight on a stand to camera right, aimed at the ceiling. The ceiling was wood, which gave the light a warm tone. The Speedlight was used to light both Mark and the background.

I asked Mark to pose for a few minutes once everything was ready. I did a few quick lighting and exposure adjustments, made sure I had a few options by reviewing on the back of the camera, and then let Mark get back to work.

I really like the orange against green color palette of this shot, the hotspot on the screen in the background, and some of the supporting details like the calipers and WD-40.

Technical Details
Nikon D750 with 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II lens at 82mm
1/100, f/3.5, ISO 400
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight fired with a Pocket Wizard

2. Mark was working in his office inside the warehouse, which was made of salvaged glass. I set up the camera on a tripod outside, and took a few test shots. I liked the angle, and started experimenting with overlaying the out of focus wires in the foreground. 

Again there were fluorescent lights in the room which I switched off. This image is lit only by a mix of low level ambient daylight and the light from the computer. 

Sometimes you can find a portrait by just observing and keeping things simple. 

Technical Details
Nikon D750 with 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II lens at 135mm
1/60, f/3.2, ISO 800

3. I'd been photographing the machines at SRL for a couple of hours, and kept coming back to the idea of using this spot for a portrait. The device that Mark is leaning on is a flame thrower.

I set up the camera on a tripod and played with the framing. A monolight was set up on a C-stand to camera right. I used a 22" beauty dish for a crisp look. The 130º beam spread allowed me to light Mark and the surrounding area with one light. The overhead fluorescents were turned off, and the exposure was set to have the ambient background light trail off into darkness. 

I used a stand-in to get the positioning pretty close before asking Mark to pose. Some slight adjustments were made to the framing, lighting angle, and exposure. Once everything was set, Mark stepped in and took the natural stance that you see above. With just a little bit of direction to optimize the positioning relative to the machines, I knew this image would be a winner.

The portrait ran full page in Hi-Fructose Volume 48, and I'm really pleased with the way this one turned out!

Technical Details
Nikon D750 with 35mm f/1.8G lens
1/125, f/8, ISO 160
Einstein Flash Unit with 22" beauty dish and diffusion sock

Many thanks to Mark Pauline for his time, John Law for the great article, and Attaboy for the fun assignment!

 

 

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Canepa Cars and Coffee: Collector Cars and Motorsports Museum

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and love cars, a visit to Canepa Cars and Coffee is an automotive viewing experience that’s on a whole different level than typical car events. This morning I saw three Paganis, more Porches than I could count, a Mitsubishi van with an LS engine, a classic Mini Cooper with a Honda engine, two 1963 split window Corvettes, two modded Suzuki Cappuccinos, a couple of BMW M6s, some classic Maseratis, Ferraris and Lambos, a bunch of amazing race cars, and a prototype Cizeta Moroder V16T. The V16T is one of the coolest cars I've ever seen in person. Photos below:

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Lemons HootpieCon 2018 at Sears Pointless featuring Radwood

A recipe for a really fun day for automotive enthusiasts:

  1. Lemons Race: Take 150 themed junkers that cost $500 and put them on the track at Sonoma Raceway (a.k.a., Sears Pointless).
  2. Hot Rods: Put a small random car show with some hot rods in one parking lot.
  3. Radwood: Hold an 80's/90's themed car show in another parking lot where some folks dress up in period costumes.

Mix all of those cars and crowds and people together, and you get:
HooptieCon 2018: Where the Elite Meet with Heaps.

Much hilarity ensued.

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USS Hornet Museum

I really enjoyed visiting the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California last month. The ship is not usually crowded during the week, and knowledgeable guides are available to take you through the areas that are not available on a self-guided tour. In addition to a mix of aircraft from WWII through the 80's, there is also an Apollo splashdown display. The Hornet was the primary recovery ship for the Apollo 11 moon mission, and also recovered the crew of the Apollo 12.

If you plan to visit to take photos, note that large bags are not allowed because you have to climb up and down some steep, narrow staircases to access parts of the ship. Even a 2-3 hour tour is barely enough to scratch the surface of all the cool things to photograph on board. Enjoy the photos!

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