Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Salvation Mountain

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“Good gets better. Love gets bigger. Keep it simple, love everyone.” – Leonard Knight. September 2011

Salvation Mountain is a colorful art installation covering much of a small hill north of Calipatria, California, near Slab City and just several miles from the Salton Sea. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message “God Is Love.” Another of Leonard’s expressions “Keep It Simple” refers back to his message of universal love. Knight refused substantial donations of money and labor from supporters who wished to modify his message of universal love to favor or disfavor particular groups. (text from Wikipedia)

More information on Salvation Mountain:
Salvation Mountain’s Official Website
Salvation Mountain: one man’s momument to God’s love.
Salvation Mountain – A Visit with Leonard Knight
Interview with Leonard Knight
Salvation Mountain scene from Into the Wild



Written by Nicole

September 21st, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Personal,Ruins,Travel

Slab City

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Slab City has been created by a small but committed community of squatters in the Colorado Desert of South Eastern California, USA. Taking its name from the concrete slabs that remain from an abandoned World War II base, it is a tragic yet romantic landscape that commands its residents to possess the same balance of beauty and beast. Unbearable temperature highs in summer weed out the many who inhabit the free space in winter leaving only the most resilient, or the most unfortunate, as permanent residents. These same people maintain the ad-hoc infrastructure that makes it such a desirable community to visit in the cooler months. Those who stay year after year could be described as poverty stricken; living in some of the worst conditions in America. Some residents would tell you this is the truth. Others fiercely defend their lifestyle as a deliberate choice of rejecting mainstream society. For these people Slab City provides a freedom they’d never experienced before. There are others who were forced here through circumstance; society won’t tolerate them due to their pasts as felons, addicts or vagrants, but who wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to live in a community that won’t judge them. Slab City is a place for the broken and desperate and for the fierce defenders of freedom from tyranny. But more than anything else, it is what this small group of people call home. (text from Light Journeys)

More information about Slab City:
The Land of the Free (The Observer)
Parked in the Desert, Waiting out the Winter of Life (New York Times)
Light Journeys – Claire Martin
Facts about Slab City
Culturally enhanced desert boondock town.


View of Slab City from the top of Salvation Mountain


“The Range” built by a permanent “slabber” – Builder Bill.  Every Saturday night the community gets together at The Range for music, socializing and all around fun.


The Range was also featured in Sean Penn’s film, “Into the Wild” with Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart. Check out a clip from The Range. ** Random fact: Builder Bill has been a resident at the Slabs for 13 years as of 2011. It wasn’t until 7-8 years after Chris McCandless passed through there that Bill settled in, so The Range didn’t actually exist until well after Chris McCandless’s stay there.


The Lizard Tree Library – open 24/7.  Originally opened and run by a slabber who called herself Rosalie.  Unfortunately, she passed away in 2003, but a memorial in her honor was left in front of the library.  The library is run on the honor system – take a book, leave a book.  Many of the books, magazines and anthologies have been donated by the seasonal “snowbirds” during their travels.


John and Dave outside the church waiting for the sermon to begin.


Pastor Pat preparing for his sermon.  Prior to moving to the Slabs, he had extensive surgery for cancer and had a new outlook and view on life.  When asked if he had a choice between “normal” life and life in the Slabs, he said he would chose the Slabs because you don’t experience the type of freedom in any other “society.”


Dave, John and Laura, the church’s congregation for the day.


Written by Nicole

September 5th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Personal,Ruins,Travel

Hollywood Sunset

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Sunset over Hollywood Reservoir.  This song is about as epic as the view over the hills.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Michael Brook – Salvation Mountain”]

Hollywood Biker

Written by Nicole

January 11th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Personal,Travel

October Photo Update

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Lots to update here.  I’ve been either working or shooting literally every day this month and I’m loving every moment of it.  I’m going to try to remember all of the events here, but there’s too many to keep up with.  Another photo giveaway to the 50th person to retweet this blog post!

I had to opportunity to see Sufjan Stevens at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, MI — it’s been awhile since I’ve seen him live.  If you haven’t yet, I recommend doing so.

Haven’t heard of The Classy Gents yet?  It consists of Brian Southall (The Receiving End of Sirens, Boys Night Out, Isles & Glaciers), Nick Martin (Underminded, Isles & Glaciers, Cinematic Sunrise) and Tommy Simms (Automatic Loveletter).  They’re the classiest group of gentlemen you’ll ever come across and I had the privilege to take their very first promo photos.  Stay updated with them here -The Classy Gents.

On October 1st, I took the longest road trip of my life.  Driving from Michigan to San Diego.  Made it in under two and a half days.  Celebrated the end of the trip with Sushi Deli 3 then headed over to the Pierce the Veil benefit show for A City Serene at Soma.  Good times were had before, during and after.

I found out last minute that Anberlin and The Game were playing at UCSD a couple of weeks ago, so I went up to La Jolla with Mike to check it out.

This is Coronado Beach.  Photos/words cannot describe how amazing the view is here.

Grabbed this photo of Mike and Casey in the hallway at House of Blues in San Diego.  Alternative Press Fall Ball photos can be viewed here –

This past weekend I assisted a photo shoot with my friend Adam Elmakias for the new Electric Zombie clothing line.  To make a long story short, we had some unexpected visits from the marines and several state police officers.  I can’t really post these photos since the line hasn’t been launched yet, but you can read more about the surprise visit and sneak peak a few more of my photos on Kyle Crawford’s blog.

Some photos I couldn’t post just yet – behind the scenes photo shoot with Bane, A Day to Remember, Electric Zombie photo shoot, Blink 182 and a few others.  I’ll be opening my online print store real soon.  50th person to retweet this blog post gets a free 8×10 of their choice.  Go!

Written by Nicole

October 22nd, 2009 at 4:26 am

Posted in Music,Portraits,Travel

Preview: Warped Tour 2009

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I haven’t updated in a couple of weeks because I’ve been on tour and in San Diego during that time. I had the opportunity to hit all the west coast dates on the last leg of the tour. Here are a couple of my favorite photos, just a preview for now!

I’m working on new ways to promote, so the 25th and 50th person to re-tweet this post will get a print of the SKSK photo. You can retweet this blog post by click on the green “tweet” button in the upper right hand corner of the entry.

*Update* ROUND ONE – the winner is @JulzGoesRawrr.

ROUND TWO – Just starting! Start tweeting!

mikey Mike Fuentes of Pierce the Veil / Isles & Glaciers / MikeyWhiskeyHands. Was going for a dramatic/contrasty 50s style photo. Shot in San Diego. Canon 5D + 35 1.4L and two Alien Bees lights.

Scary Kids and Friends Scary Kids Scaring Kids & Friends. It was 101 degrees outside and I spent more time trying to drag these boys out of the bus than I did photographing them. It was well worth it. Canon 30D + 17-40 4L and one Alien Bee light w/large octabox.

Written by Nicole

August 27th, 2009 at 1:34 am

Posted in Music,Portraits,Travel