29 Palms. CA

Forgot it was Christmas..




                                                                                                                Wayside Cafe. Mojave. CA

The desert doesn't change much, but there is always something different to see. 


 More highlights with a nice bit of storm cloud. Always worth getting out when the sky begins to bruise, with another fine chair and a nice BOWL sign to boot...

Apart from the recent fires last month which created its own overcast cloud, this was the first time in about six months that the sky wasn't cloudless and blue.


Recent highlights.

Some work from the past two weeks working on my Rainshadow project. 

Still covering the the aftermath of the Bobcat fire I managed to photograph areas that were undergoing demolition as part of the clean up process in this alien looking area of burnt-out cars.

Another hot day with random stop offs and out of place objects. 9 out of 10 images of chairs I have made have been in the desert. Even after all these years the idea still intrigues me..

(Below) An epic sky followed by an equally epic hail storm. 



Small finds.

 Found from this very blog back in 2009. Not sure if I wrote it, or it was someone else. Either way, its worth posting again.

To all born in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's

We survived being born to mothers who smoked and drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC or Subway .

Even though all the shops closed at 5.30pm and didn't open on the weekends, we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K..

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,

no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help Dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on merit.

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bullies always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of, they actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO

And YOU are one of them!




Temporary, obsolete, abandoned, or derelict sites.



A bit of an oldie pulled out from my recent website edit. Don't remember much about this one other than it was en route to Las Vegas.


Website Update.


An array of goodies awaits within my updated website including the latest ongoing project, Days in the Rain Shadow. 

Hopefully a little something for everyone (if you like landscapes and things that don't talk..)



                                                                                                                                912 Days

 Little snippets from a recent trip. A break from the panoramic format and a return to the old ways.


What Remains.


The recent fires in California inadvertently brought some closure to my mainly Southwestern exploration of the Mojave which began in January of this year. Returning to these places, most of which where the areas I knew best and first photographed, was most sobering. 

I would not normally photographed a burnt out home, or an area where people have suffered, But unlike other natural/ man-made disasters, this one felt a little more personal having spent so much time there and feeling a real connection to the place.  

Of course I will certainly return, but my next step is to venture further south to explore more of the magical Rain Shadow.





Its hard to imagine what damage a fire could do in the desert. 

These were made in during my latest series in the Mojave. The devastation had revealed things I never knew were there.



Tuesday, 10/6/20, 5-6:30pm - Faculty Lecture: Marcus Doyle
Topic: Faculty Lecture: Marcus Doyle
Time: Oct 6, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 989 9156 7699
Passcode: art



Bobcat Fire. September 2020


All Roads lead somewhere..


Somewhere in the Mojave, September 2020.


A hole in the ground, so big and sort of round.

 The desert quest continues as the vastness of the Mojave seems to become, well less vast. 

Although I tend never to rephotograph the same thing, I do revisit the same places. The image here is a great example of how you can drive past the same scene ten times unaware of what may be hiding. Little did I realize there was a large pit full of old cars. It was like discovering a tomb or a bone grave yard, the cars like mechanical beasts laid to rest hidden from view. 


I have worked in hot humid conditions before with my Salton Sea series which although uncomfortable, was also very rewarding. Adding smoke from the recent fires in California and the current heatwave certainly makes things unique and interesting, but I would rather neither existed.

The journey continues..


Hot and fast...

 As mentioned previously, I love the fact that despite what goes on around me, the desert never changes; The same light, the same heat, and a quiet stillness you only find in a desert environment, and more often than not, void of people, especially in the daytime. 

The decision to shoot in the middle of the day has many benefits. No people (as mentioned) because its just too hot, no need for a tripod, (because its very, very bright. ) And a freedom to move quickly (often forced as its so hot). Spending very little time in these places means I am shooting instinctively with less pondering over subject matter. So often in the past I would talk myself out of making an image simply because I spent so long 'waiting' for the light to change and would over thinking things. These images are very different with a quick in and out approach, but I would never call them snap shots..

My wife (a celebrated portrait photographer) was once approached  by a client who said; 

"Why do you get paid so much for shooting a portrait when it only takes five minutes.." 

Her answer;

"Because I can do it in five minutes.."

The quest continues....


Out in the desert even bush fires go unnoticed

Mojave, July 2020

Moving along with my desert project now after finding several goodies in the past month or so.
With this one its all about finding stuff, often by chance, that couldn't really be repeated.
I purposefully make no notes on areas I have been with no directions or maps and never visit the same site twice. My theory behind this is to create a 'snapshot' of the desert rather than seeking out a particular location and hanging around for the light to change. Of course I would be a big fat liar if I said that's what I originally planned...


Bit daft really...

The days of scouting out derelict buildings are probably over for me now, but here and there I still pop in a smelly wasp infected hole of a place (see above) never really knowing to find.
There was a time when everyone seemed to be 'urban x-ing', hoping for and abandoned hospital full of wheelchairs, or an old cinema with the seats and screen still intact.
I think it was all about the thrill of it, the photographs didn't really matter in the end, they were more proof that you were there... Bit daft really....


Evidence that we exsist...

At first glance the desert often appears empty of civilization. But the further I drive into it, the more evidence I seem to find. The road you didn't think to take, or just somewhere you never thought of going is often where the goodies are. 

 Some dudes car. Mojave, June 2020

AMIGO. Mojave, June 2020


Hitting the road again with The Pudding...

Mojave June 2020
The Mojave really is like a giant car grave yard: Roaming the desert a bit like dinosaurs, you find them either alone and abandoned, piled up in mass graves, or used as props..


In a world online and digital, its good to see people still using the written word.


Deserted Desert..

 Throughout my life I have often found that after a life changing event, be it an injury, winning the lottery, bereavement, and in this case lockdown, people always want to go somewhere else other than where they are. This usually takes the form of a holiday,  some kind of retreat,or maybe just a day trip to the sea side.
Here in California its been either the beach, or the desert, and in that regard I am no different.  What has been interesting is seeing just how many people are going out to the desert, on their own, to find solitude after being shut-in, on their own, in solitude....But enough of my ramblings.

The desert was a delight and certainly no different to any other time I have spent out there (maybe that's what brings people out here). It was certainly hot, but hey its the desert..


The reality of digital photography.

Salton Sea. C Type hand print shot on film for the AOP Awards, London, 1998

Despite having no desire whatsoever to enter any kind of photography competition these days. I still like to keep afloat of whats going on. Looking through some recent competition invites (you know the ones everybody gets and charge you to enter) I realise just how much digital has changed photography. 
In regards to my forte, landscape photography, most of the time its hard to imagine what the original scene may actually have looked like, and there in lies the problem I have with digital imagery.  
The most important aspect of my work has been, and always will be, an accurate depiction of a scene. Adding or subtracting elements has no interest for me and renders an image as something else, now usually just referred to as fine art because there really is no other  name for it.  
Once the wow factor came from seeing something, like the above image, and realizing it actually exists.  But sadly these days HDR would have us believe otherwise. Its bad enough that retouch, which has always existed since portraiture began, has become so perfect that people believe he or she looks that way has become the norm. But to have this lie now spill over into all realms of photography is to me absurd and pointless.
Thankfully I can still do what I do, the only question is, will people believe its real.


Class of 2020.

It's certainly been an interesting year with my students.  An exceptional group with each one adapting to the current situation despite having to go online and work virtually.
I have put together a mini montage with some of my favorites ranging from basic photography 101 to MFA.

 David Bess. MFA
 Jackson Philips Photo I


Megan McIntyre Photo I 

 Emma Waterman. Advanced Photo.

Kento Sun. Commercial Photo


 Adam Buck. MFA
 Alejandro Barrera. Commercial Photo

Hannah Greisen. Photo I