We were passing through a service station in Beaconsfield very late yesterday and spent a spontaneous night at the Etap Hotel. It’s connected via a walkway to a 24hr neon world of McDonald’s, Starbuck’s and an Arcade featurung Outrun 2. It felt just like Vegas!
We discovered a Pocket Etch-A-Sketch at WH Smith, and I was immediately ported back to my childhood days. Hoping my wife would talk me out of it, she said that’s a great idea and bought it for me. Now I’m hooked!
Featurung the same ingredients as back in the seventies, and of course the same impossible drawing technique, I love playing with it. Now I have the added benefit of sending my creations via mobile uploads to this site and immortalise them. Sweet!
Here’s the first of (possibly many other) weird and wonderful lineographic masterpieces entitled “Dude” from my brand new high tech gadet! Enjoy…
After an eventful 2 weeks in the Sunshine State, we’re hopping on the next plane outta here and coming home. We’ve had enough now. After all, it wasn’t just a holiday, it was hard work.
I haven’t counted the amount of pictures we shot, but we’re going home with roughly 10GB of digital data and 80 rolls of 120/220 film, which will take me untiel the end of the year to process. In terms of output, it was more than worth it.
On our final morning, we’ve watched the sunrise over South Beach and are in the midst of hectic packing. I shouldn’t really be writing this right now! We came up with plenty of new concepts (see above a sample of Incidental Graffiti) which will feed this site and future output for months to come.
The Beach Huts project is not only completed, we even went that extra mile and covered Haulover Beach too – and there’s a funky beach panorama idea I’d like to do here in the future.
Art Deco is as funky as it comes down here, up and down the beach. We had to change hotels today and moved from the magnificent Richmond Hotel on 17th street further up north to the Circa 39 on 39th street. It’s a long story, and I won’t bore you with the details…
With all beach huts in the can, it was time for a lie in (until 7am). Hence we’ve taken a slow approach to today, and to be honest, I really don’t like that – here or at home. The older I get, and the more focus I put on my artistic projects, the more I realise that “doing nothing” and “not being creative” is a very uncomfortable experience for me. I feel much better when I pick up the camera and explore a new series, write an article, build a website, play with 3D animation to create an image, anythin really…. but not nothing.
That’s why I’ve taken five rolls of expired 220 Portra and my over-modded black Holga out to breakfast this morning and started work on a new series tentatively entitled “Palm”, or maybe “Holgapalm”. It’s super boring pictures of (you’ve guessed it) palm trees, often against a blue sky, all taken with Holga. You never know exactly where you are on 220 film with her, so the results might be funky.
But that’s not all. We spot all kinds of interesting things when we’re out and about, and so I won’t forget them, this is what I think is currently a good idea (by the time you’re reading this, I might have changed my mind to “that’s ridiculous”):
Fashion Victims – still going strong with plenty of contenders coming
Sidewalk Secrets – several random spraypainted writings catch my eye all over the shop here…
Holgapalm – as explained above
Street Corners – this is very beta at the moment, but the concept is that I sit opposite a street corner with a coffee and take basically 12 identical pictures, and the difference is a car passing, some people arguing, that sort of thing. I could even do this on my mobile on automatic, hell whatever. Holga of course is my favourite choice 😉
Holga does Key West – coming tomorrow, when we’re doing a spontaneous day trip to Key West. Nice!
Golden Half does Black and White – should be interesting, and a great way to take pictures when the sun isn’t out.
Clouds – I keep forgetting the amazing tropical cloud formations here, just a friendly reminder to myself
Art Deco Rama – as the name suggests, Art Deco Panoramas, Diana style
Next stop: Key West, with Julia, Holga and Golden Half.
To say it in the words of the deceased King of Pop: THIS IS IT!
Ahead of schedule, we’ve finished the entire run of Lifeguard Towers on Miami Beach today, from South Pointe to Bal Harbour.
We’ve covered the longest stretch today so far, after yet another beautiful 5am start. Sunrise over the ocean is a truly magnificent view. We took the S bus from our hotel on 17th street up to 93rd and started walking all the way down to 53rd – that’s 40 blocks in blazing sunshine. Think I caught a minor bout of sunstroke, despite my new Panama Jack hat, matching the khaki shorts, shirt and crocs. That’s officially my favourite shooter outfit.
We also found a picture book and plenty of postcards by local photographer Susan Russell on the Beach Huts, which explains about past and present designs. The book doesn’t quite contain all, and states (like several other sources we found) that Dade County only man the Lifeguard Towers up to 85th street. Google Maps however clearly shows several other Beach Huts further up from here. One of them (at 93rd street) we’re including in our collection – but the big question is: where do we go from here?
All our beach starlets further up north are spread out more, 10 blocks and more, until they get more dense and plentiful again towards Hollywood. Without a vehicle of some sorts, it’ll be very difficult to cover them all. But then, we’ve got another week here in paradise, why not make the most of it.
My Canon 1Ds is holding up brilliantly, as ever – and so are the rest of the fleet. Julia’s 400D (and Julia herself may I add) is working like a horse for close-ups and safety shots, and Pink Holga is with me most days for some whaky otherwordly accompaniment. See her tone in tone at one of the Beach Huts from this morning’s run.
It’s safe to say we need a rest, and as I type, we can’t bear to walk again today, especially not on soft sand. However, Johnny Rocket on 7th and Ocean Drive have some amazing hamburgers, and the South Beach Local is only 25c… Watch this space!