Interstate 5 comes to an anticlimactic end at the southwest corner of San Diego. For most of my life, with the exception of an occasional frat bro bender on Revolucion, The San Ysidro border crossing was a cul-de-sac, a U-turn between structure and chaos, safety and danger. Over the past five plus years, with some help from my friends, I've pushed aside the stereotypes (all totally exaggerated) and explored some of my favorite places on earth in the last frontier of Southern California. Last weekend was no exception. #vivabaja.
A special thanks to our friends at bajabound.com for keeping us on the road.
The Santo Tomas Valley.
RIP Juan Aldana
The only left in Baja.
Never too old to jump.
Looking for dinner.
You should have been here yesterday.
What she lacks in tract homes and strip malls, she makes up for in beauty.
San Diego circa 1896 (less satellite dishes and solar panels).
We were stoked to have perfect weather.
The last night rolls around and the anticipation of Monday morning meetings in the office begins to haunt you.
Amidst the rapidly-growing world of surf and ocean photography, there is a certain kind of camera that is re-teaching the value of slowing it down. When I came across an old film camera known as the Nikonos V just over a year ago, I had no idea how to use it, nor had I ever heard of what seemed like a miniature version of a bright orange tank. Shooting film was and still is a pretty new concept to me but I'm growing to love it.
Although some of my favorite photos in the ocean are still shot digitally by the likes of Morgan Maassen and Chris Burkard, I have a new appreciation for this reborn style of shooting film in the ocean. Thanks to Brandon Jennings' movement to share this camera, known as The Nikonos Project, more and more surf photography resembling shots taken in the 70s are popping up all over the globe. While the community of shooting with these cameras (I-V) seems small, it's undoubtedly growing. Thanks to the Instagram 'Nikonos_Project', surf photography is moving forward by taking a step back into the past. Here are some of my favorite shots I've taken. Enjoy!
More of my work can be found at:
More Nikonos photos:
We've said it before and we'll say it again, there's nothing we love more than some good design, whether that's interiors or graphics. Pair a clean, modern design with some gorgeous surf photos and stick it all in a book that's rad enough to put on a coffee table... and we're sold. Here's a round-up of some of the best surf-and-design-inspired coffee table books we've found lately. If you're a surfer, nature-lover, design-afficianado or photography geek, you need to own these.
1. California Surfing And Climbing In The Fifties
"A story, told primarily in photographs, of two parallel and intermingled groups of young Californians following the thrills of ocean waves and granite faces." With a forward by Yvon Chouinard, this book is a must-have for any nature lover or Patagonia fan.
2. Beach Houses
We are suckers for modern architecture and mid-century modern decor. This book features Andrew Geller's stunning modern homes on the coast of New England, complete with vintage photos and original drawings.
3. Slide Your Brains Out
"Often lo-fi and gritty, other times lush and saturated, Campbell’s compositions--which include portraits and action shots of some of the best surfers in the world--are always surprising and full of emotion." This book is surfing with the edge of a skateboarding-inspired youth. Plus it has an afterword by Ed Templeton so you know it's legit.
4. The California Surf Project
Our pal Chris Burkard, a talented photographer, and Eric Soderquist, a professional surfer, hit the California coast on an epic surf adventure along Highway 1. For anyone who's ever daydreamed of quitting their job to buy a van and surf, consider this a must-have.
5. Surfing Photos from the Seventies Taken by Jeff Divine
Jeff Divine grew up here in San Diego. He honed his surfing and photography skills in La Jolla so of course we love this book for the local connection. Add to that the fact that Divine's photos are some of the most iconic vintage surf images around and you've got yourself the perfect coffee table companion.
While we know the state of California has everything someone could want—snow, mountains, desert, surf, all in a day's travel—the island that Orange & Park and I call home, Coronado, has a surreal beauty unto itself. Whether it's a sunrise at the Shores, golden hour at Outlet, or the extended stay of the Hurricane Marie south swell this past summer, we can't help but feel lucky. Here's a few images I've snapped to capture it.
Some more of my work can be found on :
Starting from the Pacific in Coronado, you're bound to see every micro-climate San Diego has to offer on the road to Anza-Borrego Springs. You head east on the 8, up and over the high elevations of the Cuyamaca Mountains on the 78, and drop into Banner Canyon where the water ceases to flow and the desert begins to unfold.
Things get weird when Yaqui Pass Road flanks off the 78, taking you past Rams Hill Country Club (begging to be Palm Springs), through a farm of oversized rusted animal statues, and around Christmas Circle, the largest roundabout this side of London, which climatically spits you out into downtown Anza-Borrego Springs.
We plowed Mexican food, stocked up on beers and got the hell out of dodge. We bounced around, checked out the not-to-be-missed Badlands from Font's Point and finally settled in a dried up river bed, which is certain to erupt on the rare occasion the area gets rain. It was a great spot, the air was dead silent and the night was pitch black, bringing out stars you don't see in the city.
Lessons learned: do bring a fully contained fire pit, don't bring BB guns or use rocks to create a fire ring.
View of the Borrego Badlands from Font's Point
Badlands, best remembered in black and white
Here comes the shade. In the desert winter, the transition from warm to cold happens fast
The silence and the stars
Breakfast in the Flats
A man and his van