Photo essay: The Rosicrucian Fellowship

 

000413290001

I learned about the Rosicrucians after my girlfriend visited the grounds in the hills of Oceanside, CA, in December. The eeriness of the place struck us: it seemed abandoned, but one felt eyes peering from the dilapidated buildings. Although there is housing for the needy, I saw almost no people and cars while photographing the temple grounds from December to March.

I tried to capture these feeling of Kafkaesque unease, and initially planned to structure the essay that way, but that wouldn’t have been true to how I came to feel about the place. I find solace there when I need to get away, and it has been giving and comforting. It has become a silent friend, an oasis brimming with poems and nuanced gestures.

These 12 pictures were intended at first to only be in color for the sake of uniformity, but that would have sharply limited my choices: I usually use black-and-white film. They were taken with 35mm- and medium-format cameras.

This is the first in a series of photo essays.

Temple2012018

 

000455000012

 

000455000005

 

000442830010

 

000455000011

 

000455000006

 

000454990009

 

000454990005

 

000454990006

000454990001

 

 

000454990008

 

 

Advertisements

Life at the swap meet

butts1

It started as a lark: go to the swap meet in Oceanside, California, just to check it out and maybe find some cheap cameras. I had told a good friend about a project involving an alternate take on downtown Oceanside, and she suggested a narrower focus. The project became a reality after a few trips. Doing a maquette for publishers is hundreds of photos and edits away, but the pictures so far have kept me coming back. There is a social aspect to it: most of the vendors are Mexican, and there’s a high level of distrust of cameras in what is essentially a microcosm of the immigrant world. That hasn’t deterred me so far, despite the angry looks (I’ve been confronted several times by people asking why the hell I’m taking pictures), though I’ve settled on a cheap film camera that won’t be a big loss if smashed. I also like the graininess of the images, all of which will be high-contrast black-and-white.

40443175882_072effeab1_z

39775566004_01885aec13_z

39690529825_13d1208107_z

39690521145_5e83538739_z

39690505065_d2849a3c09_z

40542852072_fd4a9f0d7f_z

26713432098_a4960bb4bb_z

39874551034_224a0fb7d5_z