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Catalina Dreamin’

I had a birthday recently, and because I’m so awesome, Catalina Express decided to give me a free round-trip ticket to the lovely island city of Avalon. Someone told me that they do that for everyone on their birthday, but I’m pretty sure they’re wrong and they did it because I smell nice, among other things.

Anyways, I’ve been traveling to Catalina for years to scuba dive, but had never actually photographed it. So with my trusty camera in hand, I headed over.

The weather was pleasant and the island quiet, so I had a fairly relaxing day (more on that in a minute).

The first thing I did was head over to the Casino to take the walking tour of said building, which I had never been inside of.

Via Casino, Avalon, Catalon

Catalina was at one point quite famous for its “Catalina tile,” which is still used extensively to decorate the island. The next few tile mosaics (?) are on the walking path to the Casino.

Shark mosaic on Catalina

This one shows what I think is Sugarloaf Point in the distance, before the large rocks were destroyed to make room for buildings, including the current Casino.

Ship mosaic on Catalina

As I waited for the tour to start, the young woman selling tickets took a call on her cell: “Please tell me you’re not calling with bad news….She…didn’t make it? … Oh $&*#…Oh $&*#….” I was the only one who heard her in this very private, very sad moment. I felt like I should say something or try to comfort her, but what do you say to a total stranger in a situation like that? In a moment she had moved into a side room and the tour started, so I never found out what I may have tried to say. I hope she’s doing ok.

Back to the tour, I’ll say that the inside of the Casino is incredible. The Wrigley family spent an obscene amount of money making it about as ornate as was possible at the time. The waiting area just outside the movie theater has a roof filled with 22-carat gold-leaf stars. I don’t have a photo inside the theater, but trust me when I say that it’s breathtaking.

Ornate light fixture

View of an island traffic jam from the second floor of the building, which is actually about 10 stories up.

Catalina traffic jam

This is the chandelier…thing at the center of the formal ballroom on the top floor of the Casino. The piece is quite large and can be rotated.

Chandelier of ball room at the Avalon Casino

In the entry way to the theater are a number of beautiful mosaics and wall paintings. These pieces, which are the originals put up in the 1920s, are still impressive to look at.

Mosaic on Avalon Casino

In the event that your workplace doesn’t like au naturel, 85-year-old mermaids painted onto the sides of large public buildings, I’ve decided to make this one small. Click to see it full-size. This mural was the only one completed as originally intended using Catalina tile. With opening day around the corner, the Casino’s designer was told to paint the rest directly on the concrete facing of the building. This piece is one of the prettiest works of art I’ve yet to see in California.

Mermaid mosaic on the Avalon, Catalina Casino


Earlier, I mentioned that the day was relaxing. That is, with the exception of hiking to the top of the cliff just above the Casino. What a trek!  Walking to the cliff-face directly over the building, I came across this structure set into the ground. By the looks of it, it was buried for some time and was recently uncovered when the dirt was washed away. Decorated with a tile cross and about the size of a child’s grave, I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t just that. I’ve not been able to find any information on it though.

The Casino from the cliff behind it, including a grave(?)

The Casino and Avalon harbor from the overlooking cliff

No idea what this is meant to be, but I found it looking out from a house on the hike back down the hill.

Wicker animals

I got a late lunch whilst waiting for the sun to get lower and took some pictures of various tile installations around town. It’s quite interesting to see the large design variety on  structures and buildings. Below are two such examples.

Catalina tiles

Catalina tiles

Carrying all my gear up the hill again didn’t sound very appealing, so I hired a cab to take me part of the way. The sunset wasn’t spectacular, but the waning daylight still made for a great view.

A lonely sailboat

To close off the post, here’s a shot of Avalon harbor just after dusk. Thanks for visiting!

Avalon Casino and harbor at night from the overlook

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Eating Humble Pie — or — How I Nearly Killed a Japanese Man in the Middle of Nowhere

I’m currently engaged in a project at my day job that is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever worked on. If it doesn’t kill me, there’s a good chance I might collapse into a whimpering heap, appearing only occasionally to buy sour candy and look handsome in a tuxedo.

Since I probably won’t be able to travel until March, and since I just got a new camera, I figured I should get one last photo road trip (or phroad trip, as the scientists call them) under my belt. The new camera is significantly more light-sensitive than my previous body, so I decided to head out to the Trona Pinnacles to get some shots of the Milky Way. Turns out, I’m really bad at that, but more on that in a minute.

Regular readers know that I’m crazy for abandoned places, so in my research on the route to Trona I found an abandoned military complex to visit. Unfortunately, the place had been severely worked over by idiots prior to my arrival, so what could have been a cool time capsule was instead a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

That said, some of it was kinda cool and/or funny, like this trailer blocking one of the roads into the town. Someone loves their zombie movies.

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

Payphone booths, now empty.

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

I’ve been to some pretty crazy places, but I still get nervous walking through dark hallways, even during the day. At times I feel like I’m one meth head away from a shiv to the kidney, so once in a great while I might have a weapon on me…

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

…particularly when there are zombies lurking about.

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex "dead inside"

This is why we can’t have nice things. Not only are there tire tracks on the tile, but notice all of the holes smashed into the walls.

Jake Reinig abandoned military town

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

The best selfie I’ve ever taken.

Jake Reinig abandoned military town

I’m no expert, but I think fire alarm quality is reduced by bird nests built inside of them.

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex

One of the things I’m always amazed at when I visit abandoned places is how shot up they are. Bullet holes are everywhere, proving that many gun owners are not at all responsible individuals. In the event that you had to be somewhere when an idiot started firing into a building, this is actually a good spot to be: that door, as the entrance to a justice center, is fairly bullet proof.

Jake Reinig abandoned military town, bullet holes

It took a beating, but very little of the glass was actually punctured all the way through.

Jake Reinig abandoned military complex, bullet holes

Continuing up the road the traveler goes through Johannesburg, California, home to one of the the loneliest playgrounds in the world.

Jake Reinig Johannesburg playground


The Trona Pinnacles are the really interesting remnants of springs that bubbled up from the bottom of an ancient lake that has since disappeared. Actually, I say interesting, but they’re likely super boring unless you’re a photographer or a geologist. Visit once for sure, but you probably don’t need too long if you’re not there to take pictures.

This shot was taken from several miles away, so you can see how big the tufa formations are. In the foreground are some semi-abandoned train cars from the semi-abandoned “city” called Trona. (Fun fact: the Trona high school football team has one of the only all-dirt football fields in the world.)

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Abandoned Train Cars

Two questionable attempts at industrial art:

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Abandoned Train Cars

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Abandoned Train Cars

Note the cars in this shot. They really show how big some of these things are.

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles

As the sun sets, some of the rocks and hills take on really interesting colors.

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles sunset

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles sunset

Returning back to my earlier statement about being bad at Milky Way photography, I’ll complete the story: my new camera is pretty light sensitive compared to what I’m used to, so I figured the Milky Way would practically photograph itself. Turns out there’s a lot more to it, and I did a pretty bad job of the photos.  Basically, I let in too many stars I didn’t want, and didn’t bring out enough of the galaxy that I did want.  I also didn’t do enough homework to know that by far the best time to photograph the MW is around summer, when the galactic core is visible. I’m posting these photos as evidence that I still have a tremendous amount to learn. Hopefully in a few months I’ll have the right conditions to capture some truly awesome photos.

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Milky Way


Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Milky Way

So, about the Japanese tourist I almost hit with my truck: the pinnacles are in the middle of nowhere, and once the moon sets the valley they’re in becomes pitch black. The main body of pinnacles has a confusing series of roads that runs through them, and I was driving slowly in the inky darkness trying not to get lost. I drove over a rise in the road, and there, smack dab in the middle of this tiny little trail is a man with his tripod.  He was very sorry that he was in the way, but asked very earnestly if I wouldn’t mind driving my truck into the rocks so that he wouldn’t have to move his camera, which was likely in the middle of a long exposure. A fellow photographer, I obliged him, but was even more annoyed when I got back on the road to find his car (with his friends inside) turned completely across the road, blocking it again. At least I had the satisfaction of knowing that I probably ruined his photo (insert evil laugh).

Having established that I’m a jerk, I’ll close with this next photo. While waiting in my nice warm truck for the moon to set (and the sky to darken), I put my old camera out in the cold to capture a four hour time-lapse of it going down.

Jake Reinig Trona Pinnacles Moon Timelapse

Stay tuned for more (and hopefully better) photos from Trona in the future.


Cowboys and Indians (and Miners) in Joshua Tree

My brother, his girlfriend, and I went to Joshua Tree last weekend. We were supposed to do some bouldering and take some pictures. We did absolutely no bouldering and very little photography, but did end up doing quite a bit of hiking and scrambling, and even more “getting lost while hiking and scrambling.”

We also learned a valuable Christmas lesson about bringing Hawaiian rolls on a camping trip but not having butter. I’d tell you what it was, but I’m saving it for my eventual screenplay about camping and bread products.

Joshua Tree is chock full of abandoned mines and related equipment. Near Barker Dam is a neat structure called the “Wall Street Mill” which used to be part of a major operation. It’s supposed to be closed to visitors, but as you can see the barbed wire fence doesn’t work too hard keeping people out.

Wall street mill

Near the mill is an area called the “car lot” which has a number of derelict cars.

The parking lot, near Wall Stree mill

These tires have seen better days. Speaking of tires, have you seen the ridiculously sexist Goodyear tire ad from the 1960s? I’m not sure why I bring that up, but it’s kinda funny in a really horrible kind of way.

Detail of a car near the Wall Street Mill

Besides having deadly mines around every corner, Joshua Tree also has a pretty large body of native American pictographs and petroglyphs. Near the Wonderland ruins is a really cool rock that has a large, hollow cavity inside. If you climb under and into the rock you’ll discover a variety of hidden pictographs, including the noon day sun at the top of the cavity.

Indian pictographs near ruins at Joshua Tree

Here’s a lousy attempt at capturing the Milky Way from Arch Rock. I just got a new 5d Mark III, so look for these types of photos to vastly improve over the next few months.

Joshua Tree milky way over arch rock

The Hall of Horrors is large split rock site with numerous (and fun to climb) slot canyons. Here’s me being dumb by chimneying through a relatively deep canyon.  My photos on the other side were terrible, so at least I risked my health for nothing. That’s always nice.

Me, doing a chimney climb at Hall of Horrors, Joshua Tree

The next day we hiked to a remote part of the park. I say “hiked,” but really I mean “continually lost the trail and had to climb random hills and out of various gullies.” The cool thing about this particular remote area is an abandoned miner’s cabin built into the crevice between some huge boulders. Because so few people know about this place, the cabin still stands as the miners left it many decades ago.

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

Abandoned miner's cabin at Joshua Tree, Eagle Hill

One of my favorite places in the park is the rock containing the so-called “Disney” pictographs. This large rock near Barker Dam has a number of authentic pictographs and petroglyphs on it. However, in the mid-twentieth century a Disney film crew (shooting “Chico, the Misunderstood Coyote“) decided that the real pictographs weren’t vibrant enough to film and proceeded to paint and carve their own, or to paint over the originals.

Despite this stupid act of vandalism messing up the site, I still like to come and sit here at night while I do photography. It’s cool to consider that for hundreds or thousands of years, Native Americans also came here to talk and laugh and look at the stars in much the some way.


"Disney" pictographs near Barker Dam, Joshua Tree

This is valley that lays in front of the Disney rock.

Joshua Tree sunset

Around the corner at the rock and above your head is this hidden sun pictograph. I don’t know if it’s authentic, as it’s really bright still and to the best of my knowledge, all of the legit pictographs in the park are red or brown in hue. I doubt the Disney staff did this, since it would be essentially impossible to film. So, who knows? Maybe it’s modern vandalism, or maybe its hidden location has kept it safe and vibrant all these years.

Sun pictograph near Barker Dam

"Disney" pictographs near Barker Dam at Joshua Tree

Another shot of the valley.

Sunset at Joshua Tree near Barker Dam

And one last parting shot from later the same night.

Milky way from the pictograph rock at Joshua Tree

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Graveyards, Ghost Towns, and a Mountain or Two

For the first time that didn’t involve me being sick, I didn’t attend Thanksgiving with my family. Instead I headed out to the high desert east of the Sierra mountains.  As is typical with my trips, I had absolutely perfect weather for most of the trip: clear skies, no wind, and relatively warm days. Normally I consider this my curse, but since I wanted to do star photography it was an ok problem to have. It just means that my daytime and sunset opportunities were more limited.

Driving up on Thanksgiving day, the first stop I made was to explore near Lone Pine for a cattle graveyard that I had previously heard about. You know, normal holiday stuff.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it ended up being significantly different than whatever I was expecting.

Finding it is a little difficult as it’s fairly well hidden, but the scenery is incredible. Because it’s so remote, however, it’s also eerily quiet.


Jake Reinig Travel Photography Lone Pine

“Graveyard” really isn’t the right word, as there were no graves. Only the remains of dumped corpses, including whole skeletons of cows and horses.  In some places there were only large pieces of leather laying around.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Lone Pine Cattle Livestock Graveyard

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Lone Pine Cattle Livestock Graveyard

There were also more recent additions. This one kind of freaked me out to be honest. If you’re squeamish, don’t click the photo below. Otherwise, the link takes you to the uncensored shot. The view from the other side was way worse.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Lone Pine Cattle Livestock Graveyard


I did a few other things in town and then headed out to the Alabama Hills fairly early in the day. By sunset almost all of the clouds were gone and it got cooooooooold. The park itself is really neat, particularly if you like climbing around on stuff or are into bouldering/rock climbing. Loads of movies have been shot here too, so if you’re a movie buff, you can get a movie map and see the related sights.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Alabama Hills

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Alabama Hills

This was the extent of my sunset. At least I had the Mobius arch to myself.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Alabama Hills Mobius Arch

The stars were incredible, as was the Milky Way. Unfortunately, my 7d and its crop sensor aren’t the best tools for the job, so the detail isn’t quite as good as if I had a full-frame camera. If I buy one next year I’ll be sure to come back (if you have $3,000 you want to give me, I’d be happy to mow your lawn like 5 times).

Jake Reinig Travel Photography Alabama Hills Milky Way Star Photography

Because the weather was so nice, I was able to drive up the next day to the Bodie ghost town. The town is normally closed through the winter because of snow (it’s above 8,000-foot elevation), but was still open this year.

Bodie is a relatively recent boom town, and through the actions of the State and others has been fairly well preserved in the condition its former residents left it in.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town | Abandoned Truck

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town | Abandoned Truck detail

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town | Interior of a house

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town | Interior of a house

I wasn’t able to get into this building, which I’m assuming is the Undertaker’s residence. All of the coffins appeared to be for children.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Undertaker, Mortuary, Coffins

Another room in the building. Note the Haunted Mansion style portrait on the wall. Both of these coffins also appeared to be child-sized.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Undertaker, Mortuary, Coffins

Speaking of child-sized coffins, the cemetery had a relatively large number of kids in it. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a time or place where worrying about losing your child is a normal affair.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Child's Grave, Cemetery

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Exterior of a Building

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Abandoned Safe

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Old Gas Station

Another building that they don’t want you in. Note the still working light bulb above the coffee machine.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Interior of a Store, Working Light Bulb, Coffee Machine

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  Medications

There are two roads to Bodie. One comes from the 395 to the west of the town, and one is south of the town. If you ever visit, I recommend heading in from the west, but coming out from the south. The view of Mono lake from the southern route is amazing.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Bodie Ghost Town |  View of Mono Lake

The lack of clouds meant a boring sunset that didn’t help dress up the tufa columns.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Mono Lake

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Mono Lake

This tufa is part of an island of sorts, and is probably 20 feet tall.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Mono Lake Tufa

The Milky Way and a few other stars from Mono Lake. Man, I wish I had that full frame camera. (I wonder if my family would be hurt if I didn’t get them any Christmas presents.)

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Mono Lake Milky Way and Stars

The next day I headed back down towards Bishop and Lone Pine, stopping at a few places along the way.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Cattle & Horses Grazing Near Bishop

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Landscape of a Tree Near Bishop

This is a shot at Keeler, which is a town east of the Owens dry lake.  A former boom town, it fell on bad times when the nearby mines gave out. It fell on further hard times when Los Angeles diverted the river that fed Owens lake and killed it. The town is in mostly bad shape but is not really a ghost town (since a number of people still live there), even though lots of the former mining equipment is still present. This very tongue-in-cheek sign reads:

“Keeler Beach – Camps for Rent”

“This beautiful setting provided by LA Water Dept.”

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Keeler surfboard

I finished the day off back at the Alabama Hills. Lots of rocks have arches in them, including this one that sort of looked like the Predator or an angry ant.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography |  Alabama Hills Double Arch Rock

Again, no clouds, but I played with the sun and various arches near sunset to try and get something interesting.

Jake Reinig Travel Photography | Alabama Hills Arch Sunset

And to wrap up, here’s the same formation at night.  While it was a little intimidating being out there by myself, it was definitely worth it. The view was amazing.

 Reinig Travel Photography | Alabama Hills Arch Milky Way & Star Photos

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Random Jazz: *Le sigh* Edition

A rather melancholy event happened tonight, which explains my title. In one of those curious coincidences of life, writing about said event happened to take up the very last page in my current journal.  Guess it’s time to take the next one off the shelf and begin anew in more ways than one.


I’m still in “neutral” with my photography, so below are more photos from pointing my camera at the random world around me the last few months. I’m stuck in SoCal for the near future, but 2014 should see me around the globe a few times. I promise that my award winning (not really) photography and sense of humor (definitely not really) will return at some point. Stay tuned.









(Get it? It’s a “tal” tree. You know, like “tall?” Yes, as a matter of fact I do feel bad for making that joke.)




To кошка: may you find peace.


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Random Jazz: No, I’m Not Dead Edition

2013 has been a weird year for me. I feel…in between. Not quite sure what that really means, but as far as photography goes, it means I’m struggling a fair bit and haven’t been shooting a whole lot. Maybe I need to start living more dangerously.

While I go look for budget knife throwing classes, feel free to browse the photos below, all of which were shot in multiple states not beginning with the letter C and none of which ended with X.

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Washington Lake

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Travel Photographer Waterfall

Jake Reinig Travel Photographer Waterfall Gecko

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Travel Photographer Waterfall

Jake Reinig Travel Photographer Waterfall

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Orange Country Travel Photographer

Jake Reinig Travel Photographer Hidden Waterfall

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Random Jazz: I’m Lazy and Also Glitter is My New Enemy Edition

I’ve been super exhausted for the last few days, including tonight, so here are some pictures and very few words.  In brief:

  1. Lost roses
  2. A bridge from a trip I took
  3. Drowned rose
  4. Water being affected by gravity
  5. Lost rose
  6. La luna
  7. A monument somewhere in OC, possibly overdone with my new LR VSCO set.
  8. The super moon, which isn’t really that super.
  9. Surprise! More lost roses!
  10. Post-sunset from the abode of the wild donkeys
  11. Glitter, my new enemy, clinging to a drop of water
  12. (Thanks for visiting!)

Corona Del Mar sunset and flowers

Jake Reinig travel

Corona Del Mar sunset and roses

Jake Reinig

Corona Del Mar rose

La luna

Ramakrishna Monastery, Trabuco Canyon

The ol' super moon

Corona Del Mar sunset and flowers

Landscape sunset

Glitter water drop

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Random Jazz: On the Road Edition

I’ve been shooting a fair bit lately, but mostly stuff I can’t share with you. That’s why you get two random jazz posts in a row. Also, because I saw what you did in the pet food aisle at Kmart. You don’t deserve a coherent post.

Anyways, below are a handful of photos each from a few recent trips: Seattle, East Jesus/Slab City/Salton Sea, and an abandoned waterpark.

First up: the waterpark. The slides and such are destroyed and not very interesting. However, the graffiti and stencil work left by vandals is pretty awesome.

Abandoned waterpark stencil

Abandoned waterpark stencil

P1010155-1Abandoned waterpark stencil

The previous tenants left their tumbleweed behind. I hope they don’t need it.

Abandoned waterpark tumbleweed

Abandoned waterpark graffiti


As you enter the park, there’s a road with billboards on either side of it. These artists took over each one to wonderful effect.

Abandoned waterpark stencil billboard
Abandoned waterpark stencil billboard

Abandoned waterpark stencil billboard

Oh, and here’s a picture of some Chinese lanterns just because.

Chinese lanterns

I visited Seattle for a few days. I didn’t get time to do a ton of photography, but still enjoyed it immensely.

Seattle ferris wheel

So, as usual, I had near perfect weather on this visit. Regular readers will recall that I’m cursed with good weather at most places I travel to. It’s great for just existing and getting around, but it usually makes for sort of ho-hum photos. Anyways, I drive over to this park to try taking a boring sunset photo of downtown Seattle and the very impressive and very tall Mt. Rainier in the background.  I’m actually kind of excited, because I didn’t expect such a clear view of the mountain.

I got to the park two hours before sunset so I could make sure I got a good spot, since I know this place gets crowded. Not a single cloud was in sight the entire time. However, once the light finally started getting interesting, this one cloud decided to meander in and block my view of Rainier. I’ve decided that I’m at war with the sky.
Seattle sunset


This photo probably couldn’t be more cliche, but I decided I should get it anyway. Consider this a reward for what you did in the toothpaste aisle.

Seattle public market sign


Mt. Rainier, before my enemy The Sky made his move. Fact: Zeus lives here.


This was visible on someone’s balcony whilst walking to the waterfront. Don’t ask me. I don’t know.


A shot from inside the market. Supposedly, there’s guys throwing fish everywhere. I imagined it as though I’d have to be ducking fish left and right (on a side note, are ducks known for squatting to avoid things? I wonder where that term comes from.). The only flying fish I saw were on this sign.



I was walking away from the market and this man said “hey, can you teach me everything you know?” I said “no, but you can have my hat.” And so, I gave him my hat. Also, my bucket full of balloon animals.



So long Seattle, and thanks for all the fish.

Speaking of fish, this is the Salton Sea.  It’s 50% water, 50% salt, and 50% dead fish. The air is 100% gross to smell.

It is the only place I’ve ever been, and I’m not joking about this, where the shore is literally made of ground bones.

Salton Sea dead fish

Why go there? Because of East Jesus. It’s a cool place, and much nicer than West Jesus. Slab City, which is the larger community that East Jesus is in, is…interesting.

Here’s my friend Ania, sitting in the dirt for some reason.

Anna at East Jesus

East Jesus


My brother and I thought the art installations and low amounts of light pollution would make for interesting photos. We were right. Unfortunately, we didn’t really take any. Both of us came away feeling disappointed in what we had captured.  Here’s one that I did like.

Night photography at East Jesus


A shot from the pet cemetery at Slab City. Poor Gunner.

Pet Cemetery, Slab City


And, since hummingbirds are good luck, I’ll leave you with this shot as the last of the bunch. Feel free to click on my name at the top of this page to see more of my stuff. Thanks for visiting!

East Jesus humming bird

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Random Jazz: Way Overdue Edition

I’ve been collecting photos for a while now that don’t quite fit into their own sets. So, here’s a somewhat largish collection of location and portrait work I’ve done recently.  I’m supposed to get up at like 4:30 in the morning tomorrow and it’s already 11:30 p.m., so this is almost all of the writing I’m going to do. Lucky you. :)


On the trail to Holy Jim Falls



Holy Jim Falls

Dominator wreck


A random yard chicken




San Clemente rainbow

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir

Memorial at Holy Jim Falls

The next four are from a campaign I did for my friend’s new business Bronzed Sugar. The weather had been nice for a while, but of course on the day of the shoot it was super overcast and cold. Poor models. Fortunately, my friend also owns a marketing company, so these photos after retouching look decidedly better.

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach


Bronzed Sugar Long Beach
Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir





Dominator wreck


Me and a model on location.IMG_7699_1

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir

Long Beach lighthouse

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir


Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir


And to close, variations on a sunset at San Clemente pier.


San Clemente pier at sunset

San Clemente pier at sunset

San Clemente pier at sunset

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Salvation by Way of East Jesus

Jake Reinig travel photographer

Location: Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, East Jesus, Slab City

(Editor’s note: Jake has been having trouble sleeping, so he took a sleeping pill before he started writing this. Please forgive its somewhat incoherent structure.)

(Author’s note: I don’t actually have an editor.)

My brother and I felt like taking a road trip adventure to the Salton Sea area, so we headed out to this little part of crazy this past weekend.  Our first stop was an abandoned city with an abandoned prison somewhere not anywhere close to the Salton Sea; unfortunately, while it’s no longer inhabited, it is decidedly unabandoned. Razor wire and security were onhand, but apparently, my social engineering skills were not.  Undeterred, I’m now trying to find a route via the owners. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Because of the distance, it was late in the day by the time we made it to the lake, so we opted to shoot sunset at Bombay Beach, home to a large number of destroyed buildings from the lake’s sordid past.  Unfortunately, in the few years since I was last there, most of the structures have been totally wrecked. This is one of the last ones still standing.

Building ruin, Bombay Beach

Salton Sea sunset

Sunday we made our way to East Jesus, an artistic community in the midst of the crazy lost settlement called Slab City. East Jesus has some pretty rad installations, this tower being one of them.

East Jesus tower, Salton Sea

Mirror doll,, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain at Slab City.

Salvation Mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

Walter the bus, East Jesus, Salton Sea

The “trophy room” at Salvation Mountain.

Salvation mountain detail, Slab City, Salton Sea

The room was full of trinkets; “laser cats” was my favorite.

Salvation mountain detail, Slab City, Salton Sea

Another sunset shot at Bombay Beach.

A bird hunting at sunset, Salton Sea

Interior of Salvation Mountain.

Salvation mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain, Slab City, Salton Sea

A random sand dune that unexpectedly swallowed a road we were driving on. Guess we didn’t want to go to that wrecked neighborhood anyway.

Sand dunes, Salton Sea

Salvation Mountain truck, Slab City, Salton Sea

We had high hopes to do some star photography, but the moon was too full and waaay too bright. Long exposures made the ground look like day. Sort of bored, we decided to try our hand at making our own burning bushes. We’re making plans to go back to East Jesus on an upcoming new moon and do some night work with the installations. With any luck we’ll have more interesting results from that.

Long exposure, box canyon near the Salton Sea

Apparently, this station has been closed for a few years.

Gas station of years past

Terrible psychiatric advice, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Hopefully this mannequin doesn’t get anyone in trouble at work. I mean, she does have geese bodies for arms.

Goose girl, East Jesus, Salton Sea

The difference between me and my brother: he climbs my truck to get a better view of cows, while I try to shoot the abandoned factory. Obviously, I’m way cooler, and I’m pretty sure my grandmother would agree.

Nate with cows at the abandoned factory near Salton Sea

East Jesus, now with 25% more goose parts.

First floor of the tower, East Jesus, Salton Sea

Dear sleeping pill: please don’t let me dream about this guy tonight, especially since I know you’re not going to let me wake up when I need to.

Chimpanzee boy,, East Jesus, Salton Sea

To wrap up, here’s two variations on sunset from the shores at Bombay Beach. With a returned trip planned for the near future, I’ll hopefully have better stuff for you guys next time.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Salton Sea sunset long exposure

Salton Sea sunset long exposure

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