Osceola Refetoff | Flirting with Disaster | FLIRTING WITH DISASTER

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Keywords:#desertdispatches, #ospix, 18-wheeler, Osceola Refetoff, Sky Desert Truck - Infrared Exposure - Highway 395 Near Coso Junction CA - 2012, black & white photography, blur, ca highway 395, california desert, clouds, dark desert highway, desert dispatches, desert landscape photography, desertscape, desolate, digital infrared photography, eastern sierra CA, elmarit 24mm, fixed focus lens, flirting with disaster, freeway, graphic, handheld, high & dry: dispatches from the land of little rain, horizon, kcet artbound, kern county, leica m8, mojave desert, mountains, prime lens, road, saatchi art, sierra nevada CA, sky, tractor trailer, transportation, travel, truck, usa, viewscape, viewshed, www.desertdispatches.com, www.ospix.com


The road is a central feature in my remote travels, both in terms of how I see the desert and how our highways shape the physical existence of today’s desert communities. I may or may not have been driving at elevated speeds while capturing these images, but the somewhat unpredictable results of not looking though the viewfinder are an appealing counterpoint to the controlled compositions I create from my tripod. In the black & white images, the longer shutter times required for infrared exposures blur foreground elements, conveying a sense of forward momentum.

While clouds make regular appearances in my desert images, they can be hard to come by in the Mojave Desert. I chased this majestic formation across the landscape for over an hour, circling back to make repeated passes and making dozens of exposures. In this particular frame, all the elements lined up in perfect choreography – the shadow of the cloud punctuating the horizon line but not shrouding the trailer, motion blur at the edges but critical sharpness holding at the center, the rectangular road-signs placed just so – all while piloting my vehicle at 65mph. Sometimes nature and happenstance cooperate to perfect advantage, but as a great artist once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Sky, Desert, Truck - Highway 395 Near Coso Junction, CA - 2012
Infrared Exposure - First printed: 2014

Scapes – 3-Person Exhibit Curated by Hayley Marie Colston – Unita – El Segundo, CA – 2018
Somewhere or Nowhere at All - Curated by Tom Pazderka - Red Barn Project Space - Santa Barbara, CA - 2017
Pinholes & Infrareds - Chungking Studio - Los Angeles, CA - 2016
The Art Classic: Oasis - Millard Sheets Art Center - Pomona, CA - 2016
Open Desert - Palm Springs Art Museum - 2016
Museum Tour (Solo Show) - Venice Institute of Contemporary Art/Gypsy Trails Gallery - Torrance Art Museum - 2015
Haunted Landscapes - Art Share LA - 2015
West Hollywood Lifestyle Magazine - 2015
Flirting with Disaster – solo show – Chungking Studio – Los Angeles, CA – 2014