Saturday, November 1, 2014

90th Annual Anaheim Halloween Parade

Yes, you read that right, the city of Anaheim, Ca. has been hosting an annual Halloween Parade since 1924!
What could be more amazing than that? Well, the parade itself! My wife and I look forward to this event all year and it doesn't disappoint. So, with cameras in hand we headed out to see the sights.
I chose my trusty 1980 Canon AE-1 with a 50mm f1.8 lens and a hot-shoe mounted flash and 100asa Kodak T-max black and white film.

Color Guard from Anaheim High School. ©Mike Vega 2014

The parade has a strong "vintage" theme to it owed partially to the Anaheim Historical Society. They do a great job of promoting the parade and inspiring unique entries.

Anaheim Historical Society. ©Mike Vega 2014

There are cars, floats, bands beauty queens, monsters, ghouls, Shriners...

The Headless Horseman... ©Mike Vega 2014

"Andy Anaheim". ©Mike Vega 2014

The parade held in the heart of downtown Anaheim, and hosts food trucks, art installations and games preceding the parade. Community interest and participation is strong, so get there early for a good seat!

Wonderful handmade entry. ©Mike Vega

Many kids, and some adults, like us, come out in costume to add to the spirit of the night.

It's not easy to catch a speeding, honking Shriner on film! ©Mike Vega 2014

Halloween Beauty Queen. ©Mike Vega 2014

The variety of sights is wonderful, and the atmosphere is festive. The city seems to transform back into a small town for a couple of hours on this wonderful night.

Head on a platter, on a motorized bed, surrounded by nightmares... Awesome! ©Mike Vega 2014

Anaheim locals. ©Mike Vega 2014

The parade pays homage to the past through it's entries, guests and Grand Marshals, this year featuring the amazing Bob Gurr, designer of Disneyland's Monorail, Doom Buggies and EVERY vehicle that travels Disneyland's Main Street!

Amazing craftsmanship and creativity abound. ©Mike Vega

Bride. ©Mike Vega 2014

Charles Phoenix takes a ride in the Flyin' Sasser! ©Mike Vega 2014

Folklorica Day of the Dead dancers take to the streets of Anaheim. ©MIke Vega 2014

Have hoop skirt will travel. ©Mike Vega 2014

The amazing "Rocket Witch" entry! ©Mike Vega 2014

Wonderful Anaheim Brewery entry. ©Mike Vega 2014

We had a wonderful time again this year and will definitely be back next year! Hopefully we'll see YOU there!!!

Official parade web-site:

'Till next time...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chicago Punks 2003.

On July 25th of 2003 I traveled to Chicago for work. I had flown in, in the morning, taken the train in to the city and checked into my hotel (the House of Blues Hotel Chicago).

As I always did when I was traveling I decided to walk to to grab lunch and head over to where I'd be working for the next 7 days, the Merchandise Mart, on foot.
When the Chicago Merchandise Mart opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world with 4,000,000 feet of floor space. The Mart is a magnificent building and a gem of the city.

My stock and materials had already arrived at the Mart so I dug in to the work at hand. By the time I finally left the Mart the sun had set and it was going on nearly 9pm.
No stranger to walking city streets after dark, I headed back to the hotel on foot.

Fortunately, I had thought to bring along my trusty 1985 Canon AE-1, a flash, a prime lens and some Kodak BW400CN film.

The streets of downtown Chicago are as wonderfully diverse as any in the United States. ©Mike Vega 2003

After stopping in for a quick drink at a hotel bar I meandered back to my hotel.
When I arrived, I was surprised to find a large crowd of punk kids lined up outside. I'd completely forgotten that of course there was a club, the House of Blues, right next door to the hotel! 
While I was having a look around I heard someone addressing me. A guy in a Dead Kennedys shirt was asking me if I needed a ticket. I happened to be wearing an "X" t-shirt at the time. I told him that I had just gotten into town and didn't even know who was playing.

Chicago punks waiting to get into the club. ©Mike Vega 2003

As luck would have it, G.B.H. were on tour with the Circle Jerks and the Bronx! The guy had an extra ticket and offered it to me on the condition that I buy him a beer in return, done deal!

Local kid making me feel right at home. ©Mike Vega 2003

The show was sold out and I scored a ticket basically for free just by being in the right place at the right time. Thanks Chicago.

Punky punks at the punk show. ©Mike Vega 2003

The Bronx rocked, The Jerks nearly blew the roof off the place and G.B.H. delivered mass hysteria. Sadly the bouncer gorillas weren't too hip on my camera... So I had to keep popping the flash on and off to conceal it and couldn't get any shots of the bands. But in hindsight, I guess I really don't mind, I was just happy to be there.

Punks at House of Blues Chicago. ©Mike Vega 2003

I've been lucky enough to see bands all over the U.S. and punk shows are always great because if you are a punk, you are welcomed, into the crowd, the pit, the bar...

Chicago punk. ©Mike Vega 2003

   So after staying up way too late and drinking too many beers and screaming too many songs. With tired head, ringing ears and a 7am wake up call, I called it a night. How would the rest of the week be able to match the first day's pace I wondered...

Until next time...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ansco Shur-Shot Jr.

It's no secret that I love medium format cameras of all shapes, sizes, and age. Last year I was fortunate enough to come across a nicely kept 1948 Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. medium format "box camera".
I finally got around to shooting with it late in the year, and here are some of the images...

Vintage Rail Car. ©Mike Vega 2013 Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA.
Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. 100asa 120mm b/w film

These images were taken at the railway museum in Perris, CA. All work at the museum is done by volunteers and the care they put into the trains, trolley's and grounds is apparent. 
I really love visiting as it is a mix of nostalgia, fantasy, family and functionality. It inspires the imagination and the senses. The "living" history of the place is a treat and a treasure. 

Safety First. ©Mike Vega 2013 Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA.
Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. 100asa 120mm b/w film

Trolley peaking out into the afternoon light from Car house 1. ©Mike Vega 2013 Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA.
Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. 100asa 120mm b/w film

1960's Ford Falcon. ©Mike Vega 2013 Orange Empire Railway Museum Parking Lot, Perris, CA.
Ansco Shur-Shot Jr. 100asa 120mm b/w film

So far, I like the little box camera. With no flash attachment, bulb setting, or sync outlet, this will be a daytime only camera, which is fine with me.

I did have to perform some minor shutter repair while I was initially cleaning it up, but everything seems to be working great now. I hope you enjoyed these shots.

'till next time.