Lies and photographs.

They say in every great lie or conspiracy theory there’s always threads of truth. Yesterday’s post may have been mostly fiction but there are truths there, I did recently fuck up my shoulder, have spent a lot of time in that area shooting in the past couple years, and those photos were actually taken by me in an oak grove. But it was Amy, not a group of occultists I’d never met.

October 2014 Cheseboro Canyon Occult Second Edit-3403

My goal was not to deceive you, or cause your trust to waver. I had mild anxiety about those pics and that story going viral. But I have, however, been wanting to get a foggy morning in that oak grove for a while now. My goal with this shoot was, ahead of writing the text around the book I’m making for my fairy tales project, to see how text impacted photos.

See? In fog this shit is creepy as. Alas, there was no fog that morning. Credit to

See? In fog this shit is creepy as. Alas, there was no fog that morning. Credit to

The rest, not so much truth there – though those that did connect the obvious parallels to True Detective were half right. The inspiration for the visuals came from American Horror Story (though I’ve seen both of those shows.) There is, however, a real story akin to the events in True Detective down in Louisiana. Vice did a great piece on it, check it out here:


From True Detective.

I could have posted the photos without context or with the actual truth (Amy and I got up at 4:45 a.m. and drove out to a canyon nearby and shot using a costume I had made the night before. But that story isn’t half as interesting. No offense, Amy.) And I did take some liberty to be as sloppy as possible while still telling a cool story, which follow:

1. Photojournalist code of ethics explains that photographs must not be staged or manipulated (among other key points.) The picture is the picture, which is why the most remembered photographs through modern history are the ones taken by photojournalists. I processed the living hell out of those photos for effect. It worked. They’re absolutely terrifying.


2. There are no oak groves in the Mojave that I am aware of (further north past Ridgecrest toward Lone Pine in the eastern Sierras you do get some great canyons and lakes and forests though.)


I took this in Lone Pine after a hike through an incredible forest.

3. That I’d actually go into a forest with occultists. I won’t even get out of my car to get gas in Trona.

4. The manicure on the subject was flawless and is shimmering in one of the pics.

5. The files are called Cheseboro Canyon, which is in Calabasas. The only devil I know in that area is Bieber.

DSC_5326-Edit (2)

The only time I got out of my car in this little area of the Mojave was because Art and Iris were with me.

Anyway, it was a fun shoot, and Amy was an incredible sport to get up that early. We had originally planned for their to be fog (thanks, Weather Channel) but it was clear as anything. I liked creating a world beyond the visuals, or at least, a textual world that provided fodder for your imagination as you looked at them.

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