tom fowlks photography


when my dad & i went out to see these land art pieces first hand, we started with Michael Heizer’s ‘Double Negative’, as that’s one of the destinations closer to LA.  but we took it quite a bit further.  out to Utah and beyond the well known Bonneville Salt Flats.  of course, nearly anything can be found on the internet.  it’s getting there that is sometimes still the challenge.  Nancy Holt’s 'Sun Tunnels’ proved to be one of these destinations.  looking back, it was a pleasant drive and a very meditative location.  

created between 1973-76, the 'Sun Tunnels’ consist of 4 large concrete tunnels 18’ long and 9’ in diameter. they are arranged in an “X” configuration to total a length of 86’.  the tunnels are aligned to coincide with the sunrise & sunset of the summer and winter solstice.  they also provide a subtle study of the intensity of the desert sun as they are the only place to hide w/in miles.  once inside the tunnels, the play of light thru varying holes can be seen when the constellations of Capricorn, Draco, Perseus and Columbo are formed on the interior walls.  the diameters of the holes vary in relation to the magnitude of the stars they represent.  of the tunnels, Holt said ’It’s an inversion of the sky/ground relationship-bringing the sky down to the earth.’

there’s a bit of theory on them.  i can add that getting to them is a surreal experience in itself and spending the night out there, under a full moon, well … . that was something special.  

Great Basin Desert, UT - 3/2010

Portland is a great place for coffee. ask anyone you find there and they can point you towards an outstanding coffee spot.  this place was down the way from Stumptown Coffee, a very well known emporium in that city.  it’s not famous like Stumptown, but it should be.  it’s actually right across from the entrance to Voodoo Donuts.  and if you’re having a donut from Voodoo, you’ll need a coffee afterwards.  immediately.

this guy understood exactly what i wanted when i said a “large coffee please”.  imagine that.

Portland, Or. - 4/2012


here’s 2 other shots of Chip that i really liked for the story.   don’t get me wrong, i love what they chose, but i still feel strong for these 2.  he just looks either so impossibly cool (up top), or like the most fun guy in hundreds of miles (down below).

that’s his work that he’s posing with in both photos.  don’t know about Chip Thomas and his work … . look that sucker up!!  he’s awesome!

shot for Men’s Journal - 8/2013

here it is! the Octopus Tree.  there’s a sign that explains:

‘the forces that shaped this unique Sida Spruce (Picea sitchensis) have been debated for many years. whether natural events or possibly Native Americans were the cause remains a mystery.  the tree measures more than 46ft in circumference and has no central trunk.  instead limbs extend horizontally from the base as much as 16ft. before turning upward.  it is 105ft tall and is estimated to eb 250-300yrs old.’

and i’ll tell you what, a tree like this needs a sign.  worth every step of the walk to go see this tree.  it makes you think a deal w/ the devil may have been hashed out nearby and this was an after effect of that dark moment.

Cape Meares State Park, OR. - 4/2012

bit of catch up on here.  been busy lately and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with posting to a blog.  you can’t just post willy nilly.  or at least i can’t.  got to be in the mood and feel it.

this is from last week.  i got called down to San Diego to shoot for a helicopter company based down there.  i couldn’t say no.  i love flying in helicopters and shooting from them even more.

this shot was one of the pilots ideas.  get about 20-30 ft and hover while the passengers load into the other helicopter that we’ll be shooting  on the evening flight.  i loved it the moment i heard it.  the guy seemed stoned (not a terribly comforting observation of your helicopter pilot), but he had vision.  i missed the passengers, but got the limousine driver walking away in the late day light.  for a moment, it stopped being a cheesy lifestyle shoot for a company and became a fragment of a Jason Bourne story, a James Bond film.


the counter and adorning walls inside Sam’s Bar-B-Que.  that picture of Stevie Ray Vaughn on the wall is not just a ‘celebrity, i ate here’ post.  this was absolutely Stevie Ray’s favorite BBQ spot in Austin and maybe even for a large radius.  i’m not sure what that says, but it must be something.

Sam’s Bar-B-Que, Austin, TX. - 11/2012

while it was certainly fun watching them take off.  it was quite impressive to see these A380s up close (and we did get closer, but we’re gonna wait for that.  gotta edit that file yet).

here’s an Australian Air A380 in a hanger for a bit of maintenance.  just looks beautiful with everything so light and pale and that beautiful graphic design on the tail sticking out of the hangar.  it was pointed out to me by my friend who’d come along for the ride, but it was hard to miss for sure.  just gorgeous.

LAX - 6/2012


who doesn’t love a nice waterfall on the coast.  down in California, this is an unusual sight and nearly constitutes state park mandate.  cross the state line and it’s nearly a common occurrence (i suppose it’s called ‘Cape Meares State Park’, which supports the cause that it is an unusual occurrence after all)

Cape Meares State Park, OR. - 4/2012

alright … i’m beyond exhausted finally.  i’ve just come back from 2 weeks in NYC (sleeping on what may have been the worst couch ever! and NO! i did not waste my time photographing that).  it’s like 4am there right now, just about time for little people to start waking up.

i’m ready to really sleep and sleep well.  might need a little snack first since that’s all i had on the flight and there was a 2-3hr delay too.

but there’s this ‘cave’ still to think about …. 

Oceanside, OR. - 4/2012