I’m addicted to road trips. I do them a little different as I never have a final destination or set goals. Avoiding travel guides is very important because they structure vision and pre-condition the way you think of a place you haven’t seen before. I want to avoid outside influence. I trust my instincts when it comes to photography. I’ll fly to a city I haven't visited, rent a car and head out on the road with no goal other than returning to the same airport after a certain number of days to fly back home. I hit the road to see what’s out there. Every road trip I've taken has been inspirational and fun. It's also good to be reminded once in awhile how fortunate I was to have been born in the U.S.A.

I like the back roads more than the highways but I had been driving in this storm for a while and it was getting dark so I thought the highway would offer more opportunities to find a room for the night.

To shoot another sunset it has to be something really different and this one was… maybe even for a meteorologist. I pulled into the median of the highway to capture the sun breaking over the mountains. Traffic coming toward me on the other side of the highway had turned on their lights because they were entering the storm. I took this shot handheld. Using a slow shutter speed and a rather wide aperture combined with the rain, put a nice glow on their headlights. This one shot alone made the whole trip worthwhile.

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I was standing in this spot looking at Andy Warhol's silk screen of Marilyn Monroe at the Broad in downtown L.A. I actually visualized this photograph as this woman worked her way along the wall toward me with her cell phone in hand. In a glance I knew she wanted to snap a photo of Marilyn. I turned away as I got my cell phone out of my pocket and made a U-turn behind her. She took a few seconds to carefully center her photo so I had time to take two shots before she moved on. My second shot was best because the image on her cell phone came in much better. It's a cool shot that reminds me 'The more things change, the more they stay the same'.

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It seems that for the last 20 years or so I have been in a constant battle to keep my weight down. Eating between meals is a definite NO. Eating a Hot Dog between meals, for me, is tantamount to a sacrilege. It’s the worst thing I could ever eat, but on this day my travels took me right past Pink’s on La Brea Ave. in Los Angeles. I don’t know how I let this happen. I should have known better. I found a parking spot instantly which didn’t help either so there I was… behind this guy waiting to place my order for a big, fat, calorie laden, but juicy Hot Dog.

As I waited, I was consumed with guilt and ready to head back to my car. Just as I was about to break from the line, I noticed the tattoo on the back of this man’s neck in front of me. It said: “Life is short. Eternity isn’t.” -- GOD

Suddenly, the line seemed to move faster and yes, on this special day, a Hot Dog (but just one) would be OK.

Del Ryder

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