Late Spring Images

17 05 2011

This is the main thoroughfare bisecting Riverton, Utah early Sunday morning.  Not a car in sight so I stepped out into the street for a little grin, grin, snap, snap of the deserted ro-wad.  That’s the Wasatch Mountains in the distance, the western-most range of the Rockies.  What you see to the right and way off in the distance behind everything is the peaks of Mt. Timpanogos.

This is an extreme close-up of the eyeball of an Arabian horse that lives next door.  She was leaning over the fence to eat the tall grass in our yard so I went out to feed her and got some good pictures.  This one got a good reflection of me in her eyeball hole.

Here she is chowin’ down

And one more just to show her beautiful smile.  She needs to learn not to chew with her mouth open.

Spring 2011 Photography by Vaughn Brown

9 04 2011

Here are some recent shots I’ve clickety clicked here and there over the past month or so. The weather has been so weird this spring! Isn’t it supposed to bring us warmth and flowers? We have rain and snow. Maybe I’ll get to the turning colors next month.

This is a photograph of a part of a drawing I did about twenty years ago. I used to draw a lot but when you stop doing something for a long time you lose it. I should start to draw or paint again. It’s a good outlet.

I’ve been playing this harp for a few months now. I’m not great, but I can fake it pretty well in bursts. Just don’t ask me to play with a band because I don’t know any songs and can barely play the C major scale on the thing.

Self portrait, need I say more?

I took this from inside the train while it was rounding a corner. I likes.

This amazing shot was taken just walking down the street in Riverton after a snow storm. The sky was clearing up and the mountains looked amazing. Utah has some of the most spectacular, natural beauty this planet has to offer. What a blessing it is to witness it every day.

This is part of another of my drawings. A collage of thought and the over-active imagination of youth.

This is the guitar I’ve been playing the last few months. I wish I caught on to guitar when I was younger the way I get it now. It makes sense now that I understand more theory and scales.

The blade

Does this need an explanation? I took it at the railroad tracks looking toward the capital building.

When you zoom in on your hand and enhance it with Photoshop a lot more lines show up than you see by just looking. I wonder what it all means.

My pal Chad’s incredible, quilted maple, Ibanez hollow body. I love this guitar, it sounds as good as it looks.

And last but not least…what does that even mean? These are my friends from the SLC band, Alias Code. L to R: Brian, Wes, Kajol, Joey, Chris. Amazing band, energy and talent.

Spencer Gee recently replaced Kajol as the vocalist and the band changed its name to The Stranger Beside Me.  I like the name a lot.


5 03 2011

During all the controversy I’ve created among my circle of friends and family with my thoughts and opinions I’ve come to find that they want sources for my insights.  I have failed to provide the sources of my research, therefore I am being accused of lying and making things up.

In the future I will start to cite my sources but for now I’ll say that all of what I have gathered has come from the study of a combination of sources.  Many of which will go against the  grain of many peoples comfort but these are my conclusions based on research of the best books I have found in life.  And one of the things I was taught as a child was to find truth from the best books, and I have held on to that as a standard of guidance for my life, to answer the questions I come up against throughout my trials and they have served me well as I now have inner peace and calm and I am in balance with what I believe is divine nature, God.

People in my life accuse me of many things but I have come to this by work, research, experience, living life, making mistakes, making choices, exercising reason and applying these things to my daily life.  These are all the things the people in my life who are accusing me of wrong doing are telling me to do, and I do them, and these are the results.  So why are they pointing fingers at me?  I think the confusion is with them, not with me.  I am fine and I am free.

My primary sources are the cannon of scripture from the LDS church.  The King James version of the bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, along with many translations of ancient Egyptian writings from the times of the pharaohs.  I also follow after the philosophies of the ancient Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, coupled with the reason and integrity of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams and George Washington.

Recently I have been privileged to have been enlightened by the teachings of Dr. Bruce Lipton, a microbiologist who has done stem cell research  since 1967 and who has pioneered the new bio-science of epigenetics.

Thanks for following along.  Comments are welcome,  please check your anger at the door.  This is discussion of important matters that pertain to life.  Humor is welcome always!

(top image used without artist permission)

Photographic beauty of rusting Steele

25 01 2011

I took this shot as I walked across the Steele bridge in Portland, OR last spring. This is an old and rusty drawbridge; a railroad bridge and a narrow two lane bridge for cars. It’s called the Steele bridge not because of its construction material but because Steele is the name of the street that runs across the bridge.

Photography and Art of Vaughn Hocksworth Brown

24 01 2011

This is an image I created using a photograph of my friend Cydney‘s eye.  She has the most alluring and beautiful blue eyes.  They are as captivating as she is.  I overlayed an image of a drawing I did back in college.  I call this image The Eyes Have It.  A dumb title but fitting.

I shot this at Yellowstone back in the summer of 2006.  My friend Lance and I saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Delta Center and drove all night to Yellowstone right after the show for a week of getaway and soul finding with nature.  What an experience that was.  Yellowstone captured my heart that week and I captured this picture.

My bro, Kajol.  His name is Aaron but we all call him Kajol, and he has a son he named Kajol for real.  He sings for a band called Alias Code and used to sing for Separation of Self before the breakup.  We did this photo shoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats, one of my favorite spots on the planet.  Kajol cut his dreads after 14 years.  He’s now a handsome respectable looking fellow who is having a slight identity crisis with the new, clean cut image.

I took this picture downtown Portland, Oregon in a parking garage.  The orange wall was a brilliant color with the black sign and stark white lettering.  Nothing special about the photo itself but I love the  lines and  color.

My friend, Leah.  She was dancing at a barn party when I snapped this pic.  She wasn’t posing, it just came out so nicely.   A nice seductive and accidental pose, I love it.  She’s a beautiful and statuesque woman, complex and wonderful.  I’d love to do a photo shoot with her.  Maybe I should ask!

A shot I took at the Art Walk in northeast Portland in the spring of 2010.  Brass Armonica was performing their musical and visual style of expression.  It was something I can dig but not something I could get into myself without large doses of mind altering chemicals.  They made for great photography subjects though!

This is the road that leads to the Bonneville Salt Flats.  It seems there is always a storm brewing in the distance while this long and lonesome road leads to the beautiful purity of the snow white plains that are the salt flats.  It is a spectacular thing to behold.

This is a silly picture but I like the colors and lighting.  Back in 2007 I was invited to the wedding of a sorority sister of my then girlfriend.  She was given the task of choosing the shoes for the bridesmaids.  I took this picture to show all the bridesmaids the subtle differences between the two pairs of shoes.  That woman taught me an appreciation for womenfolk’s shoes.

Psalter Drums – The Drum Photo Shoot

3 01 2011 is the result of an idea that came about from many journeys to the Bonneville Salt Flats. That place has become, to me much like the desert of southern California was to Jim Morrison.

This whole idea came about on my forty first birthday. Not exactly the idea to do a photo shoot at the Salt Flats itself but that is where it all began.

Me and my pal, Lance started the evening in late September of 2006 in Park City with dinner and a stroll through some art galleries, then we went down to Club Vegas in Salt Lake City where we saw Soulfly, a band fronted by the former front man of Sepultura, Max Calavera. There were some opening bands and one of them was Wicked Wisdom, a band fronted by one Jada Pinkett Smith, wife to Will Smith and Mother to this generation’s Karate Kid. Also in the band, Phillip D. Fish of the legendary LA post-punk ska/skate/funk/punk and otherwise completely soulfulified band called Fishbone.

So me and Lance slide on up to the club and park his subcompact SUV down the street just as the weather starts to turn on us. It was a nice day but being the first day of fall, the Great Salt Lake decided it would hand us a little gift of weather and sent a lake effect hail shower right over the venue.

So just as me and Lance are walking up to the doors and past back-stage, Wicked Wisdom is tearing down from their set. But the drums and gear are sitting out back and the weather is upon us.

Now all we know at this point is that there are bands at this club and we made it there in one piece, or two pieces if we need to be technical. We don’t know who Soulfly is or who the opening bands are. We were just invited to show up because our good friend and fellow drummer, Jason Thompson of Massacre at the Wake told us it would be a ‘sick’ metal show that would not want to miss.

Now, me and Lance are not fans of metal by any means at this point in our lives, we completely don’t get it, but we are game to dig on some new music at any time because new music is always an opportunity and hey, I heard of Sepultura!

So the hail starts pouring down and some large black man calls to me and Lance for help grabbing a tent cover type device to protect their drums and cabs from the elements. Now, suddenly I’m not just showing up to the gig unaware of what is going on but I’m now schlepping Phillip D. Fish’s orange sparkle OCDP kit into their truck and helping cover the rest of the gear with this giant picnic tent cover thing.

So we have done our Boy Scoutly duty for the day and he thanks us and we are treated as part of the crew from that point forward. The club brass let us walk right in back stage. It was my first time at this venue and I was turning my head on a swivel like you do when you go into a crowded and chaotic backstage club for the first time.

So I’m trying to squeeze between people and it strikes me as a little bit strange that there is this group of black dudes who are totally chill and totally metal and suddenly I bumped into a tiny little black woman with braided hair and I turned my head and said, “pardon me”. And she said, “Oh, excuse me” back.

I glanced at her and thought to myself, damn that woman is gorgeous! I mean it was dark but there were lights casting shadows and her skin was like chocolate silk and her eyes took my breath away and hers smile was out of this world, but I kept on walking and didn’t think twice about it.

So we watched Soulfly play and they kicked all sorts of ass and we were baptized into the metal church of Salt Lake City that evening and after the show my pal Jason says to me, ‘Did you see Jada Pinkett earlier?”

Then it dawned on me. Wow, that was her. And I didn’t even know it. And I started putting the puzzle together and realized what we had stumbled through to get into this show and save a thirty five dollar ticket price by being two dumbasses who walked up at the right time to save the gear from a hail storm.

So what does this all have to do with the Salt Flats? I’m getting to it, good things take time and patience is required to appreciate the full goodness.

So we get home and crash out about 2:30am and bright and early the next morning I wake up at 8:30, zing! And I wander into Lance’s bedroom where he is cutting some serious lumber and I said, “Dude, you wanna do me a favor?”. And he responds with, “Gimme a minute.”

So I went back out to the living room and took it easy until he figured his way back to life and when he appeared in full regalia I told him, “Let’s go to the Salt Flats.”

We had never been at this point and his response was of course to just go with the flow as we always did and so we grabbed a couple of beverages and the required tuneage and began our journey westward.

On the way out there we got a little ahead of ourselves and had to pull over to the rest area. Lance had been driving highway speeds and has a history of driving highway speeds through rest areas and parking lots as he enters them, and this was no different. So not paying attention and just trying to get into a parking stall as immediately as possible, we are ten feet from the curb and realize we are still doing fifty so he slams on the brakes and the car skids up over the concrete barrier and onto the sidewalk and we both open our doors at the same time and fall out of the car laughing in hysterics.

Fortunately, and in typical fashion for what always goes down when we create epicness, nobody was there to witness or bust on us.

So we bounce on in to the lavatory to relieve ourselves before this adventure to the Salt Flats, of which we were completely unaware of it’s impending awesomeness, and we’re wizzing and laughing and some old guy, seriously must have been eighty walks in while we’re wiping tears from our eyes and washing our hands and I look at him and sort of feel like I need to apologize for being so irreverent and I said, “We’re just having a good ol’ time this afternoon, how are you doing?”

And he said the right thing, as an old man would in his wisdom and years. His reply was perfect. He just said to us, “Well, you gotta express yourselves!”

And that we did.

But the next thing that happened actually made double over in laughter even harder than I was already being twisted. I said to Lance, “Hey, when I asked you this morning would you do me a favor, what were you thinking I was going to ask?”

Without hesitation and in classic Lance straight faced form he smoothly replied, “I thought you were gonna ask me to kill a guy for you but then I remembered my trident was at the dry cleaners.”

That was it; if I had diapers on they would have been utilized.

So we went on to the Salt Flats and in driving out there it’s about a three mile long road that is just like a levy with no water on either side with an asphalt road built up on top. When you first go out there it’s just like a regular desert, but then you get to the end of the road and drop onto the Bonneville Salt Flats and everything changes.

And we hit the skids at about seventy miles an hour. We weren’t wasting any of our precious time and we were listening to Jimi Hendrix’s Axis Bold as Love and I fondly remember All Along the Watchtower playing as we increased our speed and hit a remarkable 120 mph on that smooth white surface and just kept on flying.

We were in orbit man, it was spectacular, like nothing we expected and nothing we even thought of before it happened, we just did it. So we are hauling balls across these crystal white plains and all I kept saying was, “Just don’t turn, man. Just don’t turn.”

Then after about ten minutes of full on all out pedal to the metal speed, Lance hit the brakes and skidded to a stop as Voodoo Child started playing and we once again, just as we did at the rest area, fell out of the car but this time we left the tunes cranked and we started wandering around the vastness of the Salt Flats and dancing as I chopped down the mountains with the edge of my hand.

Epic-ness had ensued and a love for the Salt Flats was born that day.

I took many other trips out there after that with friends, day and night, with my children and nothing compared to that day until this one, when we came to shoot the drums.

It wasn’t the speed or the music this time, it was the beauty and the handling of the elements we did with our faith in creating the sky and lighting for the shoot that made this one so spectacular. It was storming in Salt Lake City and trees were falling, power was being lost throughout the valley and we were going by faith that the good Lord would provide us with the environment we needed for the perfect shoot.

And we got it.

Here’s the site –>

(image of Jada Pinkett Smith used without permission)

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