Author Archives

Mike Yost (Photographer/Writer)

I have a passion for words and photography (and craft beer . . . and weed). Just trying to be creative and experience the creativity of others before I'm kicked off this lonely planet. Death may nullify my body and brain, but (hopefully) not my art. I've been capturing snapshots of time and writing out the thoughts of fictional characters in my head since I was a kid. Maybe even younger! Not sure. It's hard to remember that far back. (I blame the weed.) I had the opportunity to pen a novel for grad school. Five characters. One narrative. Existential dread! You can purchase my first book, Remnants of Light, on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B00MZBT15C It's available in paperback if you want to be retro and ebook if you want to be modern. Personally I think there should be a stone tablet option.

Derelict Dreams

I took these photos inside several abandoned homes, and I was fascinated by the messages and artwork throughout the houses.

Echoes of the past.

Words that perhaps outlived their own scribes.

I experimented a little in post-production to reflect the decay I felt and experienced just walking through those deserted rooms.

Walls that once cradled happy (or not-so-happy) memories now housing empty spaces—spaces that followed me weeks after the shoot.

Tolland - get out of my house

Tolland - I hate the future

Tolland - Forever yours

Tolland - do not open!

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Cultivating Illumination

Greetings fellow humans!

I don’t really celebrate Christmas, but I absolutely LOVE Christmas lights.  (And there’s a slight color of irony here, as I usually take black & white photos.)

DBG - Xmas1

So, I wanted to share my jaunt through the Denver Botanic Gardens.

DBG - Xmas2

They set up some incredible light displays every year, lights that never fail to kindle the kid in me.

DBG - Xmas3

If you live in the Denver area, take a night out of your busy schedule and check it out.

DBG - Xmas4

These displays even managed to fascinate and elate a cold-blooded heathen like myself!

DBG - Xmas5

With that said:  Merry Christmas, Good Yule, Merry Mythmass, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and happy whatever else you believe in or don’t believe in.

Let’s just all agree that these lights are freaking awesome!

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

日本

Japan - storefront

I recently had the opportunity to visit Japan. An amazing country populated with some of the most kind and generous people I’ve ever met.

Japan - temple 1

And the Nigiri! I’ll forever be spoiled, as I don’t think I’ll ever taste Nigiri as good as it was in Tokyo.

Japan - woman

I plan on adding more photographs soon (still fighting jet lag), and I look forward to sharing my travel experiences, illuminating the diverse and eclectic global community we happen to be a part of.

We are more connected than we know!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Red Death

Skull_wm

“And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
—Edgar Allen Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Littleton Cemetery

Littleton Cemetery sign V2

Halloween is almost upon us!

I shot some photos in historic Littleton Cemetery for a local nonprofit. The cemetery’s records date clear back to 1869, with bodies buried on the same grounds long before there was any official cemetery.

Perhaps the cemetery’s most famous (or infamous) resident is that of Alfred Packer, better known as the Colorado Cannibal.  He consumed the flesh of his travel companions to survive a harsh winter in the Colorado Mountains.

Packer

You can learn more about Packer and his ghoulish dining habits in an article I wrote up for a local Colorado LGBT publication:  outfrontonline.com/news/the-gruseome-taste-of-colorado-alfred-packer-the-colorado-cannibal

Sky

Statue

Jones

I’ve always felt a sense of peace in cemeteries, a quietude that I rarely experience in any other environment.

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Silent Spaces

Tolland Abandoned Home - living room

 

Tolland Back of Abandoned Home

I took these at some abandoned houses in the Colorado Mountains.  There’s something fascinating to me about derelict buildings, these silent spaces where maybe children once giggled at the dinner table over a plate of uneaten carrots,  where perhaps a father or a mother wept alone in the shower over the loss of their own parents, where entire families once slept soundly beneath a vast canopy of timeless stars.

These silent spaces now an echo of lives lived, their home slowly retreating into the Earth.

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Right-of-Way

Tolland Double Rail

I took this near Tolland, Colorado.  The rail eventually runs under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel, linking Denver with Salt Lake City.  It’s intriguing to imagine the first train passing through the tunnel in 1928 on railroad lines still used today by Union Pacific.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Cementerio de la Recoleta

ARG Cemetery

I have a group of awesome friends in Buenos Aires who took me to the historic Cementerio de la Recoleta.  The cemetery dates back to the 1700s and is home to many exceptional Argentinians such as Eva Perón.  Beautiful and haunting, I could have spent an entire week there taking pictures.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Rocks of Light

Rocks of light_wm

There are days when I get a little more than agoraphobic.  I keep my curtains closed, turn off my cell phone, and shoot in my apartment.  Sometimes this results in objects fostering creative qualities I never saw before.

The above photo is a close-up of a clay lamp filled with sandstones which diffuse the light from a bulb buried beneath.  It’s one of my favorite hermit photos.  Maybe I should hide away from the world more often!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

 

Arc

Sydney Opera House
Experimenting with black and white textures using this iconic Australian landmark.  The opera house was fun to shoot, as some buildings are basically photo porn for photographers.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Antiquity / Modernity

Louvre_wm

I took this in February of last year. It was a crisp and gorgeous morning waiting to get into the Louvre. I’m certainly not the first to capture the juxtaposition of old and new architecture, but the contrast is so visually striking!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Bishop Tower

castle_sky

I took this years ago at Bishop Castle in the San Isabel National Forest, Colorado. The entire structure was built by one man, Jim Bishop. Definitely check this place out if you’re visiting Colorado.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Echoes of Light

Red lights stretch

“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”
—John Milton, Paradise Lost

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

As It Begins to Rain

I stare at the digital clock on the nightstand. It blinks 12:33am. A flashing of red light that splashes rhythmically onto the white walls of the bedroom. I roll onto my back, scratching at the stubble on my chin before stretching out my arm. The pillow next to me is cold. I run my fingers along taunt sheets still tucked and unwrinkled.

The sound of typing bleeds in under the bedroom door. I slowly crawl out of bed, but the room begins to tilt as I stand, and I fall into an oak credenza, gripping the wood, waiting for stillness to return. Waiting for a semblance of calm that has taken flight to somewhere unseen and unknown.

I rub the bandages wrapped tightly around my wrists as I glance out the window. Sullen storm clouds loom high above the city, their pregnant bellies illuminated yellow from the noise of street lights below. A gust of wind shakes the branches of a few Ash trees rooted in an empty park across the street, their trembling shadows dancing silently on freshly-cut grass.

The hardwood floor creaks under my bare feet as I walk down the hallway, pulling on a black t-shirt over my head. Jeremiah’s at his computer, blue light from the screen spilling over his bare, freckled shoulders. His shock of red hair standing almost upright.

I walk up behind him and lean down, wrapping my arms around his chest. He continues to type. I kiss the back of his neck, but Jeremiah leans forward.

“I need to work,” he says amid the ceaseless clacking of keystrokes.

“Have you eaten?”

More typing. The minutes slide away between each breath.

I turn and walk into the kitchen. The clock on the stove flashes 12:47 in green. The ignitor clicks loudly as I turn on the gas burner, pulling out a large skillet of leftover campanelle pasta from the refrigerator. The sharp smell of pesto crowds the kitchen walls. Ice cubes ring sharply as they fall into two tall glasses. I fill them both almost to the brim with cold green tea, then toast two slices of bread in the oven, adding butter and a pinch of garlic salt. I garnish both plates with fresh parsley.

“Food’s ready,” I say, standing behind Jeremiah.

More typing. “Not hungry.” The clicking of the mouse.

I’ve heard that time heals all wounds. That’s bullshit. A maddening lie. Rather, time pulls and tears at the tender edges of the delicate flesh. It festers into scars soon to be fastened forever on the surface of the skin. A piercing echo of a mistake that cannot be unmade.

I sit at the kitchen table next to an empty chair, slumped forward. It’s only after the ice cubes have melted that the typing stops. The hallway floor creaks behind me. The bedroom door shuts quietly. My fork scrapes loudly against the surface of the plate as I push the pasta around in circles, parsley tumbling to the linoleum floor.

The clock on the stove blinks 1:49 in green just before the power in the apartments shuts off. Yellow light trickles down the walls. A flash of lighting. Thunder rattles a framed picture hanging next to the refrigerator.

And for only a brief moment I saw us both smiling, standing on the summit of Mount Elbert, both of us covered in dust and sweat, my head resting on his freckled shoulder, his arm around my waist. The Rocky Mountains, ancient and timeless, stretching deep into the horizon behind us.

I hear tapping against the kitchen window. I glance outside as it begins to rain.

Fiction and Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015