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Beyond Limbo

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 5 December 2010 in Lifestyle & Culture and Portfolio.

Model Ines at the Brookdale Lodge - Brookdale, California

This old Inn along State Highway 9 north of Santa Cruz has seen better days. The scene of countless weddings, proms, birthdays, graduations, bar-mitzvahs, retirements, reunions, and so on - The Brookdale now just seems old and long on neglect.

In its day - The Brookdale was impressive. On a hillside, the large dinning room stands along the cascades of a large and free-flowing creek. The dinning room lines both sides of the stream with various bridges and decks straddling tiny waterfalls the length of the room. The tall wood-beamed roof holds large light fixtures on chains above the tables.

In contrast - the adjoining bar had a low ceiling and was dark and intimate - save for this thick window that ran along the opposite wall. Behind the window was a swimming pool. At night - scantly clad young women would swim in the pool for the entertainment of those imbibing at the bar.

The Brookdale is still there. Still operating. Still hanging on. On weekend nights - I somehow doubt the parking lot is now overflowing with the Packards, DeSotos, Cadillacs, and Lincolns that once squeezed their way along the winding road to get here.

It is a weekday afternoon and we find Ines - reclined in the light of the empty pool - in a quiet and darkened Brookdale Lodge.

Paradise - Beyond Limbo...

(archive image - October 2008)

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Peaceful image! I like the composition of lines and the relaxed pose of the model.

5 Dec 2010 7:59am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

love the mood

5 Dec 2010 9:37am

k@ from Paris, France

Superb in B&W, love how both match here.

5 Dec 2010 10:07am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Nice light

5 Dec 2010 10:42am

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Heeere's Johnny!

Your description reminds of the hotel in The Shining. Your model is no Jack Nicholson but the image is just as evocative of an old movie. Nice one Stephen!

5 Dec 2010 3:06pm

@Ted: I read an interesting magazine essay suggesting that Kubrick used "The Shining" as a metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans during the European rapid expansion into, and settlement of, The American West.

Indian symbolism was everywhere throughout the hotel (think mountains of Calumet Baking Powder cans stacked in the hotel kitchen). Nicholson's 'Heeeere's Johnny' is reported to have been an ad lib - yet fits the metaphor ('When Johnny Comes Marching Home').

I loved Stanley Kubrick and 'The Shining' is among his very best films. Thanks for the visit, Ted.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

fascinating...I need to watch it again soon!

5 Dec 2010 4:08pm

David from Detroit, United States

An interesting shot, especially with the model contrasted against the unused swimming pool. I wonder if the frayed condition of the inn is because it needs to be restored, or because it is a concept from another era.

5 Dec 2010 4:18pm

@David: A good deal of both. The place is so very 'Sixties' - You could see a "Mad Men" meeting here - especially with the bikini girls in the pool. It seems a place past by in time. I have some images with Ines that shows the dining room - I'll try to post one soon.

Phil Morris from Saskatoon,, Canada

It does seem lonely and it is carried somewhat in the photo, the feeling of loss.
Great to use it as one of the scenes of your portrait settings.

5 Dec 2010 5:11pm

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

This is a great B&W, I like the composition and the great contrasts. Enjoy your weekend :)

5 Dec 2010 5:27pm

alex centrella from California, United States

one of my favorite places to go..brings back alot of memories in Santa Cruz ...

5 Dec 2010 6:01pm

Sonia Nansid from Barcelona Stockholm, Sweden


5 Dec 2010 6:13pm

Longroute from Cagliari, Italy

Great photo and excellent W&B!
Even if it's not my genre I appreciate it a lot. really a good management of the light.

5 Dec 2010 6:33pm

willow from Chelsea, United States

Great use of lights and shadows. I like the lines as well - mostly parallel and perpendiculr with the diagonals of her arm an leg breaking up the pattern - intriguing.

5 Dec 2010 6:38pm

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

I like this feel in black and white and the deep tones are fantastic! Hope you're having a great December Stephen!

5 Dec 2010 6:44pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

really lovely moody image

5 Dec 2010 7:39pm

Laurent from not far from Lyon, France

very good light management and great portrait

5 Dec 2010 7:42pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Fantastic light and pose. Sadly it looks like you had the place to yourselves.

6 Dec 2010 12:51am

@Ralph Jones: We did - but you can't read anything into that. It was a Wednesday afternoon - we had permission to shoot. The lounge and restaurant were closed.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A wonderful image in luminous B&W!

6 Dec 2010 3:10am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Really nice, Stephen. I like it.

6 Dec 2010 4:13pm