• Berto Centofante

Cameras, Beers, and Photographers

Joshua Tree is the land of antique shops, old buildings, rocks, trees, and photographer meetups. I'm not sure if the last one is a typical staple of Joshua Tree, but it was over this past weekend. Thanks to two Instagram accounts that I follow, The Darkroom Lab and Beers and Cameras, I saw that a meetup was being held for camera nerds from all around to gather.

Anyone Im close with knows me going to meet up with complete strangers is usually the last thing I would ever do; some would even say it's something I would generally have to be paid for to attend. How I was in a fraternity still doesn't make too much sense to me.

Nonetheless, I decided that from what I saw in these two Instagram accounts, the people who went to these gatherings seemed to be cool people who just really love photography, primarily analog. I decided to step outside of my usual comfort zone and head out into the desert; I brought my girlfriend Kelley because everyone likes her.

Once I got out to Joshua Tree, the first meetup was at this Red Saloon bar; I saw the group of photographers all sitting around with beautiful cameras and probably 25% of the world's xpans. I walked into the bar, far too nervous at first to just approach this group of photo takers. My introverted ways told me to keep my head down and hope someone came up to me. Which is a terrible way to go into a group meetup of all amiable and relaxed people; luckily, Kelley was there and told me to just go talk to people.

It turned out to be one of the most fun socializing events I've been to in a very long time. The night was full of looking at incredible cameras, and talking to interesting people. It was the first time in a long time there was nothing negative about the world being brought up in conversation; it was all about the joy of photography and gear.

I would be lying to say I wasn't a tad excited when I met Jason Roman 'Stockezy'. His work with Jason Momoa and Harley Davison is genuinely some of the coolest images I've seen. I was also aware of some of the more prominent youtube photographers who were in attendance, all incredibly nice; their videos are what make a community of photographers grow and learn.

Overall I haven't been so happy to step out of my comfort zone in a long time; I hope to go to more meetups and meet more photographers and exciting people. I haven't even mentioned the dude with the small beer can for his camera lens; he deserves his own story.

Here are some of the photos I made over the weekend

Leica mp

Kodak Gold 200