The Lost Soles Series


The Lost Soles Series was created to highlight some of the powerful emotions and feelings that we all experience in life. This are piece was created entirely from the soles of old shoes. Each location - from an abandoned train, boat, and car to a bridge, deserted gas station and bust street was chosen to illustrate the myriad of ways that people feel lost.

Cinematography by @andrewwonder

Edited by @Calvin_herbst

Production Assistant @coll_lleen


The streets are the 6th backdrop for the Lost Soles Series.  I chose this location to illustrate how alone we can feel even when people around us are busy going about their lives.  The cars passing by are a blur of headlights in the darkness which symbolized how the world around us can be illuminated, even though we may feel there is no light within us. 


Runnin' on Empty

This old abandoned gas station is the 5th backdrop for the Lost Soles Series.  As we drove up I first noticed the enormous 24 hour service sign for a station that once provided gas and a cool drink to the weary travelers making the long journey through the desert.  I imagined what it looked like in it’s heyday, when its purpose was to refuel our cars and our bodies.  


It no longer serves that purpose.  Instead the gas pumps are empty, the store and grounds are overrun with discarded items and trash, angry graffiti covers its crumbling walls and the smell of urine permeates the desert air.


I chose this location as a visual to acknowledge the universal experience of what it feels like to be running on empty in our lives. Just like the abandoned car and old caboose previously showcased in the Lost Soles Series, my hope is that this old abandoned gas station prompts us to give an encouraging word, a kind smile, or any other gesture of love and hope to those who feel like they are running on empty.


Run Aground

This grounded fishing boat is the setting for the 4th backdrop in the Lost Sole Series.  How many times have we set a course for a life destination only to have our ship run aground?  Then when all seems hopeless the tide suddenly turns and we are able to continue our journey, albeit at times with a change of course or direction.

On July 28th, 2017 a commercial fishing boat out of Morro Bay was returning to port when it ran aground near Point Estero off the coast of Cayucos, California. Beyond the removal of hazardous materials, it was never salvaged and still remains today in its final resting place.   


While the Point Estero never had that opportunity, my hope is that this backdrop helps us realize that with life's twists and turns, at times all we need is to wait for a change of tide to embrace the opportunity that a new course provides. 

Above Photograph & Drone Video by Dennis Swanson
Studio 101 West Photography

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This old caboose is the 3rd backdrop in the Lost Soles series.  It no longer serves a purpose as a caboose but rests on a siding left to accumulate the multiple layers of graffiti on it’s faded and rusty shell. The doors are locked but you can peek in the window to seewalls covered in graffiti and piles of discarded trash.


It was chosen to symbolize the detachment we feel when our lives can become derailed.

Just like the abandoned car in #2 of this series, my hope is that this old caboose can serve as a reminder that we can give hope to those who are “sitting on the siding” feeling derailed in their lives.


A little history on this Caboose:

If you look closely on the side of the caboose you can see a police shield. In attempt to combat theft on trains, Southern Pacific painted a number of C-50-9 class caboose with police lettering and badge. Police or special agents rode in the caboose along with train crew to deter people from stealing or damaging railroad property .

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An abandoned car became the backdrop for the 2nd photo shoot in the Lost Soles series.  Each location in this series is chosen to portray the emotions a person experiences when they feel lost, hopeless or forgotten. 

This old car, left to rust in the elements with no hope of ever being useful again symbolizes the lost souls of the world, left behind because they are viewed as useless and so are easily forgotten.  Despite being essentially tossed aside as no longer valuable, the car has found a new purpose and meaning by simply drawing attention to it and viewing it in a different light. 

My hope with the Lost Soles series is that people are moved to reach out to those people, who like this car have been tossed aside, and see them in a different light as the valuable souls that we all are.​

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On the Road to Nowhere

The 1st in a series of Lost Soles photographs set in creative and innovated settings.  As soon as we walked on the bridge I knew this was was perfect spot.  This location was photographed on the Arroyo Hondo Old Hwy 101 bridge just south of Gaviota, California. The bridge was built in 1918 and was closed in the 1980's.

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