This old character is well known in the California section of Route 66 near Barstow. Elmer Long is the Bottletree man who created this forest of bottle trees. The forest stretches further than you can see in this picture. There also numerous other items that he has collected such as old pieces of machinery and typewriters. Elmer started his bottle trees in 2000 as a way of using his fathers collection of colourful bottles. Elmer warmly welcomes visitors who travel Route 66 rather than the faster interstate highway. He expects no payment to view this unique collection. Recently Elmer fractured his hip and was struggling to recover without surgical intervention. A truely wonderful place to find in the desert, and as an added extra attraction Hummingbirds were everywhere.
Critiques | Translate
krzychu30 (12605) 2013-08-18 2:10
amazing place,isn´t it?I´ve seen it already on pictures of other TE members,who visited this unique place,but you´ve approached to the subject a little bit differently.And I like it very much as you show us the man who stands behind this original work of art.
Nice composition and interesting note about this place.
Have a nice sunday
SnapRJW (23538) 2013-08-18 2:36
Hello Ann - I seem to remember this man and his bottles featuring on an episode of Billy Connelly's Route 66. A wacky but fascinating place! I'm looking at this shot on the beta version as the details are simply lost on the smaller upload; here through there is so much to hold the viewer's interest and the shot comes to life. I like the way you have positioned Elmer to one side of the frame and we see his wonderful bottle trees behind him. I'd love to wander around here! Have a good Sunday Rosemary
subhendu_bagchi (20976) 2013-08-18 3:46
he is really an interesting character... Very efficient craftsman who can do such a garden made by bottles. Nice re-use of these in such poetic view. You presented his garden with him placing him off centred in the frame. A nice colourful image. Thanks for sharing the story and image of this artist.
Gigidusud (10158) 2013-08-18 3:48
Hello my neighbor today,
Original work of art, amazing place and incredible character. Well done!
Have a nice sunday Ann.
tyro (15679) 2013-08-18 3:57
This is another picture which looks so very much better at larger size and higher resolution on the "beta" version of TE.
You have composed this picture perfectly and caught Elmer with a peaceful and contented expression which certainly seems to capture his mood perfectly. I rather suspect that he was a delightful man but also, perhaps, a slightly sad one.
Despite the fact that Elmer's face is in shade, you have managed the light here extremely well and we can still see full details of that wonderful bearded face of his. The background forest of "Bottle Trees" is delightful and lets us see this man in perfect context.
An interesting note too: the poor fellow must really have suffered from that fractured hip without any surgical intervention - or perhaps the poor chap couldn't afford the considerable cost of it?
everlasting (14023) 2013-08-18 4:11
I've seen this man and his bottletree ranch before, maybe on TV. Really nicely composed with the owner taking the attention but leaving much space to his art.
Sergiom (45308) 2013-08-18 4:47
C'est probablement le fantasme de tous les gens de ma génération que de faire la Route 66 pour découvrir toutes ces choses particulières aux régions traversées. Cet homme est probablement dans les plus originaux. Le cadrage est superbe.
macondo (18461) 2013-08-18 5:01
An excellent note about this marvellous individual and his gallery of 'trees'. I think the photo is beautifully composed/cropped, incredibly sharp, and controls the quite harsh light very well. His face is shaded, but there's enough detail there to garner some impression of his personality - looking into the distance, with determination as well as a hint of wistfulness. He's obviously a 'singular man'.
timecapturer (36978) 2013-08-18 5:08
I have been to Barstow a few times and really wished I had seen this amazing place. It looks fascinating and this study of the artist in amongst his work is just wonderful.
Enjoy a peaceful Sunday - Brian.
limielski (2571) 2013-08-18 5:40
A very interesting, individual character and crazy but cool idea :-)
This is fantatic composition. This man has an extremely beard what makes that hi is more interesting. TFS
Have a nie Sunday!
ikeharel (43903) 2013-08-18 6:27
Planting a unique forest, Ann, this bearded man - sure a unique character he is.
Fine photojob done on a bright daylight and exquisite small elements shown, useing all kind of metal-scraps as trees - no watering ever needed...
ourania (18532) 2013-08-18 6:54
this garden reminds me of the house and garden created by a very interesting artist from South Africa, introduced on TE by Rosemary. I don't know if Elmer had an artistic vision but he has created a fascinating site with a lot of photographic opportunities. I like very much the way you've placed him next to his creation giving us a very clear and accurate idea about him and his creation. He's calm and gentle despite the hardship. The illumination, depth and detail definition of your picture are marvellous. The colours have an amazing, refreshing naturalness. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
goodwill (4879) 2013-08-18 7:33
Just click this link and see the beauty of the shot. Absolutelt clear with dynamics and highlights. Following Rosemary's link, I did try the beta version and difference is vast.
How assertive and confident this gentleman is, only beta version can tell.
holmertz (31226) 2013-08-18 9:52
This is an excellently composed picture with very good colours and nicely handled light. Collecting all these bottles seems to me a very original hobby, requiring a lot of space for storage. Transforming them into these installations is no less original. This man must be quite a character. A very interesting photo.
bayno (18334) 2013-08-18 10:19
the picture is really unusual, it seems the scene of a film, the character is also very extravagant, then all those trees with branches made from bottles, excellent sharp and framing, good colors and light...excellent reportage...
emka (64124) 2013-08-18 23:07
Hi Ann, It must be fascinating place and great to hear from this man about his passion. He had a big colection of the colourful bottles! Amazing forest. Superb portrait of the old man.
Have a nice week
marabu61 (5863) 2013-08-19 0:04
You put the excentric Elmer Long beautifully in context with his artwork here. The portrait of the man is very good and there are so many interestng things going on in this picture, from the old machinery in the foreground to the forest of bottled trees.
have a great week
macjake (45574) 2013-08-19 4:21
I found it rather funny that your previous post from Route 66 now has 66 pts! haha
I'm sure this will hit 66 aswell :)
seems as if there are never ending sights along this route. and this may be one of the better ones, especially when you include Elmer in the scene.
not to poke fun at the man, thats certainly not my intention, but doesn't the name Elmer just suit this fellow perfectly :)
great photo to show this 'work' and dedication.
another wonderful photo for TE
does route 66 start from Chicago? Just wondering if i could do a trip where i fly to chicago from Vancouver, spend a few days there, then drive route 66 back?
mesutilgim (72900) 2013-08-19 23:51
Learning the World through photography ! This entry is a perfect sample for this mission of TE .
Elmer himself is a real "character" but the artwork he has created is just amazing and a perfect sample that the human's phantasy has not any limits.
TFS and best regards
Royaldevon (21379) 2013-08-20 14:11
I have seen this bottle forest on tv.
It must have been great to see it in reality.
I like how you have included Elmer in the photograph. He looks very much like an old prospector from the movies! He does help to set the scene.
The shot is well composed and you have used a good dof to ensure viewers are able to absorb all these amazing details.
My warm regards,
Cricri (92095) 2013-08-21 5:02
Vraiment un plaisir de faire sa connaissance via ta photo, Elmer mérite d'être connu, pour tout ce qu'il représente, sa sympathie, son accueil, et sa création qui vont le coup d'il, très belle présentation et portrait de Elmer :-)
mkamionka (27051) 2013-08-21 12:43
very interesting reportage from you trip to the US. You show very original views and less known aspects of this route. I have never heard about this place before. What I liked in California were the lemon bottle brush trees. They were blooming all the time and indeed attracted plenty of hummingbirds. I loved to watch them during my lunch breaks at the campus.
Lovely portrait here, very well done,
mjw364 (6142) 2013-08-22 9:03
What an interesting sight this must have been! Great documentary style capture of this man and his work.
serp2000 (33061) 2013-08-22 10:23
Wow! What so impressive installation, Ann! I think it is not so bad way to use the old bottles. Good report from this amazing place, Ann!
best wishes from the warm Ural,
Glint (5911) 2013-08-22 12:04
this is the perfect TE photo. Interesting, showcasing others' creativity and a good composition too. I just love this kind of off-the-wall creativity. Good ole Elmer, three cheers for Elmer!
Does this give me an excuse to indulge in more wine? I'm going to post a link to this on my facebook page, so if you get lots of extra views you'll know why
Nicou (105679) 2013-08-24 6:58
Quelle belle barbe cet homme toute blanche sueprbe compo et vue et toutes ces décorations en fond comme des arbres quelle originalité et captage erveilleux splendide vue.
Bravo et maitié
drt100 (2029) 2013-08-24 14:18
Wow, a really interesting place and an interesting person. Nice overall view of both the "trees" and Elmer. People do unique things ... TE allows us the opportunity to share really interesting things we see.
adidas5nb (2863) 2013-08-26 23:22
thanks for sharing this amazing pic and man.love the pov and the place.
Pietrow (270) 2013-08-26 23:57
The world is amazing, with its quirks. With people who have a different vision than the standard. You showed it perfectly.
nikkitta (8885) 2013-08-27 14:25
I am discovering with you the route 66, so never saw this person and the forest of bottles
A great composition where you manage to show Elmer looking cool and calm in your direction and his incredible collection
Good to add the informative note
Congrats and TFS
boa (4605) 2013-08-30 0:55
very interesting man and place to visit. I appreciate people and places like this and i know a few similar people in Sweden. Good shot of this man with his collection in the background, crisp and clear with good colors, tfs!
Have a nice day.
tatadalou (3975) 2013-09-21 14:44
This place looks really extravagant, it might be surprising to see this kind of "forest" in the middle of nowhere ! I like the way you included the artist before his creations, he seems so proud to share ! Nice job !