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Cabin Fever

intense melancholy. Indeed, such photographic subject matter has become a genre, Urban Exploration (UrbEx), creating apparitionlike compositions of derelict structures, mood-laden memorials to their former occupants. Such are the remains of the Imperial Holly Sugar refinery plant in Betteravia, an abandoned town west of Santa Maria. In 1988, the plant suffered a major explosion and fire, critically injuring eight employees. Holly closed the refinery in 1993, demolishing most of the buildings, but leaving behind two towering, hermetically sealed silos. Besta recognized that these ominous, rusting structures were an ideal UrbEx subject. Against a distant cobalt blue sky of foamy clouds, one can almost hear the clank of boots on the rusty ladders and catwalks. The gigantic silos bring to mind the industrial dystopia of the silent film classic, Metropolis. From the more distant past, deserted mining towns still dot the western landscape. Rhyolite, near the California/Nevada border and east of Death Valley National Park, was abandoned in the 1920s. It lives on through its ruins that served as backdrops to Hollywood films. It also is a popular subject for landscape photographers. The industrial origins of the town place it within the interests of UrbEx-ers, and Besta, who also loves to photograph the desert, made her way to the arid region, producing bleak, densely textured images of commercial ruins and human detritus. One of her strongest Rhyolite images is “Cabin Fever,” depicting the blown-out interior of a decaying residence. HDR is here highly effective in capturing the distinct wood grain of the weathered and warped floorboards, beams and planks of the shadowed interior, not to mention the bedspring and toppled stove. Who slept and cooked here? In the five years since Besta invested in a digital camera ($3,000) and costly digital studio, she has mastered HDR and honed her vision. For me, what will add interest to future work is her discovering even more remote and less-known sites and structures, including abandoned modern buildings, shot at novel angles, further extending her UrbEx sensibility. In the meantime, the artist maintains a technically and historically informed website and I commend it to you:, and inquiries,


$300K price reduction! Country Estate Living–250 Foxen Bluff Dr. Arroyo Grande. Fabulous 5-acre gated estate offers two residences in a desirable neighborhood of executive-style homes. The main residence has 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and a 3 car attached garage, built in 2005. With approximately 4400 square feet, the great single level floor plan features a formal living & dining room plus an impressive open kitchen & family room, with hand-scraped hardwood floors. The kitchen has top of the line Viking appliances, a 6-burner range, wine refrigerator & granite counters. The 4th bedroom is actually an attached guest suite with a living room, bedroom and bath, and a separate entrance. The views of the surrounding hills are beautiful. The 2nd residence is a charming detached 1 bedroom, 1 bath, approx 1200 sq ft casita, with a 2-car attached garage and separate gated driveway. It is currently rented with a 6 month lease at $1800/month. Asking $1,950,000.

22105 J St, Santa Margarita–Open floor plan, spacious and plenty of natural light. Newer engineered hardwood flooring in main living area & master bedroom. Kitchen has granite tile countertops & Stainless Steel appliances. Porcelain tile floors in both bathrooms. Inviting front yard w/ perennials, rose bushes, lilac shrubs & a pistachio tree. Beautiful views of Santa Margarita ranch from large back yard. Just seven minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo. Asking $409,000.

Newer modular home in Chumash Village which is a 55+ community where you own the land! Fix your costs of living in this clean, sunny 1993 double wide 2 bedroom 2 bath coach with a private deck off the master bedroom and an extra enclosed porch in rear ideal for storage or hobby room. Roomy floor plan with vaulted ceilings, updated kitchen with a breakfast bar and an indoor laundry room are just some of the nice features. The master bed has an attached private bath with soaker tub and large vanity. Asking $229,000.

Johnny Hough Owner / Broker

(805) 801-5063 962 Mill Street, SLO See more listings at



Journal PLUS

11 13 journal plus web  
11 13 journal plus web  

November 2013 Journal Plus