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Junction

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35 2.8, 17mm, iso100)

I’m out in Henderson, Nevada for work this week and of course dragged my gear along with me. I used to hate carrying a lot of crap with me back in the day, but now I take along my personal laptop, camera bag and tripod if I’m gone longer than a day or two. It certainly makes things more difficult, but then again, I’d miss out on stuff like the above image.

I had no idea where I was going yesterday, but I decided to take a drive after getting done at the plant. I headed south on the 515 which turned into the 95 and then took the 93 towards Lake Mead. Not sure what I was looking for…I just knew the sun was going down and I wanted to get a cool picture of something.

I passed by this building off to the left and saw a bunch of broken windows. Bingo. It was close to the road, no fences, so I flipped around and parked at a pullout right by it. Was almost like it was an overlook to view this place (link to it here from Google maps).

Now, there is something about a building being abandoned, windows broken…the oldness, the quiet…that spooks me. I mean, this thing was only a few hundred feet from the road but I still kept looking over my shoulder. I need to get over that.

I slowly explored the area and was amazed to find the door to the above room open. I didn’t have to work hard to slide it all the way which allowed in a bit more light and let me setup the tripod.

The site itself was interesting. It looked like a power generation station but also a small water reservoir storage system. This set of pipes is some kind of junction for the process…I count at least five valves in the picture. I love old, worn, decrepit stuff like this…and I seriously love how the HDR process brings it to life.

I took a few more shots from around the place and will post them at a later time. Below is kind of a quickie image that gives you an idea of what the outside area looked like (posted it on Twitter last night).

A monsoon sunset down in Casa Grande

I’ve learned a bit about good sunset pictures in the last year. Normally, a nice silhouette of a sunset doesn’t work unless you have some kind of iconic or amazing structure on the horizon. A beautiful sunset photograph usually has some sort of interesting foreground element to go with it…be it a lake, pond, rocks, building, whatever.

When I am out stormchasing, I never know where I’m are going to be.  I just end up where the storms and clouds are. So when you start seeing a sunset forming like the one above and you’re driving down the highway at 85mph, you have precious little time to find a spot that offers up some decent composition to go with the brilliance happening on the horizon. Sometimes the most beautiful moment of a sunset lasts for less than a minute, so the setup needs to happen NOW.

All that building up to say that I don’t think the foreground elements in this photo are anything to write home about, but it’s amazing what you CAN find when you are frantically searching for a spot when the sun is about to disappear. Especially if you’ve never been around this area before. You race down a road, see a field, look for something, ANYTHING interesting and then bolt out there, get the tripod up, make sure your settings are good and snap away.

I do love the tree here and some of the elements of decay around…a discarded pipe close to the horizon, a barbed wire stake just standing there by itself for no reason…the deadness of the desert.

Technical jargon: Six brackets, Photomatix, CS5 and some noise reduction, etc.