20 June 2008

Scouting Nevada

"Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does."
- John Berger
"To Keep a Promise..."


Well, on the last entry, I promised to post a nude with my next post. So, I give you the lovely Faerie in Sepia, but the bulk of this post concerns my recent scouting trip. This past Sunday was spent exploring Hwy 93 with Felix, his wife Summer, and Jeff. We took two vehicles and I rode with Jeff. It was a lovely day. As we left I-15, we headed northwest and were on our way to Delamar, a ghost town that is the ruins of an old mining town. Its still fairly hot, so bringing a model out there right now would be unsat. (military term for unsatisfactory.) I shot some of the ruins out there but I think I could build a project out of the old rusty refuse that has stood the test of time thus far. Old cans, wiring, and scrap metal littered the entire area.



Along the way we stopped off and got shots of abandoned buildings, ranches and corrals. We hit some watering holes and let me tell you, they felt great. You know me...I couldn't leave without experiencing them in the natural. We headed on through Caliente, had lunch at a former railroad station and then made our way to Cathedral Gorge. Initially, it looked okay, but it was after we got a bit closer and realized the clefts in the rocks had spots that cut deeper into the mountain and formed laberynths of amazing passages that coursed back to a dead end. One such passage way ended in what looked like a huge dark den. I didn't think it was safe to explore that alone, so I got Felix to check it out with me. The den was about 4 foot up the back of the wall and about 5 foot in diameter. It gave me the impression that something big had made it but I was too stupid or just too curious to leave it at that. I had to go in. Climbing up, we realized that the hole was only about 10 feet in, but then it went down about 20 to 25 feet and there was another passage off to the left. You could see down to the floor, but not around the corner. My curiosity again was not satisfied. We had no rope, but Felix did have a tow stap. It was only 16 feet, but that was enough. He held onto the strap as I descended. Believe you, me... that took some trust. I had two knives, a flashlight, and my camera, splunking around in the bottom of a crevase. Summer was against even the notion of me being down there, but you know how guys get when they get a notion in their heads. The bottom was L-shaped and extended for another 40 feet or so. Somehow, I am guessing Unbearable Lightness is reading this and thinking I am out of my mind and perhaps I am. It was fun though. I was as careful as I could be. Skinny dipping and cave exploring just made my day. That was a 15-hour day trip and I plan some more!


On another note, I came across a new blog by a figure model called Museworthy. I got a kick out of reading her site and have now added it to my list of good blogs to follow. I've linked her page into my model resources as well. I recommend you check her out. Also, my other group, The Las Vegas Photographic Society, for which I am assistant organizer, had an event which I plan to host every month. We did our first night shoot and, I got to play with bulb exposures. I plan to hold such an event every full moon week. This one was shot off a spot on Lake Mead. We had a great turnout of about 10 photogs and we were out til about 11:30pm. I may post pics of it and talk about it on my next post. So stay tuned.

3 comments:

unbearable lightness said...

I won't disappoint you. Indeed, I am wondering about your sanity. Going into a dark, unfamiliar cave, well, you have courage in any case.

The photographs are amazingly beautiful. It's crazy work, but someone has to do it.

You are a photographer with an adventurous spirit, and I do commend you! Love the ghost town! It's all so fascinating.

TLNeasley said...

I don't think you could disappoint even if you wanted to. I just got back today from scouting Mt. Charleston, but I was alone on this one. It was getting pretty late so I try not to take unnecessary risks that late out with no phone signal. And it would help if I had a car with some ground clearance. But anyway, you came to mind as I was writing all that. I assume some risks but I try to still be safe.

unbearable lightness said...

You helped me so much in our recent virtual conversation about safety in shooting nudes in nature. Thank you, TN, for sharing your expertise as well as your insanities. You rock!!! And sometimes you rock on rock, I see.