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on Jul 29, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

When Night Comes – Bodie

One aspect of Bodie I always enjoyed was the evenings and night. This is when the town would be all ours again, the tourists were gone with the park being closed (this is when I would find the thieves though which got old). We decided to do star trails and what you see here is the progression over the first year. The star trail exposure was the easy part. The exterior and interior lighting was the tricky part. You can see how it got better over time with the bottom frame of the Boone Store being the best. The technique from then would not be how I would do it today except for the lighting method. It is all flash, lighting painting with flash. I would walk around and just hit the open flash button. Today it would be much easier to do with the Pocket Wizards, TTL and LCD. That’s if you could do it because like any tourist, I’m kicked out long before sunset these days. Well,...

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on Jul 29, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

What’s that on the Hill? – Bodie

Since you can’t get up on the bluff, many look up from the town and see the water tower. Most assume it’s from the train that ran from Mono Mills to the bluff (it didn’t carry passenger, just tons of cords of wood). That tower is not for the train and if you’re like most, you won’t believe what it is for. But that water tower was for the first flush toilet in town. Yeap, all that water was to simply flush the two heads in the bottom floor! This is the train office, not very glamorous, just a plain structure but if you’re in the right place in Bodie, you can see its roof line. What you can’t see anymore even where you’re on the bluff is the town that was on top of the bluff. Was it a big town? I don’t know that but I was present when there were digs on the bluff and they found the butcher shop and whore house foundation. I didn’t...

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on Jul 28, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

Bodie Exteriors #3

The building in the foreground is the old ice house. You ever been to Bodie, you can’t imagine they had such a thing but with the Sierra snow pack, finding ice was real simple. Storing it was too with the Ice House which is full of sawdust and other primitive insulation. The roof top you see behind it was one of the well to do home of Bodie. Bodie had quite the high society back in the day living in grand homes, home paid for on the money made making money on those digging up the money. That part of the gold camp history has always fascinated me. The Sway Back Barn (I can never remember the real name for this because we always called it that) is something I expect every time I visit to have finally fallen to the Sierra winters. Yet it persists. Both of these images demonstrate a favorite technique I rarely talk about. That’s combining the polarizer and split grad. That combination has always...

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on Jul 28, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

Bodie Exteriors #2

The Union Hotel is a favorite of mine, it is simply the old west personified! It is also a shadow of its former self. What many think is an awning is actually what’s left of the second story balcony where the well to do of Bodie would sit and watch life go by or stand and cheer on the 4th of July parade. Looking in the front window you can see the pool table I wrote about yesterday. And in the back, what you can see a slight hint of looking through the back window, are the transformers from the original electrical system. If you look from the back of the Union toward the cemetery, you can see a remnant of the old power poles. Back in the day, they were concerned electricity would jump the line if it weren’t straight. So they made a straight line from Green Creek Power Plant to the back of the Union. The funny thing is, the power line went up and down...

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on Jul 28, 2011 in Landscape Photography, The Bodie Series

Bodie Exteriors #1

Bodie was a huge town back in the day. It had the second largest population of Chinse in the US at the time. It is really hard to imagine the size of the town unless you get up on the bluff and look down. Knowing this, I went up un the bluff but as you saw on the first day’s blog, that really didn’t do much. So I took another approach. What you see here is the Main Street and what appears to be a lot of buildings all jammed up together. What you see here is what they call the Miners Union Hall down to the Boone Store. When you go to Bodie you’ll see how much topography that covers but in this view, it looks packed. When the head ranger at the time saw this photo, he said jokingly he. Was going to cite me for moving he buildings. How did I create this illusion? It was two fold. First I used the 800f/5.6 with the 1.4x...

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