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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 hills. Guess electricity doesn’t jump the line going that way. Keep in mind, this is the location for the first transmission on the planet.

Photographing the Union is think is best either with the August thunderstorms as you see above or in October. The drama in the light in August with the storms (enhanced with a split grad) is hard to ignore. The mellow, late afternoon light in October is so romantic, everything looks good. Shooting wide to exaggerate that angles works well. I have gone to Bodie with the 24PC and tried to “clean” up the angles but you know, nothing in Bodie is even close to plum so when you shoot it plum, it just looks wrong. But following the light is the key, it makes the old town just shine!