Sunday, March 01, 2009

Nelson Ghost Town Shootout: Setting the Scene

On our first full day in Vegas for WPPI we went on a “shootout” at Nelson Ghost Town, arranged by our friends Amy of Ardent Photography and Molly of Mthree Studio. Eight of us from four different states became pals when we hopped in our stylish mini-van... off to the Ghost Town!

Being a photographer and graphic designer, and one who loves literature, I’m always searching for the concept or theme in things... even the day’s of my life. Ghost-town-day’s theme was definitely The Twilight Zone.

First, we drove through miles of desert, which is unbelievably beautiful, but also kind of disorientating... you start to have no concept of where you are or what time it is. I find it so peaceful being able to constantly see a horizon line (since we’re in the city, we don’t see too much of that), but am also a little weirded out about it. I think I’ve seen a few too many horror movies that take place in the middle of nowhere.

One of the illusions on our trip were gorgeous glimmering rocks along the roadside, peaking out from the red dirt and sparkling in the sunlight. I kept trying to get a better look at these wonders... and finally discovered that they were bottles and cans!!! How can there be so much litter when there are no buildings or homes in sight?!

Anyway, we finally arrived at the ghost town, which is apparently owned by a husband and wife, and they are the only two people who live there. The “visitor’s center” is their house... that you just walk into without knocking. Their house was an eclectic collection of the world’s strangest things that I can only describe as a combination of Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the scene from Garden State with the husband and wife who live in a boat at the bottom of a canyon. Just one of those things that you could never imagine seeing... and there you are.

Nearing the end of our shoot, we checked the time to see how much longer we had before having to leave for class. We were all amused to see that this tiny little ghost town was actually in a different time zone. Ha!

We also encountered a random deputy walking through the ghost town. I wonder what he was doing there... in a ghost town in the middle of nowhere. We tried chatting with him, but he wasn’t having it.

The funny thing is, looking back on this day, I’m realizing that it took place on Friday the 13th. How appropriate!

We’ll be sharing photos from our shoot there in the next couple of posts, but until then, here are a few of the ghost town to set the scene...

(Adam in the bottom left corner, shooting away. We're all a bunch of crazy photographers shooting in the middle of the street, hoping we can hear a car if it comes our way!)

(and there's me shooting. Photo by Mthree)

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