After my adventures finding a new set of tires I really didn’t feel like getting up for a sunrise session. The weather was breezy and surprisingly overcast. While this was crummy for broad landscapes, it was great for details.

Hopefully by now you’ve learned I like to make the most of things. This was a great opportunity to wander around with a telephoto and look for the smaller stories. It was also a good exercise in framing and composition. I spent some time in Rhyolite, a ghost town in Nevada not far from Death Valley. It’s also no accident that Rhyolite is also very close to where I was staying in Beatty, NV.

Framing windows and doors

I had a great time exploring windows and doors. I joke a lot about being an old Boy Scout. One of many positive lessons that stayed with me was leaving a place a little better than when I got there. I’ll usually pick up trash as I find it, but with the pandemic this time I’m more content to ensure I don’t make a place worse. I spent my time with a 70-200mm and keeping outside the structures.

This one set of doors seemed be saying something of its own.

Details details

There’s an old railway depot in Rhyolite that’s fenced off. Again, with a telephoto I can frame details well and the chain link fence is almost a non-issue. I cozy the lens barrel of my 70-200mm f/4 right up against the fence, compose, take a deep breath and press the shutter. The rest is in post-processing of course.

Wandering around the rest of the town allowed me to explore other angles. There are rattlesnakes here so take care when bushwhacking. Also some of this is private property, so please be respectful.

Some images are carefully framed collections of old stuff lying around: A broken bottle against scrap metal, the remains of an old set of theater seats, the facade of the HD & LD Porter building. The little detail shots are about finding repeating patterns and isolating. The facade needed more help in post because the sky was so bright.

Wider angles were also used. For some I put away the Canon EOS RP with the adapted Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens and went back to my Canon EOS R with the 24-105 RF kit lens.

I’m not crazy about the term “kit lens.” It implies “this is the lens I’m stuck with.” The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens is freaking amazing.

I didn’t ignore the sky completely the whole time. For a short time this lenticular cloud formed over the valley. I don’t see these over coastal California so this was quite a treat. Rendering it in any meaningful way meant spending some time with it in post production. This was time well spent.