Self Portrait in Vegas

This is a self-portrait of Nate at the Imperial Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. Since I really hate Vegas, I may as well look for the silver lining by taking a few extended exposures. This is me contemplating my life & hoping for better dreams to come true… Also, I dropped my precious 20mm lens on the ground at Bryce Canyon today! That was a trip.

Early Morning in Las Vegas

Early morning in Vegas around 7 AM. I’m going to be doing tours for the next few months around the Southwest so I may as well photograph everything and everywhere I go. It’ll help me to keep my sanity as I drive thousands of miles over the next 2-3 months. I love giving tours but I don’t have a decent social life when I am always on the road and I need some way to stay sane, so I’ll use my shutter for medicinal purposes. So stay tuned! :)

Original 19th Century Memorabilia

Original 19th Century Memorabilia
This is the old west museum in Pioche, Nevada. The town’s a strange place full of Nevada ghost stories. There’s an old lady in her 80s that used to volunteer at the museum but she had passed away since my last visit to the town, and it was in the museum where she past away while on her shift. If you want to know more facts about Pioche, look through my picture archive, as it is one of my favorite destinations in Southern Nevada.

Great Basin Highway

Great Basin Highway
One of several Great Basin highways traversing through Nevada and Utah. The road truly disappears into the horizon like a vanishing point. You could break down for several hours before getting help along this stretch. It’s not because nobody wants to help but you’re lucky to see a car or two coming down the road every 3-4 hours!

Plastic Woman's Hand on an Antique Phone

Plastic Woman's Hand on an Antique Phone
This is out in Nevada. Pioche is an old mining camp settled in the late 1860s. This mannequin has been sitting in it’s place for 50 years according to the museum guide. And we were standing there, when the hand moved from the phone and landed on my friend, Omar’s hand while he was resting it there. It was eerie because the tour lady said there’s ghost hunters that come to this museum from hundreds of miles away because of the stories associated with Pioche, Nevada. Who knows? …I’ve been fiddling with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and a variety of actions. This is going to be all rough around the edges, because I am not a big fan of PS. I mostly stick with Lightroom 3. So, I need to master CS5 anyways and learn every digital darkroom technique there is to know.

19th Century Buildings in Pioche, Nevada

19th Century Buildings in Pioche, Nevada
Back in the late 19th century, when the mining camp of Pioche, Nevada was established, they say over 76 people died in shoot-outs or were murdered before anyone died of natural causes. They say the town was more notorious and corrupt than Dodge City and Tombstone combined. Little is known about Pioche because in is so isolated in Southern Nevada. The town has a strong feel of being haunted so it’s exciting to go take pictures of it at night. We were passing through in the middle of the night, so I thought it fitting to take some pictures.

Recliner and Blue Door

Recliner and Blue Door
I posted this picture because I just like it and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. My photography comes from my own style and vision and nobody else. Of course I like looking at the work of different photographers and even reading books on photography but I still rely mostly on my own innate desires to produce something that is unique in it’s own right. In reality, I do photography for myself before I do it for anyone else. It’s what ties me to the land, the culture and the people that I visit and revisit. It anchors me to these places and it has formed my politics, worldview, and life. That’s a lot of credit I am giving to the art of photography but it has given my life serious meaning. As a photographer, I have become more in tune with my environment and more perceptive.

The False Construct of Pristine Wilderness

The False Construct of Pristine Wilderness
The human element is always apart of the landscape no matter how pristine people would like to think the wilderness is. We are inseparable from the environment. This is why I am such a skeptic of many environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. When reading their literature they speak of the wilderness being untouched, virgin, unscathed, and pristine. It’s a false construct! It’s almost as if they are saying nobody was here before Columbus set foot in the New World.

Hey Human – No Smoking!

Hey Human - No Smoking!
At a storefront in Rachel, Nevada, on the outskirts of Area 51. On our way back home from this trip, we stumbled upon a UFO research party about 10 miles east of Rachel along the Extraterrestrial Highway. They had their telescopes and high-tech sensors ready and alert if any saucers appeared. These characters reminded me of the X-Files TV series. The desert was still warm and inviting from the summer’s heat and the stars twinkled in their staircase of the sky. It’s moments like these and the people that you meet that make such travels very satisfying. It’s time to venture out into that country once again for another out-of-this-world experience. :)