I arrived on scene about 11pm. After driving for hours, and arriving in the middle of nowhere, Nevada, I stepped out of the truck, and stared up at a brilliantly lit moon. I knew if I took the shot with the moon in the sky, I wouldn’t get the result I was looking for. I checked my phone for the moonset time, and went to sleep in the truck. My alarm woke me at about 3am. I got out of the truck, and stepped into a freezing wind. I started to setup my tripod, and soon realized that I could no longer move my fingers. Good thing I brought nice gloves along. After fumbling around with my tripod and camera with heavy gloves on – a feat that felt like I was in a space suit, I got out a flashlight to try and focus on the building – the Cook Bank. I did my best to try and frame the shot in the dark.
I pulled the trigger a little after 3am. I went back to the truck while the camera was still exposing, and got out a single strobe. There was no light to illuminate the building, and without light, the building would be barely visible in my shot. I walked back and forth in front of the building firing my strobe manually several times in an attempt to paint the building with light. I stopped the exposure after almost 40 minutes, and to my utter amazement, something came up on my LCD that made me smile. Well at least I had the bank correctly in my frame. This shot might not be great, or even good, but for those of you that have been through similar struggles, you know that even if you get anywhere near what you want, it is very gratifying.
Caption: Rhyolite Ghost Town
Artist: Tony Gillilan
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: EF20mm f/2.8 USM
Exposure: Manual exposure, Bulb, 2231 sec (37 min, 11 sec), f/5.6, ISO 100
Flash: Off camera, hand held, camera right, fired multiple times
Keywords: black and white, cook bank, death valley, ghost town, long exposure, night, night photography, old building, rhyolite, rhyolite ghost town, rhyolite nevada, ruins, star trails
Date: March 3, 2012 3:17:12AM
Location: Beatty, Nevada, United States
Latitude/longitude: 36.901196, -116.829271