The Pickings of the Desert, the Treasures left behind

Ah the junkyard, what a magical place filled the past memories of a lost age. It’s just a cove of images waiting to be picked through with a little time and patience. The great thing about junkyards is that every state not only has one, but each one seems to have it’s own unique type or some special variant. We went to Cisco which when we got there and looked around was apparently by the side of a road in the middle of nowhere. It was an appropriate, o let the fun begin!

[swf], 406, 589 [/swf]

It was a blue sky day with clouds on the horizon, plenty of time to skitter around. It was a unique town, funny thing was people live there still. There were these two objects that caught my attention more than most. The top is the back of an truck or tanker car i think. Well it had this needle and gauge on it that i found just interesting. The combination of it with the texture was like it was pointing at the years of degrading material as it went by. The bottom was an old soda machine that with a message in the bottom that was pointed out to me later. It showed more character than the Seven up machine, both were intriguing. Never can tell what you’ll find.

[swf], 406, 589 [/swf]

Images captured with D3, 24-70 AF-S

Tips and Tails


Well this last post about the junkyard contains more of my favorite junkyard objects, the headlights and taillights. These two metal devices make awesome elements. The great thing is every car there has a different style to them so there are lots to choose from. For me it’s choosing the ones that have the something interesting about them. Like the top one has pieces of metal covering the light that the others don’t.


This one is way cool because it still looks like it is producing light on the fender beneath it. Plus the reflection in the metal ring cover is just great.


Lastly, another Ford truck. This one spoke out to me due its simple repetition of shapes. One light in front of another light surrounded by squares and straight lines. Linear mixed with curvature. It is these simple yet important elements that make a good photograph. Everytime i go to that side of the road, big junkyard, i find more of these elements speaking out to me and I encourage all of you reading to do the same. Simple places for big improvements overall keeping our minds sharp.

Images captured with D3, 70-300AF-Svr, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Grills and lights


Black and whites aren’t the only images found at the junkyard. The grills of classic cars can tell such a story. Like this one above. The character of the fender being completely rusted away but the light is still hanging in there is just way cool. The age of the truck is shown but life still exists.


In this one life isn’t just hanging on but is still kicking. To me it seems like the car is being hidden behind the snow waiting for a chance to emerge. It has not even had a chance yet to become a classic.


Finally the cool one. This one screams something from the 70’s. The colors, o the colors! Sorry it’s just the first thing that came to mind when i saw this yellow and green truck. The great thing about these old vehicles isn’t just the way they look, but the options avaible when finishing them. There are endless possiblities, but since i learned to keep things simple from, well you can probably guess who, i merely used Nx to drop a couple of points and done. More fun for later.

Images captured with D3, 70-300AF-Svr, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Classic Montana Cars


Last week we had a lovely snow storm come through and a dump almost 2 feet of snow on the ground. Apparently it wasn’t enough to get the mountain ski runs opens but was close. It was good wet powder that made for excellent snow balls and igloos. Yea some of the other enthusiasts decided to make an igloo here on campus, it was later taken over by some of the resident smokers. The new snow cover made some new opportunities to come up in the form of photographs. I have yet to find a good way to photograph the trees here in campus. Amazingly enough the orange light coming from the lamp posts onto the snow covered trees is kinda cool, but unobtainable so far in a shot. To plan B I went!


What better plan B then the junkyard. This has become a haunt for me, i always seem to go to this same junkyard in search of new images. The snow cover adds elements to the cars that aren’t there beforehand. For instance on this Chevy pickup, the snow breaks up the lines of the grill and the faded paint by this Chevy emblem. It creates more opportunities. I like the snow and junkyard so much that i was even here last year. It’s a simple nearby place that i can go back to over and over and will always produce something new. Except for the cars which are in fact old. It can be hard to find these places but the adventure is worth it. Stay tuned as i continue with this rusty acre.

Images captured with D3, 70-300 AF-S vr, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Reflecting upon oneself


With metallic wet surfaces reflections are great. Many things can be seen even better than before with a reflection. Of course if there is no subject that can be used in this case any other car, than using oneself always works.


In both images i can be seen in the silver headlight ring and is thus creating a more engaging composition. Reflections are a really great way of showing more about the surrounding that the subject is in.

Images captured with D2Hs,  17-55, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Details of the past


As i said in the last post, the details can be seen much better when the paint is wet. Finding these little details is important because they can tell a very different story then what the whole car would. If there was no snow and it was a clear and sunny day then i would not have been able to find any of that detail.


The hood ornament is a testament of the car. It signifies what that car is. I have seen this ornament many times but could never find the right shot. Something about the background always seemed wrong in every image i have taken before this. To me this image still is not correct but it is better without that background detail.


I just liked the way the snow wrapped around the light in this image, making it seem like the hood is having an avalanche and all that snow is falling down the grill. The light is the only thing keeping the hood in sight afterward.

Images captured with D2Hs,  17-55, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Spring in Bozeman, hey is that snow?


It never seizes to amaze me how it can be every type of weather thinkable for Montana happening in Bozeman at one time. Last week it was sunny for four days, nice and warm, and then it started to rain on Thursday and then snow on Friday. Ah but Saturday was nice and sunny again, of course then it started snowing and Sunday was dark. Well it just happens here like that. But you can’t let the weather get you down, so i made what ic ould out of it. Some of you might be recognizing the cars in these images that would be because they are from the same junkyard i photographed four months ago. Its a great junkyard.


The purpose of this trip was to incorporate snow and water into the cars. The snow creates a great natural barrier between the metalic surface and the weather giving these really cool contrasts. The snow also gives more texture to the cars so they don’t appear to be nothing but smooth. The overall appearance between the cars and the snow is this great lost and forgotten look, at least to me that’s what it is.


One of the best things about these cars is that when water is applied the colors in the sides come out, creating a greater range of values and tones. It also helps to bring out more of the cracks and lines in the paint job that has faded or chipped as time has gone on. These details can be seen better in my next post.

Images captured with D2Hs,  17-55, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

A Few more for the Salvage


This past Monday i blogged a couple shots form the junkyard i went to. I was thinking about this over the week whether or not i wanted to blog a couple more images. Somehow it just seemed like two images was not enough.


Amazingly enough this was the only image that looked good black & white, or at least the only one i liked.

Images captured with D2HS, 17-55 AF-S Zoom, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Junkyard Salvage


It’s funny the things that pop into our heads. Sometimes quotes from ridiculous movies about blowup pilots or embarrassing things that our bodies due at high elevation. This past Friday i was sitting on my butt, one of my favorite past times, and i was trying to decide where to go out shooting this weekend. Then all of a sudden, Junkyard! It just sounded like fun. Here in Montana we have a few very nice junkyards one right outside of town.


The weather was beautiful for just the morning, afterwords the clouds came rolling in as they so often do, but not before i got my shots. When i got back to my computer i started playing and having fun messing around. The great thing about junkyards is you can do anything to the subjects, I got artsy fartsy, luckily not that fartsy these rooms aren’t ventilated well. Anyways….

Images captured with D2HS, 17-55 AF-S Zoom, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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