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Travelog: Tonopah 2011: Nevada Desert Treasure at 6,000 ft: Monte Cristo Castle

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This is another in the much valued May 2011 series of LF film shoots organized and mentored by Jim Galli and Per Volquartz in Tonopah, Nevada.

This scenic desert area, just 35-45 minutes drive, is a wonderful place for photography, having many features of the national parks in stunning grand mountain ranges, weather carved rocks and sand dunes. To learn more read this PDF. Jim Galli led us and co-leader Per Volquartz, one early morning at the unearthly hour of 4:3O am to drive in convey, arriving befroe the pillars of dawn lit the sky behind the mountains.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Heres' an idea of our trials. The object is to arrive safely, before dawn, choose a vantage point, set up one's film camera, (Large format, MF or pinhole or even Leica) and then get great pictures. all this without sand in one's camera!

With Jim Galli's for truck in the lead, we followed dutifully the plume of dust.





Asher Kelman: Desert Convoy before Dawn

Canon 5DII 24mm TSE II


Then, suddenly, Jim's car dropped some 2.5 ft! We were next, and Hugo Zhang smartly saved my car from suffering the same fate!




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Asher Kelman: A Ford Drops

Canon 5DII 24mm TSE II

No damage. we found a new path! Eddie still documented the event! Hugo looks down at the would be disaster for a lesser German car. Doubtless we'd have broken an axle!

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It was a relief to finally find the place to park. Here we were, barely enough light to start scouting. I used my high ISO to grab a handheld pano.



Everyone was exploring where we had been led to at this unearthly hour. i was impressed by the huge Texan size hats the guys wore as they made for a ridge with the dawn light outlining them as silhouettes.








Asher
 

Ron Morse

New member
It looks like you had an adventurous time getting there. I'm sure everyone greatly enjoyed themselves.

The last time I did something like this a couple of years ago a fellow photog backed into the side of my wifes new explorer in the dark.
 
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