The Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town.
Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.
Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.
- Winter hours 9am to 4pm (November 4th to April 15th)
- Summer hours 9am-6pm (April 15th to November 3rd )
In the winter, you may need a snowmobile to get in. The road is not plowed.
The only access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building is by permit. The cost is steep. My wife Liz and I went on a photography tour at $800 a pop.
The tour gave us access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building at mid-day.
Feature Image Details
I used a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 17mm, F16, ISO 250.
The light at sunset does not match the light on the 927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck. This is a blend of two or more exposures.
Here is an image facing the opposite direction.
That’s what a Shell Gas Station looked like in the late 1920s.
Additional Bodie Images – Wide Angle and Tilt-Shift Discussion
- Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
- Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
Those articles discuss the importance of very wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses for photographing Bodie and the interiors of buildings in general.
Eastern Sierra Area
- Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
- Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
- Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras
- Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way
- Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California
- Bristlecone Pines – Patriarch and Schulman Groves – Milky Way – Inyo National Forest – California
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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This is just the beginning of my Bodie series.
There is much more coming up: Sam Leon’s saloon, the morgue, the Methodist church, a Shell gas station, the schoolhouse, the barbershop, other buildings, and milky way shots at night.
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock