Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Milky Way

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 11mm, F16, ISO 6400 for 47 seconds.

The Milky Way is indeed visible from this location at the front of the Wheaton and Hollis Hotel. Once again you need an extreme wide angle lens to get the shot.

The second image is cropped, standing further back. I was also standing further to the right.

In September, the Milky Way is nearly vertical. In early Spring, the Milky Way forms a low arch and in July it is on a strong diagonal.

 

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse
  6. Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House
  7. Bodie Ghost Town – Morgue, Schoolhouse, James Stuart Cain Residence, Jailhouse
  8. Bodie Ghost Town – Standard Stamp Gold Mill

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

This wraps up my Bode set except for a video slideshow of my best stills in these articles.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Standard Stamp Gold Mill

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 18mm, F16, ISO 500 for 2.5 seconds.

Lighting in the mill is difficult. Windows and lights blow out highlights. Shadows easily go black. The shots inside the mine are High Dynamic Range (HDR) blends.

Lightroom usually does a poor job at this but it did handle the feature image, which I further modified. Here are a couple more images from the inside of the mill.

That’s what a gold processing mill looked like in the 1920’s.

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse
  6. Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House
  7. Bodie Ghost Town – Morgue, Schoolhouse, James Stuart Cain Residence, Jailhouse

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

I have two more Bodie sets coming up. Then it will be time to move on to another detailed look at someplace else.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Morgue, Schoolhouse, James Stuart Cain Residence, Jailhouse

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 11mm, F16, ISO 250 for 1 second.

The Morgue was one of my favorite buildings. I like the pastel colors on the coffins. This shot absolutely requires an extreme wide angle lens. It was not possible to stand back. My back was to the wall.

The morgue is so narrow that only one person was allowed in the building at a time. We were given two minutes.

Second Morgue Image

James Stewart Cain Residence

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens ISO 640 F16. This shot was extremely backlit so this is a blend of multiple exposures.

We did not have inside access to this building, unfortunately. The bottle collection visible through the front window looks interesting.

Jailhouse Images

Schoolhouse

I used my Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens for both images.

The contrast on the first schoolhouse image was extreme given the windows. These are multiple exposure blends.

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse
  6. Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

I have a few more Bodie sets coming up. Then it will be time to move on to another detailed look at someplace else.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 24mm, F16, ISO 500 for 1/5 second.

The Johl House provides a well-preserved example of life in the 1920s in an upscale mining town.

Johl House Living Room

Johl House Dining Room Entrance 

Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 14mm, F16, ISO 500 for 0.8 seconds.

Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 14mm, F16, ISO 500 for 0.8 seconds.

Johl House Dining Room

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens ISO 200 F16 for 6 seconds.

Johl House Kitchen

Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 14mm, F16, ISO 500 for 1.0 second.

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

This is just the beginning of my Bodie series.

There is much more coming up. Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 20mm, F4.5, ISO 6400 for 61 seconds. Stars will streak beyond about 20 seconds so I shot them separately with a star tracker then merged the images.

The formula for determining when stars will stop looking like points if governed by the formula e = 400/FL.

E is the exposure time in seconds. 400 is a constant from experience and FL is the focal length of the lens in mm.

The result of this image would be 20 seconds. My exposure was 60 seconds.

Barbershop Interior

Boarding House

We did not have access to that building. I took the above shots through a window.

They were taken with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 16mm and 19mm continuing the streak of very wide angle images.

Firehouse

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon

The first two articles discuss the importance of very wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses for photographing Bodie and the interiors of buildings in general.

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

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.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon

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.

Access

  • 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 but worth it. 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 19mm, F16, ISO 500 for 1.3 seconds. The saloon is fascinating. Here are some additional images.

Additional Bodie Images – Wide Angle and Tilt-Shift Discussion

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck

The first two articles discuss the importance of very wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses for photographing Bodie and the interiors of buildings in general.

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set. The first 4 images in this set were between focal lengths of 11mm and 19mm.

The roulette wheel was taken at 80mm and the poker table at 24mm.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

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.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck

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.

Access

  • 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

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. 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

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

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.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior

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.

Access

  • 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. We went with Jeff Sulivan. Michael Frye also does tours at Bodie.

I was not that interested in instruction. Rather, I paid for access. If you need help, and many did, the instructors are there.

Jeff Sulivan did help me light paint an image at night that I may not have gotten correct on my own accord.

These tours are worth it, especially if you need tips and guidance.

Feature Image Details

I used a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 11mm, F16, ISO 250.

  • 11MM is ultra-wide. I am just inches away from that billiards table. My camera is level. Either the floor or the billiards table isn’t. I suspect the latter. The front windows are square.
  • Depth of field is incredible with this lens at 11mm but it does not extend from a few inches to infinity. I took many photographs and blended them manually so everything is sharp.
  • The inside light and that outside light are vastly different. I had to take many exposures and blend them. I had Lightroom do this for a starting point but the results were not good. I then blended in portions of other exposures in Photoshop, again manually.
  • This shot is heavily backlit. The sun is shining in causing flare. I edited out the flare in Lightroom. The backlighting also required editing care so the light falloff on the walls from the wall looks natural.

Sometimes when I refer to my images, I say things like “this is an easy shot, just be there”. This is not one of those times.

Meals at All Hours

You can’t get that kind of service today.

That is another complicated image. It was also taken at 11mm and blended as described above. Let’s hone in on some details.

The Finest Typewriter

I used a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at f16. For the above image.

Typewriter Details

That’s “The Smith Premium Typewriter” left behind gathering dust.

Now let’s check out the state of the art communications system.

Bodie Hotel Communications

That image may look straight-forward, but it’s not. I used a perspective-control Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L Tilt-Shift Lens: blending various exposures. Exposure blending was necessary due to severe light falloff from the windows.

I used a tilt-shift lens to avoid bending the vertical lines. I wanted the walls of the room square from that placement.

Finest Rooms

That is what a guest room at the hotel looked like. Once again the 11-24 mm lens came into play at 11 mm.

Kitchen

The above three images were taken at 15mm, 14mm, and 11mm respectively. I am just inches away from the scales and other interesting items in the shot immediately above.

Photography Notes

  1. For the interiors, you need wide angle lenses. The wider the better. The above images show why.
  2. I heavily made use of a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens often at 11mm.
  3. My second most-used lend was the 17 mm Tilt-Shift lens, for perspective control. That will come into play in other interiors.
  4. My third most frequently used lens was a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens
  5. For details, I used a Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens but I could easily have gotten away without it.

You get the idea: wide angle.

Wheaton and Hollis Hotel at Sunset

In case you missed it, please see Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.

Eastern Sierra Area

  1. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
  2. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
  3. Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras
  4. Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way
  5. Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California
  6. Bristlecone Pines – Patriarch and Schulman Groves – Milky Way – Inyo National Forest – California

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

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.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset

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.

Access

  • 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. We went with Jeff Sulivan. Michael Frye also does tours at Bodie.

I was not that interested in instruction. Rather, I paid for access. If you need help, and many did, the instructors are there.

Jeff Sulivan did help me light paint an image at night that I may not have gotten correct on my own accord.

These tours are worth it, especially if you need tips and guidance.

Feature Image Details

I used Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera coupled with a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens. This is a straight-up image.

It’s not easy to explain precisely how a tilt-shift lens works unless you have seen the movements of an old large-format camera that could tilt or shift the focal plane while keeping the camera fixed.

It’s easier to describe the effect. When you point a camera up to take a picture of a tall object, the edges point in. The tops of trees and tall buildings appear to bend to the center of the image. The shift function provides a range of correction to prevent this undesired artifact.

We got lucky. There were good clouds at sunset. Then in the evening, for night photography, there were no clouds at all.

There were about a dozen on this tour with a couple of instructors. I was off on my own for this shot. I am certain I am the only one who captured this opportunity, but I do not know what I missed elsewhere. Light like this seldom lasts long.

Photography Notes

  1. For the interiors, you need wide angle lenses. The wider the better.
  2. I heavily made use of a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens often at 11mm.
  3. My second most-used lend was the 17 mm Tilt-Shift lens, for perspective control.
  4. My third most frequently used lens was a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens
  5. For details, I used a Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens but I could easily have gotten away without it.

You get the idea: wide angle.

Eastern Sierra Area

  1. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
  2. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
  3. Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras
  4. Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way
  5. Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California
  6. Bristlecone Pines – Patriarch and Schulman Groves – Milky Way – Inyo National Forest – California

Equipment List

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. Much more coming up.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California

The Chemong Mine, founded in 1909, is located near the ghost town of Masonic, CA. It was torn down and rebuilt three times. The structures were eventually abandoned in 1939. By the 1950s the nearby town of Masonic was abandoned also, leaving Chemung to fade quietly into the dust.

Feature Image Details

I used Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera coupled with a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 11mm for 1/320th of a second at F16, ISO 800.

Additional Chemung Mine Images

 

 

If you are visiting the Mono Lake area and the ghost town of Bodie, this ghost town is right in the area and worth a visit. Unlike Bodie, there are no hour restrictions. At your own risk, you can enter the buildings.

Bodie is far better preserved and there are many more buildings. But the hours at Bodie are restricted and you can only enter the buildings on a private tour.

Starburst Tips

To produce a nice starburst effect, position the sun so that it is just peeking out the edge of an object. The light bends around objects as well as the diaphragm blades in the lens.

Tree branches work well and are my typical object. In this case, I use the beam of a ghost town building.

The Canon 11-24 mm lens produces an exceptional starburst.  The number of rays is lens-dependent, more specifically, diaphragm dependent. An even number of diaphragm blades in the lens will produce that many rays. An odd number of diaphragm blades will produce double the number of blades.

Both of the above starburst images were taken with my Canon 11-24 mm lens which has 9 diaphragm blades, thus 18 rays in the resultant image, some obscured by clouds.

Mono Lake Area

  1. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
  2. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
  3. Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras
  4. Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

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Coming Up: An Ancient 5,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine forest followed by the Ghost Town of Bodie.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way

The Chemong Mine, founded in 1909, is located near the ghost town of Masonic, CA. It was torn down and rebuilt three times. The structures were eventually abandoned in 1939. By the 1950s the nearby town of Masonic was abandoned also, leaving Chemung to fade quietly into the dust.

Feature Image Details

I used Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera coupled with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 16mm. It’s a composite image. The Milky Way was taken separately but this is the correct position of the stars.

I use an iOptron start tracker to take long exposures without the stars blurring. The camera slowly rotates with the stars. I have a second EOS 5D Mark IV Canon body with Canon’s low-pass filter removed, invalidating my warranty, but granting me an extra stop of light. With the iOptron star tracker, I can easily take 2-minute exposures without the stars blurring. The end result is milky way images with far more stars than the naked eye can see.

But if you are tracking the stars, the land is blurry because it isn’t moving. One needs to blend images if using a star tracker.

These images were taken on September 12.

In late August and September, the Milky Way is nearly vertical. The core of the Milky Way is visible only for a short time after sunset this time of year.

In April, the Milky Way takes on a rounded appearance and is visible only very early in the morning (think 3AM or so). In summer the Milky Way is diagonal.

The core of the Milky Way is not visible from October through February.

Additional Chemung Mine Images

If you are visiting the Mono Lake area and the ghost town of Bodie, this ghost town is right in the area and worth a visit. Unlike Bodie, there are no hour restrictions. At your own risk, you can enter the buildings.

Bodie is far better preserved and there are many more buildings. But the hours at Bodie are restricted and you can only enter the buildings on a private tour.

Mono Lake Area

  1. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
  2. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
  3. Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

Coming Up: An Ancient 5,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine forest followed by the Ghost Town of Bodie.

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Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Death Valley: Wildflowers, Ashford Mill, Harmony Borax Works, Rhyolite Ghost Town, Sourdough Saloon

This post covers historical sites in and near Death Valley with some additional wildflower images.

Feature Image Details

The feature image is a single shot, not a composite or focus stack taken at Ashford Mill, a former mining town settlement in Inyo County, California.

The next image shows what’s left of the mill.

The original mill at the site was built in 1914 by brothers named Ashford. The ore was processed here from the Golden Treasure Mine 5 miles to the east in the Amargosa Range, and processed for further smelting.

Wildflower displays in Death Valley are few and far between. “Super blooms” occur every ten years or so. I was there for the “super bloom” in February of 2016. As “super blooms” go, this one was mediocre. In a true “super bloom” there are huge waves of purple and yellow and more densely packed flowers.

Yet, compared to the typical year, this display was magnificent.

Flowers in Mud Cracks

Harmony Borax Works

The Harmony Borax Works is located in Death Valley at Furnace Creek Springs, then called Greenland.

After the discovery of Borax deposits here by Aaron and Rosie Winters in 1881, business associates William Tell Coleman and Francis Marion Smith subsequently obtained claims to these deposits, opening the way for “large-scale” borax mining in Death Valley. The Harmony operation became famous through the use, from 1883 to 1889, of large Twenty-mule teams and double wagons which hauled borax the long overland route to the closest railroad in Mojave, California.

Darwin Falls

Darwin Falls is located just west of Panamint Springs via a 2.5-mile unpaved road. There is no formal trail. A mostly-level, one-mile walk to the falls involves rock scrambling and several stream crossings. I would rate it as easy.

This small spring provides most of the water for Death Valley.

Rhyolite Ghost Town

The Rhyolite Ghost Town is a boom and bust story related to gold mining.

The above link provides a fascinating story of a town that went from boom to bust in a decade. It had a stock exchange and a red light district that drew people all the way from San Francisco.

In 1906 Countess Morajeski opened the Alaska Glacier Ice Cream Parlor to the delight of the local citizenry. That same year an enterprising miner, Tom T. Kelly, built a Bottle House out of 50,000 beer and liquor bottles.

The Bottle House was restored by Paramount pictures in January 1925.

The ghost town of Rhyolite is on a mixture of federal and private land. It is not within the boundary of Death Valley National Park.

Tom Kelley’s Bottle House

Tom Kelley’s Bottle House Side View

The bottle house is now fenced in with a locked gate. A caretaker unlocked the gate for me one afternoon, but mid-day is not a great time for images. The first image shows the porch in the shade. For the side image of the bottles, I used a polarizer to cut glare from the sun.

Polarizers work best at right angles to the sun, and I am pleased by the overall quality in some brutal light.

Union-Pacific Railroad Car Ruins

Cook Bank

That is what’s left of the once booming Cook Bank.

For the above image, I used a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens to maintain proper perspective.

Notice the straight lines on the sides. Tilting a lens up to fit things in, results in buildings (trees, whatever), that appear to be leaning in.

Sourdough Saloon

Sourdough Saloon is in Beatty Nevada, just minutes from Rhyolite.

If you want to dine in a smoke-filled ash-heap, be my guest. I found the place intolerable. I took one step inside, then left. Nevada has few smoking restrictions and this is typical.

That said, I love the iconic look of the place. Also, I was very fortunate to have a jeep in front instead of a parade of cars.

I took that image shortly after sunset. The ambient light and the lights of the saloon balanced out nicely.

As a general rule, nighttime images like this often look best 15-30 minutes after sunset.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you missed them, please check out my previous articles.

  1. Death Valley: Zabriskie Point Sunrise, Manly Beacon
  2. Death Valley: Dante’s View Sunrise
  3. Death Valley: Artist’s Palette
  4. Death Valley: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Sunset
  5. Death Valley: Badwater, Salt Polygons, Devil’s Golf Course
  6. Death Valley: Golden Canyon Sunset and Moonrise Images
  7. Death Valley: Natural Bridge, It’s Another World
  8. Death Valley: Aguereberry Point and Aguereberry Camp – Christmas Eve Fog

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock