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Abandoned in Texas

A few weeks ago I found myself back on assignment in Texas. I was working on a story about human bodies that were disgracefully buried in a public cemetery; some remains were dumped in plastic bags and piled on top of one another. It was a sad story, but one that is symptomatic of a much larger problem in this country.

It all happened about 70 miles from the Mexican border. The only road leading north forces visitors to stop at a federal checkpoint where the first and sometimes the only question agents ask is, “Are you a US citizen?”

As we drove from one shoot to another in the small town of Falfurrias, we passed by a ‘car cemetary’ along one of the main thoroughfares. My colleague Andy is a fellow photographer who had come prepared with his Sony A7R. I had my Fuji X-T1 and I was eager for my first real shoot with it. Little did I know, we had found a perfect spot.

Once our work was done the next day, we abandoned our teammate at the hotel while she worked her magic. We had something else  to do and we both knew exactly where we were headed. There was no question about it.

Luckily our destination was easy enough to find. We parked in a lot nearby and got straight to work. Of course the potential drawbacks of trespassing in Texas crossed my mind… But nobody seemed to be around.

There must have been a dozen cars out front worth shooting in some way. But we spotted another group scattered around the backyard. As tempting as it was to find a way in, I wasn’t trying to get shot. But luckily Andy heard a car engine and chased down a young man who turned out to be related to the owner of the property. He gladly led us out back where we continued to fire off shots until we got word that it was time to go back to the hotel and finish our real work. Considering the light was only becoming better, it was tempting to stay out a bit longer.

If you haven’t already scrolled down, you’ll soon be surprised to see that I’m sharing some of my favorite shots of the afternoon. I can only imagine what I might have gotten if we had stayed for the golden hour. Nevertheless, my first experience in a car graveyard was a great one. It was only made better by the camera I had with me.

My love affair with Fuji began with the X-Pro1 and only got stronger after I bought my X-T1. There is a slight sense of nostalgia – the camera is smaller and more modern looking than it’s father – but the the little beast delivers.

Image quality is everything we have come to expect from Fuji. I can’t say how much that has improved just by looking at the images produced by the new sensor, but the RAW files are considerably larger.

Although I still haven’t yet bothered to benefit from some of the X-T1’s coolest features (like it’s WIFI functions), I have gratefully taken advantage of one in particular. The tilting LCD screen is a huge perk in certain shooting conditions. It’s not something I use constantly, but every now and then it comes in very handy.

I’ll have to put together a proper review sometime soon, but for now, enjoy these pictures! Some were captured with the 23mm lens and others with the trusty 14mm. All of them were processed in Lightroom, most using the camera’s Velvia color profile as a baseline setting, and others centered around similar VSCO presets.

I had posted some other pictures from the car graveyard on Flickr. And in case you’re interested in seeing another perspective, check these out (and if you’re wondering where those fields are, that’s what happens when the producer gets abandoned in the field and misses out).

2 thoughts on “Abandoned in Texas

  1. Pingback: Abandoned in Texas | Traveling and taking pictu...

  2. Pingback: Abandoned in Texas | Fuji X | almaphotografica ...

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