I’ve been visiting St. Elmo since before I could walk. Like many places that photographers visit over and over, I return to St. Elmo frequently, looking for ways to visually express the essence of this place, so familiar to me. It is quiet there at night, after the throngs of visitors to Colorado’s best-preserved ghost town have left, the chipmunks fed and snapshots taken; the town returns to the silent witnessing it has borne in the high country for more than one hundred years, the stars overhead, and only the occasional headlights to give life to the long-dark buildings.
Many, many photographers love electrical storms: drama, fear, contrast and movement are all possible in spades when storms arise. This thunderstorm passed south of Hastings College this last June, and I rushed to use the lines and lights of the college’s Gray Center, as well as the leaves of a nearby tree (I know, tree in a thunderstorm? Smart.) to create layers and depth.
This cathedral, located on the grounds of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, is set on a brilliant background of stars late one January evening. A five-minute exposure, the stars provide pinpoint texture on which to set the adobe walls of the cathedral.