El Dorado Canyon in southern Nevada is one of my favorite spots to shoot in and around. With all of the old rusted out automobiles, aged wooden structures and artifacts from the gold rush period this little community has many things to offer for any style of photo shoot. For my July featured shoot I am sharing some images from a commercial shoot I did with German model, Martina.
The remains of Techatticup Mine still exist. The Techatticup Mine produced silver, gold and copper and because of the treasures that were found there, it brought many to seek their own wealth and fortune. This area was known to have produced over 500 million dollars in ore over the course of almost 100 years of mining. In addition to the impressive value of ore that was mined here, another interesting fact about this area is that this is the place where Nevada's first official serial killer lived. Qhueho was his name and he was known to have taken the lives of 23 people. His remains were found in a cave in this canyon in 1940.
Getting to El Dorado Canyon and the Techatticup Mine is less than an hour away from Las Vegas. Driving south on the 95 going towards Laughlin, you will take the exit for 165 which takes you straight there to the Techatticup Mine at El Dorado Canyon. The 165 is a slightly steep two lane highway where there are some nice vistas of Boulder City area and the El Dorado Hills. Along this highway sightings of rattlesnakes, tarantulas and desert tortoises can be common depending on the time of year you venture out this way.
The skies always seem to be so vivid and blue out in this vicinity and we were additionally blessed to have great clouds in the sky. Of course I was extremely excited to see these white fluffy clouds against the brilliant blue sky and immediately placed Martina around the grounds with a great vantage point of the white fluff balls in the background.
One of the best parts of shooting in this community is the fact that you can explore so many intersting buildings and structures from over 100 years ago. So much charm and character here. Every where I looked it was a perfect spot for photos. This old barn had so many great windows and the shadows casted along the ground and walls were really interesting. Another perfect spot for Martina!
Martina was enjoying the elements as well. Being from Germany, she loved seeing the classic old wild west themed historical area. Martina explored, along with myself , to not only seek out some great shooting locations but enjoyed exploring the area to check out the great sites! So many interesting things to see and so many critters out there. Snakes, lizards, desert birds, scorpions, cottontales, tarantulas, desert tortoises and jack rabbits were some of the critters we encountered. Very exciting day for myself and Martina.
One of the interesting relics nestled out in this desert was a very old and very weathered piano. Martina took a liking to this piano. She went over and dabbled at playing a tune. Maybe there was no sound but Martina enjoyed singing a sweet little song while she “air played” the piano. Martina was great to work with. Playful and very interested in wandering around El Dorado Canyon.
As we were about to finish up our shoot, I noticed the amazing Cholla Cactus grove that surrounded the old piano. I love Cholla Cactus. The way the tips of the plant pick up the light from the sun or from the moon is really magical. The small arms with the medium sized needles protrude out into the sky and the way the light can hit it leaves a halo effect. Almost surreal looking. Our last bit of light was perfect over in the Cholla Cactus grove as the backdrop. Here is a sample of this series. Such a beautiful afternoon of shooting with Martina in El Dorado Canyon.