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After hearing that it was possible to visit the Trinity Site, I have always wanted to visit. I like the experience of “being there.” Regarding history, reading the story is great, seeing pictures is fine, but, actually being there makes the experience more personal and relatable. The Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb test was detonated on July 16, 1945. It is open only twice a year, the first Saturday in April and October. To visit you really must want to visit! It is located securely on the northern end of White Sands Missile Range and is smack-dab in the middle of Middle-of-Nowhere.
In addition to the Trinity Site, there were other places I wanted to visit in western Texas and now I had assembled a list that made the trip worth while. I wanted to meander around the lonesomeness of West Texas, photograph the missions of El Paso, research the haunts of John Wesley Hardin, and visit the least populated counties in Texas.
A word about my photography. I do not set out with a preconceived idea of what to photograph. I do not follow a “style” of photography and I am not trying to tell a story with pictures, instead I allow the place to tell me its story. I react to what I see. I allow instincts, mood, feelings, impressions to guide me to photograph what I see. It is not until I get home that I really start to pay attention and evaluate what I have photographed and listen to what story they have to tell.
One of the first things that is evident is the lack of people in the photographs. That is because there were very few people present. The towns seem eerily deserted. I say ‘seem’ because there is evidence of people, cars, newspaper racks, signs, just no people. The streets of the towns tend to be wide and stretch on endlessly to the horizon. Outside of town it is possible to drive for hours on the lonely county roads without meeting another vehicle. The landscape is quite, there are no intrusive sounds of man-made machines, only the call of a bird accentuates the whisper of the wind. The next thing that I noticed in the photographs was the color. In an landscape where the artist’s palette is made of hues of brown, when there is color it is striking.
I come away from West Texas with the feeling of its loneliness. I would not describe West Texas as desolate or even forlorn because this gives the connotation of sadness. The people of West Texas are strong and resolute, stubbornly they choose to stay in a land that resist their presence. No matter how harsh the existence, and unforgiving the land, the people let their presence be known and that is what I have photographed.
Sierra Blanca Welcome Sign
Wind Farm in Scurry County
Yellow trash liner Ward County Courthouse
Deadly Intersection Pecos County
Multiple crosses are located on every corner
Sunset in the Franklin Mountains
Abandoned Courthouse Van Horn Texas
El Paso Fray Garcia de San Francisco
Graves of Buffalo Soldiers El Paso Texas
Ysleta Cemetery El Paso Texas
Marker at Franklin Scenic Point
Valley of Fires New Mexico
Valley of Fires New Mexico
Punk "Rock" Valley of Fires
Lava flow Valley of Fires
Bird nest in Redbud Tree Mills County
Pump Jack at sunset Reeves County