I am in Las Vegas for my annual trek to Photoshop World. Although the conference starts on Tuesday with my photo shoot with Joe McNally and Moose Peterson, (along with 60 of my closest friends) this year I came down extra early to Vegas for a couple of reasons. The first is that I needed a little vacation time to relax before some intense days at PSW, and the second is that some of my friends were also coming in early. And, I was really looking forward to spending some time with them before the conference schedule got really crazy.

One of those people, RC Concepcion was kind enough to organize a shoot for us out to Nelson, Nevada. Actually to be completely honest, I think it was Julie who organized the shoot and got RC, Pete and I off the Vegas Strip. Julie had been to Nelson earlier in the weekend and was kind enough to make a second visit out to Nelson with the three of us in tow. How she survived a car ride with the three of us is beyond me, but she did with humor, grace and a chatty GPS. On our way out  to Nelson, Julie let us know that we would have so much to shoot that we wouldn’t know what to do with the time that we had. She wasn’t exaggerating.

Nelson is a ghost town that allows pretty much full access to the old buildings, cars and airplane parts. Yes you read that correct–airplane parts. The movie 3000 Miles to Graceland had a plan crash in it, and the tail of that plane is in Nelson. Once we pulled into the parking lot, we were like kids before Christmas. We were so excited to get out and shoot, it was hard to focus on where to start. Of course, we had to start by paying our entry fee of $10 and signing a release that basically said that we understand the dangers of cacti and rattlesnakes. Once the legal issues were done, we grabbed our cameras and headed out into town. Nelson is one of those places that you can visit over and over again and never be tired of photographing. The buildings are full of all sorts of old and rusted treasures to photograph up close. Old cars and trucks are every where for you to climb in around and over. The buildings are these amazing wooden structures that look like they have been there for a couple of hundred years. You can shoot big and wide, close, vary the time of day and season. It is truly a place of endless possibilities, and our two hours flew bye quickly.

The day we were out there had pretty heavy overcast grey clouds, and so I took advantage of that big soft box to photograph some of the truck interiors as part of my ongoing portfolio building of older, rusted trucks and cars.

At some point RC talked me into getting my modeling skills out of the closet and work my magic in front of the lens. You can see those images over at his 500px.com account. I also was able to get RC in front of my X100 for a few quick portraits before the rain started to gently fall. As we loaded up the car and heading back to town, all of us couldn’t help but think about how soon we could get back to Nelson. That is really the magic of photographing a place like Nelson. It inspires you, draws you in and you long for the next visit even before you have even left.