Through the fog
I consider this among the greatest photographs I’ve ever taken. As my friends were packing to leave Taunton State Hospital on a spring night in 2006, I was setting up one last shot by the light of the full moon. I loaded my Minolta SRT-101 with Fuji NPH, a 400 ASA film that had uneven reciprocity failure - it color-shifted towards blue during long exposure. I composed this shot basically in the dark using intuition, and then just guessed that a 30 minute exposure at f/8 would work. And when I got my film back from the lab… I had this shot of a chair by a window in one of the many patient rooms in the asylum, captured entirely by full moonlight. Shortly thereafter, I dropped out of a PhD program in philosophy to do photography full-time.
"As you climb higher you become like the clouds."
The slopes of Big Timber Peak seen from Crazy Peak, Crazy Mountains, Montana
On This Day in History - The BLM Was Established
On July 16, 1946, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service merged and became the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of Interior. With historical roots spanning 200+ years, the BLM now manages many places — like ghost towns, mining camps, and homesteads — that give visitors a glimpse into what life may have been like for early settlers and pioneers.
Pictured here is the BLM-managed Garnet Ghost town in Montana. A young nation expanded into the Montana territory in the mid-1860s. Many scoured the mountains for gold and other precious metals. Settlements grew overnight around mining claims. The town of Garnet was born in 1895, and within several years, hundreds of people called it home. The blasts of dynamite and the shouts of miners echoed through the gulches.
But Garnet was not destined to last. Today, most of the town is publicly owned, and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM stabilizes and preserves the remaining two dozen buildings and provides visitors a glimpse into this fascinating part of our past.
CLICK HERE to learn about more ghost towns and historic sights available to the public as a living history.
Photos: Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist