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Old Car on the Prairie

I spent many weeks making photographs throughout South Dakota. The conditions were dusty, windy, hot and cold. Many roads were not paved; I knew if I did not venture into the unknown, I would never see anything; I had to check things out. I also had to keep an eye out for rattle snakes!

I spotted this shot-up old car and parked my truck as close as I could. It was shortly before sunset, however, I took my time considering a perspective. I carefully walked around it many times, mindful of the holes in the ground (snake holes?). Was it safe?

I ultimately decided to fill the viewfinder with the old car without any of the surrounding landscape. I fetched my tripod from the truck along with my Hasselblad 120mm lens. I put the setting sun behind me and made a series of exposures accentuating the years of texture and age. As I was working, I realized there were countless prairie dogs peeking their heads out of the holes in the ground; they were cheering me on!

I have travelled to South Dakota numerous times after making this photograph, however, I have not revisited this old car.


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