Monday, June 6, 2016

Fort Hancock - A Place that Time Forgot

The center of Fort Hancock, Texas. Looking West on Highway 20. 

I've been itching to get out and shoot some photos of Texas but everything here is so big and the spaces are so wide open. How do you shoot that? How do I tell the story of my Texas? Well, I'll tell you how; with a damn big, wide angle lens and with a sense of adventure. That's how.

My friend Jorge and I agreed to get together and find a location to shoot some sunset photos yesterday and I came up with two options. The first option was to head to Hueco Tanks, which is a state park and historic site offering excellent photography opportunities with big rocks, cacti and other assorted typical Southwest desert scenery and the second option was a location I found by browsing a map of Southwest Texas and seeing if I could find anything interesting. Now, the first option would have been a safe bet, there's no doubt Jorge and I could have found a suitable location for some nice desert sunset photos, but with great risk comes great reward. We agreed to head into the unknown, an old, deserted town on Highway 20, along the Mexican border, Fort Hancock, Texas.

We had no idea what we would find there, or if we would even find anything worth shooting. As it turned out, the risk paid off with some very interesting images from a place that time seems to have forgotten...

I went armed with my Sony A7RII, shown mounted with the Zeiss 16-35mm f/4 lens. Filter set up is 1 x 8 stop ND filter and 1 x Cokin graduated filter. 
Photo courtesy of Jorge Garcia, Garlapse Photography

If you keep your eyes open, you'll spot a number of interesting road side curiosities along Hwy 20.

Before Interstate 10 was built, old Hwy 20 was the primary route from San Antonio to El Paso. But it has since become something of a modern day ghost town.

My friend Jorge, of Garlaspe Photography joined me for a fun afternoon of adventure and photography. We pulled off the highway several times in search of unique photography opportunities. We found a lake with a nice view but the property was guarded by a very big, very imposing dog, we opted to get back in the car.

It's fun to see how other photographers work. How they pick their shots and what catches their eye. The trick is staying out of each others way.

Ice cold beer anyone?

I was shooting in a variety of modes, but mostly I shot in Shutter Priority mode using long exposures of between 1 and 6 seconds.

Photos courtesy of Jorge Garcia, Garlapse Photography

I lied when i said that Fort Hancock is a deserted ghost town, as it so happens, there are people that live there. There is a post office and a high school, even a Port of Entry along the border. But you'd barely know that anyone lives there, and it's a place that carries an eerie vibe. 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Get to Know Jorge Garcia, El Paso Photographer

I met Jorge via a Facebook Photography Group based here in El Paso called, Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso, who, if I were a board member, the first thing I would do is drop the suggestive acronym that they use... "PEEP". But I digress, Jorge and I have a lot in common, not the least of which is that we both shoot on Sony mirrorless cameras, he uses a Sony A7II and Sony A6000, both of which bodies are part of my inventory as well. And like me, he also shoots aerial footage with a DJI Phantom drone. Needless to say, the two of us hit it off quite well, so much so that I invited him over to my Memorial Day BBQ and Pool Party last weekend. I was happy that he accepted and when the day came for the delicious meat on the grill, he brought along his lovely wife and two young children.

Jorge has been shooting photos since he himself was a child, but started getting serious about it back in 2012 and has since become a part-time professional.

We're already making plans to get together to do some photography, possibly this coming weekend, so stay tuned!

You can see more of Jorge's images on his social media pages:

Enjoy the video...

All images copyright Jorge Garcia / Garlapse Photography 2016