Thompson Spring, Utah 1

If you read the blog you know I spent a couple of weeks photographing last fall in and around Moab, Utah. As I often  do, I went back to a few places I had photographed on earlier trips. One was Thompson Spring, about an hour northeast of Moab. I made a series of photographs there in 2010.

We will look at that series in the next few posts.

The full series is on the Gallery page of the site: here.

In 2010 I was still teaching at Northeastern in Boston but was on a sabbatical leave, my last before retiring in 2012. That winter I spent time in Austin, Texas and Moab.

I came across Thompson Spring on a whim, curious to see what it looked like about a mile off the highway.

Not much to look at, much of it torn down or abandoned, the 2010 census shows 39 people living there. Evidently the town's past included cattle and mining and it had been a stop along the railway line you can see going right through town in the above Google Map aerial.

I got there about an hour after dawn and found an essentially abandoned town.


This is another in a long list of projects where I was discovering as I was making. Walking along Frontage Road, the first picture I made served as the first in the series, a gas station, now torn down as I discovered this past fall, 8 years later.


The effort to make a series, form a narrative, say something cohesive and establish a rhythm, to go deeper, often unfolds as I move along. What I had right off was exquisite light and a growing sense that this place was presenting something unique.

I know, the cliche' of an old western ghost town, but something perhaps a little more telling and that was the trailers, double wides and RV's in the back in most frames, as though the occupants simply picked up and moved to another location, discarding their origins.

Again, my interest was piqued as I found what had happened to this town.

In 2010, I was working by then with the Nikon D3X, the second full frame sensor digital camera from the company at 24 mp. The lens is the 14-24mm Nikkor. The prints are 17 x 25 inches.

Next up? Thompson Spring 2.Stay tuned.

Topics: West,Digital,Color,Southwest

Permalink | Posted March 25, 2019