Kurt and I are still hanging out at the junction. The main attraction of the ghost town is the Amargosa Opera House where Marta performed ballet and pantomime for over 40 years. To honor her legacy, Kurt photographed a miniature ballerina dancing on the stage of the Opera House.
The miniature ballet dancer was put together using the legs of an HO scale swimmer and the body and arms of a ballerina.
Based off pictures of Marta performing, Kurt modeled an HO scale classic ballet two-piece outfit slightly larger than a pencil eraser. The weave of the traditional materials like satin and chiffon was too thick to create the tiny tutu so Kurt created the shape out of floral foam wrapped in a thin layer of plastic film. The plastic film mimicked the folds of real fabric. The skirt was painted off-white to match one of Marta's costumes.
Kurt and I took a hiatus from our New Mexico travels to go celebrate our friend's birthday in Death Valley Junction, California. We discovered this ghost town a couple years ago and heard about the fascinating story of artist Marta Becket and the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House. The town has a population of 3, Kurt and I are sticking around for a few days to create a series of images revolving around life in DVJ.
Kurt and I left Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus and drove 60 miles north to City of Rocks State Park. It's a very photogenic place that got its name from the street-like paths between the towering rock formations.
We were looking forward to being at the park when it was a full moon so we could try and photograph a UFO flying over the rock formations at night. Unfortunately, it was a windy week which made it impossible to do long exposures of the flying saucer.
The rugged landscape was appropriate for a Godzilla scene so Kurt had an HO scale army tank try to take down Godzilla. The scene turned out pretty well!
While camping in City of Rocks, Kurt also worked on modifying a mini exploration vehicle. He added a couple scientists inside the cockpit, placed a spot light and a radio antenna on the roof and replaced the 2D painted ladder with a real miniature one.
We brought the mini exploration vehicle on our hike, hoping to capture a scene. The first few locations we stopped at did not work, the shapes in the background were distracting and the lighting was uneven. Finally, towards the end of the day, all things came together to create a keeper.