While touring the ghost town of Bodie in California’s Eastern Sierra Mountains, I strolled up and down the dusty streets trying to capture the aura of this erstwhile boom town. Bodie is maintained in a state of “arrested decay” in an attempt to preserve its mystique. Some of buildings seem about to collapse and only well-placed supporting timber seems to keep them falling down.
Photographer: Don Peterson (Rio Vista, California, USA) Registered
Don Peterson has been making photographs since he was a teenager when he was given a Rolieflex 2.8C camera by his grandfather. Then he continued to make photographs during high school and later, when he enlisted in the Air Force and spent some time in Europe, he used a Canon Canonet 35mm shooting mostly Kodachrome slides. When he returned to the “real world” in 1966 he adapted to the status quo, eventually marrying and raising two sons. He was an industrial production line mechanic for most of his working career and the camera seemed to take a back seat for most of those years. He retired at the age of 57 in 2001.
Peterson attended DuPage County Community College and received an Associate Degree in Photography in 2005. In the fall of that year he transferred to Columbia College Chicago and in 2007, at the age of 63, he graduated with a BA in Photography. Shortly afterwards he sold his house in St. Charles, Illinois and hit the road with his golden retriever Geordy in a pickup truck and 26-foot travel trailer. Now, almost six years and several thousand miles later he own a motor home and continue to travel seeking new experiences and interesting places to photograph. He maintains a blog of his travels at http://www.don-peterson.com/roadrunner.