William Mark Sommer contacted us to share his excellent analog images of California’s less traveled locations. These photos of abandoned locations are a stark contrast to the usual sunny beach photos that we see of the West Coast.
I have always loved traveling ever since I was young, and after moving to Las Vegas for school and not connecting with the city or people I felt like I needed to get out and try something else. I found myself being called back to my home state California to check out an abandoned waterpark 100 miles outside of Vegas. Frame by frame shot I couldn’t keep up with how many photos I day at the Rock-A- Hoola waterpark. After getting back I only felt more inspired to get out with my Hasselblad 500c/m a pocket of film and see more of these beautiful abandoned places. I spent most of my weekends from then on traveling all over the western states doing weekend trips until I moved back to Northern California in 2015.
Back in California I set out to continue these adventures into the abandoned, a little research I compiled a huge list of places I needed to see and photograph. The Byron Hot Springs being the top of the list, and the first I tripped to, adventuring through the old hotel turned interment camp having a good old time until a big pow and crack of gunfire and then bullets ricocheting around and off the concrete walls on the far side of the building, a quick breath and survey where they were coming from we bolt out of the building and back down the road trying to remain unseen. It was a real reminder that most of these places aren’t safe to go around that that you always have to keep a head up that you never know who or what your going to come in contact with.
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