mysteries of cedervale

Cedarvale 02.jpg

It all started when…

Ten miles north of Corona on Highway 42 in central New Mexico, the deserted town of Cedarvale begs for attention with a dilapidated school building that looks like it should be the primary setting for a Hollywood horror film. With a sign on the highway that announces to motorists that they have entered the City of Cedervale, the population of this town is in the single digits. While stopping to take photos, one of the residents approached me and announced that he was selling his property. "I've owned this land for 40 years, but it's time to move on," he said. "I've got 10 acres with a home on it, and I'm asking $2,000." Initially, the price sounds like a bargain if you break it down to price per acre, but another quick glance at your surroundings and you realize that this is a lonely, lonely place. I don't know if property in Cedervale would be a bargain at any price.

I shot a few images of the dilapidated buildings, and then focused my attention to the school. Surely this building has historical significance. It sports classic Southwestern architecture, and a closer examination reveals a gymnasium that is cut down in the ground at the back of the building. Looking through the stone-framed windows, old wood floors that look as if they are about the collapse, school desks, and other school paraphernalia littered the floor. Classes hadn't been held in this building for a long, long time.

I achieved the black skies by shooting in color, then went to the blue channel in Hue/Saturation in Photoshop and pulled the luminance all the way down to zero. This created a black sky, and then I created an adjustment layer and converted the image to Black & White.