Bill’s Auto Service

I recently spent a week in New Mexico, a state I hadn’t visited before.  I was hoping to photograph some of the many interesting vintage buildings and signs along the old Route 66, which for many decades was the main highway across the state.  Route 66 still exists in some sections in the towns, but has been supplanted by I-40 as a main route.  In addition to Albuquerque, I visited Santa Rosa and Tucumcari.  Tucumcari was filled with vintage signs, old motels, and abandoned structures.  It was great for photography!

Bill’s Auto Service was located on the edge of town, out toward several modern truck stops.  I saw the abandoned building from the road, and also noticed all the dead grasses in front.  Based on the location and the angle of the sun, I figured that a sunrise photo here would really pop with the sun hitting the building and also lighting up all the grasses.

The following morning, I showed up about ten minutes prior to sunrise.  It was cold — about 20 degrees — and very crisp.  As the sun rose, beautiful yellow light highlighted everything in front of me.

I think this is the best picture:

Bill’s Auto Service


Although I haven’t typically photographed abandoned buildings (except maybe a church or two), I found this to be quite rewarding.  It also illustrates how important light is to photography.  In the middle of the day in harsh light, this scene isn’t terribly photogenic.  But low, golden morning light makes it come alive.



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