Off the Beaten Path: Photographing the Castle Dome Mine in Quartzsite, AZ

The Castle Dome city, mine and museum is a well done and pretty large re-creation of a turn of the century “town.” It’s not easy to get to, but well worth a trip, as this is one of the best “ghost towns” we have been too. Here is what you might see.

If you have followed us for a while you know that we love ghost towns and anything Americana. Castle Dome City is 1 hour from Quartzsite, AZ which is 2 hours east of Phoenix and 3:30 hours east of Tucson. We went out to Quartzsite to photograph the KOFA Wildlife Refuge, as well as, Castle Dome. The road into the town is dirt, but very smooth and easy for passenger vehicles.

After a short orientation and history lesson about the city and mine, we were let loose to wander around town. It was a bright and hot day, so we photographed with color cameras and our infrared cameras converting the images to monochrome. There was opportunities to shoot wide and do close-up work. I think you could spend 1-2 hours here easily exploring all of the buildings.

We did not use tripods on this day, which was a little regrettable in some of the indoor spaces. We jacked up our ISO to get shutter speeds we could hand-hold.

Each building was very well staged and nothing looked messy or trashy. There were quite a few places and buildings that just had too much stuff to photograph well.

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