Boom Town

by Derrick Bostrom in


A couple weekends ago, time and the weather permitted my wife and I the opportunity to hit the road. Naturally, I wanted to take pictures, so I lobbied for a drive to my old fave haunt, the Miami/Globe area.

Miami's charm is undeniable. Huddled around decrepit mining operations, crumbling homes rub shoulders with shuttered processing plants and massive barren tailing mounds. The best stuff is out of public view, hidden behind locked gates and barbed wire fences on land owned by the mines, which continue to function. But the neighborhoods offer up plenty of wealth on their own. My wife hates it when I hunt for subjects in the residential streets. She feels that homes should be off limits, and says it's only a matter of time before I earn a confrontation with an irate resident. But these places are clearly empty, and not long for this world. Besides, I can always say I work for a real estate company.

Miami's main street lies empty, aside from the antique stores slowly reclaiming the area, just up the road, Globe looks to be experiencing a comparative boom. No doubt, folks are flocking in, hoping to take advantage of the so-called small town experience. Though not as "picturesque" as Miami, Globe has a drawing power all its own. I've always loved the old Elks Building, the so-called "tallest three-story building in the world." Though it's not the most challenging subject in the world, it was a good excuse to put the cheap kit lens that came with my camera through its paces.

One thing is certain: though this lens gets a pretty wide angle, its fish-eye and chromatic distortion make it far from usable. I had to pound the crap outta these pics to make 'em look halfway good. But I'm hoping if I use it enough, I'll get so fed up that I'll lose any hesitation about spending a lot more money on a better one. But I should at least shell out a couple of bucks for a polorizing filter, since these pics also suffer greatly from being taken in the midday Arizona sun -- all blown highlights, washed out color and lost detail in the shadows. But don't let me discourage you:

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Miami, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona

Globe, Arizona