Erica Colegrove » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 112016

“Skull Savvy” || Photo copyright Erica Colegrove

“Skull Savvy”

Two Guns, Arizona, sends chills down my spine every time I think about my trip. It was a popular tourist stop along the famous Route 66, but now lies completely abandoned. In the 19th century, it was also the area of a major confrontation between the Navajo and the Apache. In any sense, being there alone was terrifying, but I had to go get some shots of it. Among the many pictures I left with, this shot promotes the exact feeling that I intended; which is a combination of mystery and terror. I am not exactly sure what this building used to be, but it is located to the right of the gas station as you head into Two Guns, (nowadays, it looks just like an old shack). Writing and graffiti covers everything in the area, but this skull really stood out to me. The air radiates some sort of dark presence.

Since I was too afraid to step into the shack alone, I decided to use the outer window as a frame around the dark doodle. Ironically, through the other side of the shack, a beautiful landscape of Northern Arizona is visible. The green and yellow hues of the plant life seem to balance out the dark and decrepit interior of the structure. A hint of blue from the sky peeps in through the corner of the far left window, which I think brings the entire color spectrum of the photo together.

I use a Canon Rebel t5i. I have always used Canon. I shot this particular photo with the 18-55mm kit lens. At the time it was one of three lenses that I had available, although now I have a few more from saving my money wisely. I use the lowest ISO possible, so this photo has an ISO of 100 with an aperture of f/7.1, shutter speed of 1/80 of a second and a focal length of 26.0 mm.

About the Photographer:

I realized my passion of photography from both my mother, and believe it or not, my ex. We spent a lot of time in my past relationship shooting together and I learned a lot despite not being together anymore. I regret nothing because we shared such an important role in each other’s growth as photographers. My mother is the person who pushed me to start in the first place, and who bought me my first camera body. Other than photography, I am a freelance charcoal artist. Art is incredibly important to me and always seems to find me wherever I am. In the future I want to think of a new way to incorporate both sides of my art into one, but for now I prefer to focus on one at a time. Within photography, my interest revolves around events such as concerts and also fashion photography. Although I do enjoy getting out into nature by myself when the idea of being around people overwhelms me. My ideal life would be as a paid photographer, traveling around the world to capture the essence of life. I am inspired by that goal alone, and hopefully one day will find myself doing just that.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Erica would love to hear from you!