Shoot Out In A Ghost Town

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Rhyolite's History


In 1904, two men found gold in a high rocky valley in the middle of the Nevada desert mountains.

Six months later, the two-tent mining camp’s population exceeded 5,000 people, and by 1907, the town of Rhyolite busted at its seams with 8,000 people, 50 saloons and 35 gambling tables, 19 hotels and 16 restaurants, a schoolhouse for 250 children, a symphony and opera house, a red-light district, an ice plant, two electric plants, foundries and machine shops and even a miner’s union hospital.

By 1910, though, the mines started failing, businesses closed, and the rail lines and stagecoach shut down. Four years later, the electricity shut down, and in six years only 14 people called Rhyolite home.

And now, OneCollective brought more life into the crumbling town than it has seen in 101 years


The only remaining remnants of Rhyolite include the bank and schoolhouse, the jewelry and general stores, the jailhouse and train depot.


In three short hours, more than 10,000 images documented the next chapter in Rhyolite Ghost Town’s modern history, and the OneCollective reps brought some vigor back to the remote rocky valley.


Styling the look for this rugged landscape and empty views came from the photographers’ sense of place. 


This western ghost town spoke of tales of a forgotten time, cowboy boots and hats, but also of something chic and civilized--something a person would wear to the opera or symphony.  Hence, western chic spoke to the theme of this place.


The technological aspect of photographing this place with these reps challenged the photographers as well. 


The sky possessed not a hint of cloud cover, the cold wind breezed through the forgotten place, and the landscape tore at the heels of regular shoes. 


To get these images with a big blue sky and the correct exposure for the reps required extra lighting equipment, like portable strobes and reflectors, and many hands to hold them steady during the windy periods. 


  1. Tonia V on March 31, 2021 at 9:47 AM

    This whole event was such an over-the-top event it was hard to imagine it coming together…yet, it did, and these pictures and the video show how well it did! The video is well-done and reflects the spirit of the Rhyolite shoot and the sand dunes. It really is beautiful and worth watching (over and over)! The pictures show the beauty of photography and the girls who are the subjects of the pictures. The photographers and their talents are clearly reflected in their work! They all have such different ways of doing things and they all bring it together to create perfect shots. I cannot wait to see more of their work!

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