Night photography: Abandoned East Bay Ranch

Metal fencing and towers, abandoned East Bay ranch -- by Joe Reifer

Metal fencing and towers, abandoned East Bay ranch — by Joe Reifer

We loaded the bikes and headed for the hills. The rendezvous point was a strip mall parking lot with a tanning salon. The sun set and the moon was already high in the sky. We parked in a non-descript suburban neighborhood. Maybe I drank too much yerba mate again because while riding off into the hills on my singlespeed a mild euphoria took hold. I could use a mild euphoria once in a while.

We arrived at the abandoned ranch and stashed the bikes. Lights in the distance, we waited in the shadows. After a short time the coast seemed clear. Tripods out, shutters open for moonlit exposures of this abandoned ranch with a golden hills in the background. A burned down house and scorched palm tree. Broken headstone remnants pieced together like a puzzle on the ground.

And then the sound of gunshots in the distance. Again into the shadows. Are the shots coming closer? Escape route planned via Google Earth. After an hour or so the shots die down. The moon heads West. Moonlight and shadow now the converse of their earlier positions. The only sound we hear is cows mooing in the distance as we continue to document the crumbling ranch.

Later we ride back through the crisp night air. With only one speed I mash up the hill and my compadres soon follow. Bikes loaded up we drive off into the night. Here’s the full gallery of night images from the abandoned ranch.

7 thoughts on “Night photography: Abandoned East Bay Ranch”

  1. I love it! I love riding my single speed at night and I love night photography! Don’t know why I haven’t done them both the same night. Inspiring!

    1. Hey Seb – I was really surprised at how little light pollution there was close to the city. The little valley felt far away from modern civilization, even though it’s only a few miles.

  2. Thanks, Kent. The golden hills really had some zing in the moonlight. Not sure what the structure is next to the water tank. I laughed at your comment though — I have a friend I go cycling with who has a catch phrase when we’re somewhere remote: “This would be a great place for a billboard!”

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