I had been trying to get to this place for years. I had some free time and I wanted an adventure, so I called and got permission to photograph the trucks. It took some digging because this particular place is not actually listed as a truck graveyard. It's a
trucking company. A father had started collecting old trucks and then died, leaving them to his sons who didn’t know what to do with them. The trucks were left in fields, all throughout the woods, and overflowing two barns.
But I couldn’t find the place! I drove past the entrance because I couldn’t see anything. The grass was halfway up my chest and way over my waistline. I thought, “Oh boy, I have just found myself a field of chiggers, ticks and snakes!” But as soon as I started looking, it was exactly like hunting for buried treasure because the more I looked, the more intrigued I got!
And the more intrigued I got, the more I could not stop myself from wading through
briars and stickers. My arms were covered in cuts. You should've seen my legs!
Winding through twisted brambles, I felt like I was seeing things for the first time, things that nobody had seen in years.
There was one particular find that I just couldn't stop looking at. I opened a tractor
trailer door and found a 66 Ford Mustang just sitting there. I thought, “You've got to be
kidding me!!” And as I was gazing at these 50 and 60-year-old cars, the only thing that
I could see was time. Some of them were a good use of time, and some of them were
lemons and a terrible use of time. Time had passed. But the more time passed, the
more it seemed these cars and trucks had something to say. I was awed by the texture,
the rust, and how time was re-capturing them. I couldn’t stop photographing them! I
know that I was inches away from piles of things that could've eaten me, but at the
same time - I really didn't care. I had to keep exploring.
I found windshields that looked like they had bullet holes in them. I found old cars that
looked like they were... you know my mind kept running. “Where did this old truck
come from?! What did it see?!” The texture. I could not get over the texture. The raw,
rusted, faded, cob-webbed texture of these trucks.
I know when I heard your concept of “Truck Graveyard”, I wasn’t jazzed at first. But when I saw these pictures, I was surprised. This turned out to be one of my absolute favorite shoots! For example, the picture that you took of the truck with the “309” written on it, obviously you are playing with color...
When I walked into the back of this guy’s truck shop and found this particular truck, it
was near a skylight that is purple, and which casts this really great hue on the floor.
And this truck is in this guy’s truck garage! It’s in his shop and nobody has seen it in
years. They walk right past it. They don’t touch it, they don’t go near it. It’s just sitting
there. I stood there and stared at it for probably fifteen minutes before I ever took the
picture, because it was truly mesmerizing. I was seeing the purple hue coming from
one side, the truck parts completely surrounding it, and the shadow, the darkness and
the light coming from the other part of ceiling where there isn’t any light. The other wall, I don’t know where that light was coming from, but that wall was lit up and the back wall was not. And the Mack name seems highlighted. There’s texture in that!! This
particular truck seemed to have so much character. And it was just sitting there! It truly was a find. And I know people walked past that truck every single day, but it was as though I was the first person to really see it. And because its inside the shop, nobody else who randomly goes to see that place would ever lay eyes on it because they are busy outside, running around playing with chiggers, ticks and snakes. They would not see this particular truck. So this one happens to be my favorite.
Talk to me about the rust picture. What makes us like that? Because I don’t know why I like that, but I love that and I have no idea why.
The yellow truck with the pronounced rust, that was another one that I just sat and
stared at for so long. I like the way it is framed up. I think the rust and the paint bubbles
are intriguing. This is the difference between a pic and a photograph. I just want to sit
there and look at that for a little bit.
The close up of the Mack out in the field. This is my favorite. Why did you take that photograph?
This truck, I couldn’t get to the door. The door was open. And even for an abandoned vehicle, it just seemed odd to me that someone would leave the door open. Its habit. When you get out of a vehicle you close the door. Nobody leaves the door open. And this one, the door was open. That headlight, the chrome piece around the headlight is
very oxidized, but the glass looks almost brand new. And then I found the oxidation of the paint on that fender had texture and the texture is different than the door. If you look at the door, it's a little more like the rust picture but the fender is not as much rusted as it is oxidized. I love that. Texture is a big thing for me. Texture is everything. Anytime I'm behind a camera, I'm looking for texture of some kind. Whether that’s drama in the sky...and if you'll notice, the sky has some pretty good drama in this one. And the texture in the windshield. The windshield is getting very milky and white due to sun damage, but the lens on the headlight is not. I love the idea that you can see the earth swallowing this truck. It is obvious that stuff is growing all over it.
You look at the trucks in this collection, and your mind automatically questions, “How
much longer will this be here, because the earth is reclaiming its prize? How much
longer do you think they’ll remain there and we can see what once was?” These were
my thoughts as I was trekking through the arm-pit tall grass. And I was out there for
This one spoke to me because of the texture on the door handle and the shadow of the
door handle coming off the paint. It framed up so nicely.
When I look at this, I am captivated by American ingenuity. I mean this is so beautiful - this truck and the way you've captured it. And really, it's almost like you've given it a second life because I'm sitting here admiring it. I'm seeing it differently then if I had been in the weeds. This is gorgeous!
I like this one too. This reminds me of two friends.
Me too. That's exactly what I was thinking when I took the picture.
And the bullet hole! The one that has that has lichen growing on it. It reminds me of
I like the location of the circles in this one, the lights. My subconscious mind registers them as flowers when I first look at the photograph and it makes me feel happy. I like the colors too. They reflect nature’s earth tones and green vegetation. You say that you like to capture emotion and drama in your photography. You did.
It turns out to be something that is abandoned and disregarded for the earth to reclaim
becomes art before it disappears forever.
Was it worth it?
Yes, it was!