Randsburg Workshop by Robert (Bob) Fletcher

February 9, 2016



On February 7th, 20 IEPPV members, 10 of them brand new members to IEPPV, enjoyed 2 days photographing Randsburg, CA (aka “The Living Ghost Town”) off Hwy 395, about 2 hours north of Riverside. They also spent part of the afternoon photographing the cemetery in Johannesburg, a small town around the corner from Randsburg. The late afternoon was spent at “Wagon Wheel” and the sunset and the “Winter Milky Way” was photographed at Trona Pinnacles, a one-hour drive from Randsburg.


New friends were made, old acquaintances were re-ignited and fun was had by all. Most of the members spent the night either at the Randsburg Inn or in Ridgecrest, a few miles away from Randsburg. Several members brought their trailers and stayed at a local citizens side yard, with his permission of course (thanks to Tom O’Donnell).


As an added bonus, the owner of the Randsburg Art Gallery, Randall “Hoot” Smith, binvited our members to display their photographs of the local area in the Art Gallery and post them for sale, if they desire. Our local guide, Tom O’Donnell, aka “Normal Tom”, did an excellent job of gaining permission to photograph many locations that would normally be unavailable to photographers. He put us in locations at the right time of day for excellent lighting.


The townspeople were welcoming and kind, opening museums when normally closed and preparing delicious meals. (Maybe not real fast, but it was really good). Carl Bernhardt, one of our own members, pointed out a very special event in the night sky and assisted our members in photographing the “5 planet” view in the early morning sky. Thank you Carl for all your knowledge and assistance. A spontaneous trip to the Trona Pinnacles gave the members an opportunity to photograph a beautiful array of stars and have a little fun with painting with light and lasers. A wonderful group of people, learning and sharing photographic ideas made for a great weekend!


Just for fun… a poetic summary of the weekend by Paula Grumling-Fletcher as follows:


On September seventh of two thousand sixteen

Twenty members gathered at Randsburg, CA

Ten of them new joined the crew

Holding the ghosts at bay!

The old western town

With hills that were brown

Was haunted at least that’s what they say.


Cameras were snapping – there was no time for napping

From sunrise to stars shining bright

A time at the graveside

And rocks we all climbed

It was a photographers paradise sight

Stories were told by “normal” Tom

Who’s praises the townsfolk sang.


And “Hoot”, owns the gallery

And won’t take a salary

If photos you wanted to hang.

The planets aligned

In the wee morning time

And Carl gave an astrology class

We photographed more

A building, a door

Even some old broken glass.


We all took a ride

That jolted our side

Down a dusty road we were sent

To the Pinnacles we drove

And found a high cove

We hope our cars have no dent.


At night when the stars

Shone brighter than Mars

We drove on a washboard it seemed

The night was pitch black

But Bob’s laser in tact

Gave off a bright blue beam


The time that we spent

Was enjoyable and fun

And we all got some pretty good shots

We hope that next time

You’ll be included in the rhyme

And share in the lessons that were taught.



Ghosts live here


Old Rusty


You Rock!!!


Are the stars out tonight?


See you Sunday!


He’s got the look


All bottled up after the holidays