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Desert Companion

A Closer Look

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Carlos Manzo
Carlos Manzo

It caught our eye because … we’re suckers for an enigmatic figure wandering solo in a placeless environment — and what’s he looking at? (see description below)

These images didn’t win our Focus on Nevada photo contest, but something about them made us want to know more

 

1. Photographer: Carlos Manzo

It caught our eye because … we’re suckers for an enigmatic figure wandering solo in a placeless environment — and what’s he looking at?

The story: Getting in some street photography for their CSN photography class, Manzo and a classmate encountered this guy in a vacant lot Downtown: “He was like, ‘Take my picture!’” Turns out he’s not actually looking at anything: “He was posing for us,” Manzo says. “There was a pride about him that I saw in the photo — his circumstances were rough, but he was joyful, with a strength you could see. I talked to him for a half-hour about his journey to Las Vegas.” This photo, he adds, “is my memory of that experience.”

 

2. Photographer: Stephanie Waszkiewicz

It caught our eye because … of its casual WTF appeal — it appears to be an illusion but, with its unfussy, snapshotty aesthetics, is clearly something that’s actually happening.

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The story: “I took this one at the Hoover Dam,” Stephanie writes, where the airflow whooshing up the dam’s face creates this gravity-defying effect. Simple but cool. “This was something that I wanted to capture to remember from my trip, especially since it was so weird to see.”

 

3. Photographer: Santi-Jose Acosta

It caught our eye because … what, it doesn’t catch yours?

Desert RunThe story: Acosta was showing an out-of-town friend around Seven Magic Mountains “when it seemed, out of nowhere, there was this woman walking very fast, across the desert field. She was carrying a white cardboard man.” After taking a few photos, Acosta turned to ask if the friend had seen her, too. “But when I turned back to where she was, she was gone. We had to leave, and I didn’t have time to find her again. Was she a mirage? Glad I was able to capture this very whimsical, serendipitous moment in the middle of the desert.”

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