The cover photo was taken by Thomas Schultz on a cold day in November on his first trip to Creede, Colorado. Landscapes, urban exploration, ghost towns and abandoned buildings have always held a fascination for him. This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D camera with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. The image was initially post-processed in Adobe Lightroom, adding a texture overlay in Adobe Photoshop. His carefully chosen textures, also original photos, are shot on location and added to enhance the images, giving depth and richness to a piece, creating atmosphere. Once a texture is selected for an image, layer opacity and merge options set the mood for the final photo.
Thomas first began using this technique in the creation of his “Artifact” series, displayed for three consecutive months at the “Celebration of Fine Art” in Scottsdale, Arizona, and many other shows. Pieces from this series are currently on display at the Crestone Artisans Gallery in Crestone, Colorado.
Thomas was born in Oceanside, California in 1967 and spent most of his youth and early adulthood traversing the Sonora and lower Mohave deserts of Arizona and California. He is a fervent admirer of what he sees as a dwindling Americana, following the decay of the western landscape for almost three decades. Although his subject matter oftentimes could be considered mundane – sun-bleached highways, abandoned structures, derelict signs, collapsing shopping centers, vacant motels, deserted gas stations and vast landscapes – Thomas uses his camera to document the interaction of human resolve in a harsh, unforgiving environment. The resulting dramatic themes are stark and revealing, often emotionally charged, always honest.
The format for showing Thomas’s work as it is now began with the creation of his first flipbook in the mid-1970s. Early exposure to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, coupled with a middle -class suburban upbringing during the early Reagan years, brought about the confluence of boyhood innocence, censorship and raw, unedited artistic social commentary.
Interested in reckoning disparities, Thomas’s perspective presents the viewer with a visual narrative of the evolution of space, time and structure while exploring issues of transformation and transience, life and death, temporality and abandonment. The images evoke feelings of loneliness and despair immersed in sublime beauty.