Paul’s high desert Junkyard contains hundreds of vehicles, many used as props in the television and film industry. There are police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, buses, limousines, taxis, armored cars, garbage trucks, travel trailers/RVs, semi-trucks and heavy equipment. There’s even a few airplanes, helicopters and subway cars. Some of these objects are in storage, to be repainted and reused in another movie, but many are destined to meet their end at Paul’s . . . because the site also contains a full blown recycling operation . . . ‘The Pit” in the center of the yard, where massive crushers and shredders reduce the crashed and worn out vehicles into recyclable pieces no bigger than your fist. From the air it looks like a circling Black Hole, slowly absorbing everything in it’s orbit.
Since 2011, I’ve spent 35 nights inside Paul’s taking pictures and teaching night photography and light painting workshops. Every trip is a little different. The repertoire of vehicles is constantly changing, as new vehicles come in and inexorably inch their way closer to the pit, where they are consumed. Many of these objects are already gone. Sometimes Paul feels playful and stacks up a pile of RVs, or tears a car in half, or pulls a surprising treasure from his indoor collection, just for us to shoot.