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In Focus: Teton Ghost Town

by Robert Christian Malmberg

 
"An Oven Rests in the Field" 8 x 10" original tintype. All photos: Robert Christian Malmberg

Just as winter started teasing the mountain region of the western United States, photographer Robert Christian Malmberg built a mobile darkroom trailer out of a 5 x 8' U-Haul and, along with a colleague, drove seventeen hours from San Francisco to Jackson, Wyoming.

Their initial plan was to shoot Yellowstone and the Tetons in the collodion process (Malmberg's esoteric photography format of choice). But then they came across the remnants of a ghost town in the open plains just outside Jackson — surrounded by the Teton mountain range.

Malmberg says, "The images we started producing felt so much richer than the generic nature shots that you see on calendars and postcards."

They woke up at 6 a.m. every morning to pull the trailer out into the fields, where they would shoot all day long, producing five to seven plates per day. 

About the image above, Malmberg explains, "As we wandered through the open plains, we stumbled across this antique oven, which appeared to be intact and surviving the harsh winter climates of Jackson. Had the house collapsed all around it? Who was the family that used this oven to make their meals? Where are they now?"

Robert is a photographer, filmmaker, and collodion artist based in New York City. You can see some of his work at robertmalmberg.com and vimeo.com. He travels for the memories, the people, and, of course, the image making.

Get to know him better: Read Robert's Fathom Questionnaire.

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