Capturing Images of Infested Regions of The Southwest
Arizona is known for it’s rough desert landscape and capturing images of the wildlife as they go about their daily routines in the desert is a site to see. I have been photographing nature for a few decades now and there is almost nothing more interesting than photographing infestations. I have been in attics with bat infestations that numbered in the hundreds, seen rat infestations that have filled barnyards, and bee infestations that have placed thousands of buzzing bees in the walls of a residential structure. No matter the insect, no matter the rodent, infestations are an amazing site to behold and if you are lucky enough you can photograph them before they move on to another location or before they get removed.
Being in this industry for as long as I have you learn a lot of tricks to help you get in front of the landscape or scene you want to photograph. Finding locals to take you to that hidden waterfall, or to that pristine landscape can make all the difference in the world. When I set out into the Arizona desert to find abandoned mining towns and structures that may have fell victim to one of natures marvelous infestations I decided to reach out to a local pest control company in Phoenix for advise on finding the perfect infestation. Scorpions, spiders, snakes, rats, roaches, I really didn’t care what it was, I just wanted to find an infested piece of land and photograph for a few hours. I was hoping the pest control company may have had a job on the books that I could have photographed prior to them removing the infestation, but there was no such luck. They were able to give me some good advice that was specific to each insect and rodent that was native to Arizona.
There were some interesting tips on how scorpions nested and where I might find an infestation of them. Rattlesnakes typically don’t infest areas of land but rather roam free, however there were suggestions about rocky landscapes where I might find an abundance of rattlers and other sun-loving reptiles. The old mining towns of Kearney, and Jerome offer some great abandoned properties to photograph that had small infestations of rodents.
We eventually ventured downtown Phoenix near the old Union Station where there was an abundance of opportunity for infestations. As I took a closer look through the lens of my camera I did notice that there were cockroaches on just about everything that was lining the drainage ditch. The drainage ditch provides plenty of moisture and collects enough garbage to create a feeding frenzy for both roaches and rats. Although I didn’t see any rats, the conditions were perfect for them. The roach infestation was real though, and we have some wonderful images to share with you showcasing what we found.
We hope you enjoy this piece of Photographing The West and hope you return soon to see our new projects and artistic photographs.
Check out some of the outdoor photography gear used on this shoot.