Many feet below the surface staring at the blast lock doors inside a Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missile site in California.
Tunnel Junction for launch silo No. 3 at the Beale 851-C Titan I Missile Base.
To me, these types of images are really fun to create. This space was pitch dark, so to get this shot, I set up an LED panel at the camera, shining towards the blast doors to get a composition. Once the framing was set, I took a LED panel and placed it beneath the walkway on the right. I also placed a panel behind the ajar door. Lastly, during the exposure, I light painted the circular section of the tunnel, near the camera, with a flashlight.
It's hard to describe the feeling I had when I took my first breath of the stale air inside the Titan Missile Silo. It brought back many memories of other locations that smelled very similar; stale, damp and toxic.
For the rest of the 8 hour shoot, I wore a respirator, which drove me crazy, but in the end it didn't matter because there's something so peaceful and relaxing about wandering around places like this, which I'm sure that seems so strange to most of you. This location in particular was a place that was saturated with war, a location that terrorized many, but when I was here, it was a place of peace.
What is your happy place?
The equipment terminal contained 4 floors, accessed by personnel elevators and ladders connecting the levels. The walls were 18" thick and suspended in such a way that they would not be damaged if there was an explosion in the nearby silo.