Back in November 2010, Austin Hargrave wrote about his experience photographing the homeless who live in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas. His photographs appeared in Matthew O’Brien’s book, Beneath the Neon, which documents the people who live (for a variety of reasons) in the drainage tunnels beneath the city. With homelessness numbers in Las Vegas tripling since 2009, it makes you wonder if the tunnels have seen an influx of residents in the last year.
We spent a couple of hours down in the tunnels in pitch black, meeting the residents of the tunnels and hearing their stories. One of the last couples, who lived about 30 minutes deep in the tunnels, was Steven and Kathryn. They had set up a large camp with a queen bed, a shelf, and a kitchen and shower area.
Rather than flash everything and make life easy, I decided to light just with a small LED torch with the camera on a tripod. I moved around the scene lighting different parts with my back to the camera hiding the torch from the camera, and keeping the shutter open with the help of a pocket wizard.
After a couple of hours we stumbled back out into blinding light and sweltering heat of a Las Vegas Summer day, and had seen another side to Las Vegas.