Friday, May 25, 2007

The Salton Sea

My photo class for this semester is finally coming to an end. I've loved it - my teacher, my classmates, and the growth I've achieved in during the course. My printing has never been better and I have a renewed enthusiasm for film. I'll never leave digital because that's where the future (and my business) lay (lies?), however, I have renewed a love for vintage cameras. I'm currently looking for a Rolleiflex - made sometime in the mid-1900's and is in medium format (the negatives are bigger and square as opposed to tiny little 35mm rectangles). If anyone has any advice on how to get my hands on one - let me know.

I've been doing a lot of shooting - some digital, but mostly not. The bit of digital I have done is only now being addressed due to time constraints. My final project for class was done in film, but the place was so cool, I made sure to take my digital camera along so I would be sure to "develop" more than just a couple key images.

For my project, I thought it would be cool to check out the Salton Sea. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, it's in the desert, near Indio. It's very hot and dry; on the day I went it was 95 degrees. In the 50's, the area was a very popular resort. Celebrities and families alike went there to vacation, to waterski, to "summer". In the 70's, the area faced severe flooding. Over time, water that used to feed into the Salton Sea was diverted to Los Angeles and San Diego's water supply. The water is now so salty only the tilapia can survive. What is now left is mudflats, covered with a layer of crackly salt. Ghost towns with homes and beach resorts still intact, although slowly decaying with time and elements. Some people still live out there and it is fascinating to see children playing in their front yard while next door is an abandoned shell of a former home. The water is so blue because it reflects off the vivid sky. Up close, the water is yellow-brown and muddy.

I loved my first 2 excursions out to this area and I hope to revisit it many more times. I believe that the images on film captured this place perfectly. I only hope my digital images will convey some of that haunting beauty.

If you'd like to see the rest of the set, click here.


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