Posts tagged “Salton Sea

The Quest


Remember when Alice was lost in Wonderland? She serendipitously stumbled upon The Cheshire  Cat and admitted innocently, “I am lost and not quite sure which way to go”

With a wry Grin, the Cheshire Cat  responded with a question of her own…”Where do you want to go?”

To which Alice responded, “I am not quite sure”

Grinning from ear to ear the insightful Cat dropped some clever Wisdom and said…”If you’re not sure where you are going, then any road will take you there”

“…there is only one success in Life, and that is to live in such a way that a skilled Mortician is gonna have a very tough time wiping that grin from your face” … (Rosita Perez)

This shot is from Bombay Beach, Salton Sea, California. Multiflash, long exposure Photography with special Friends!

Thanks for the kind visit to my humble Blog…Erik…

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The Importance of Being Alone

The Soup of the Salton Sea

The most important relationship we have in our lives is with our selves. And even though we are the only ones who are present at every moment of our lives—from birth onward—this relationship can be the most difficult one to cultivate. This may be because society places such emphasis on the importance of being in a romantic partnership, even teaching us to set aside our own needs for the needs of another. Until we know ourselves, however, we cannot possibly choose the right relationship to support our mutual growth toward our highest potential. By allowing ourselves to be comfortable with being alone, we can become the people with whom we want to have a relationship.

Perhaps at no other time in history has it been possible for people to survive, and even thrive, while living alone. We can now support ourselves financially, socially, and emotionally without needing a spouse for survival in any of these realms. With this freedom, we can pursue our own interests and create fulfilling partnerships with friends, business partners, creative cohorts, and neighbors. Once we’ve satisfied our needs and created our support system, a mate then becomes someone with whom we can share the bounty of all we’ve created and the beauty we’ve discovered within ourselves.

As we move away from tradition and fall into more natural cycles of being in the world today, we may find that there are times where being alone nourishes us and other periods in which a partnership is best for our growth. We may need to learn to create spaces to be alone within relationships. When we can shift our expectations of our relationships with ourselves and others to opportunities for discovery, we open ourselves to forge new paths and encounter uncharted territory. Being willing to know and love ourselves, and to find what truly makes us feel deeply and strongly, gives us the advantage of being able to attract and choose the right people with whom to share ourselves, whether those relationships fall into recognizable roles or not. Choosing to enjoy being alone allows us to fully explore our most important relationship—the one with our true selves.

The image here is from one of the most beautifully desolate locations in Southern California – The Salton Sea. It is truly unworldly and seemed appropriate for the subject of this post. This was a long exposure taken on the East Shore close to Bombay Beach. The crust in this old pier is from accumulation of salt from the sea over time and extreme temperature fluctuations – the shoreline is not sand, but millions of dead Tilapia, dried and bleached by the hard desert sun!

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Mind Games

For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their own ego. As with all relationships and situations, we must look within for our difficulties and the solution. By disengaging, being still and going within we can begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will likely find  unprocessed emotions that can be released into the stillness we find in meditation. The situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free. Whenever people come into our lives, they have come to show us something about ourselves that we had not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.

This was shot recently at The Salton Sea just east of San Diego. The area is beautiful for its desolation – you may recall several other posts with this same Harley and Model. Here we wanted to capture the Ghost Rider zipping off into the distance with the thoughts of two women on his mind, the old and the new. The old, he carries with him as a shadow of what once was, the new still fresh in his mind.

To purchase a Digital Download or Print of this unique shot, click!i=2050290494&k=j7nZKSn  and you will go straight to our photo website – you might want to check some of the other Salton Sea pictures while you are there!

The Ghost Rider


Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than merely being, and that making the most of life is a matter of forging ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lurch forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life …time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully.  Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. This is especially true in Photography!

How it was Done: We recently visited The Salton Sea in the desert east of San Diego with some friends, models and a stunning Harley-Davidson motorcycle for some photographic fun. As the sun set, things got dark really fast and we had just one more shot in mind. This shot involved the rider and Harley driving slowly in front of the two models and down the long stretch of road as the camera’s shutter remained open. The idea was that the motion blur of the rider and tail lights would lend a stark and spooky contrast to the two stationary models. To execute this we had to work fast as it get pitch black in the desert after sunset! A Nikon D7000 with a cabled shutter release was set up on a very stable Manfrotto Tripod and set low to the ground. The camera was adjusted manually for a shutter speed of 3 seconds, aperture of f8, ISO100 and focussed on the models with the help of some flashlights. The autofocus was then turned off (the camera would try to track the moving bike as it passed). The rider started his run and just as he passed the camera’s viewing angle, the shutter was tripped. As the driver approached the models, the scene was briefly lit up by a Nikon SB600 Speedlight. The light from the bike’s headlamp continued to light up the road in the distance. These types of shots take a bit of forethought and setup, but when they come to fruition are truly rewarding and often surprising!

Tides of Change

There are times when our whole world seems to be falling apart around us, and we are not sure what to hold onto anymore. Sometimes our relationships crumble and sometimes it’s our physical environment. At other times, we can’t put our finger on it, but we feel as if all the walls have fallen down around us and we are standing with nothing to lean on, exposed and vulnerable. These are the times in our lives when we are given an opportunity to see where we have established our sense of identity, safety, and well-being. And while it is perfectly natural and part of our process to locate our sense of self in externals, any time those external factors shift, we have an opportunity to rediscover and move closer to our core, which is the only truly safe place to call home. The core of our being is not affected by the shifting winds of circumstance or subject to the cycles of change that govern physical reality. We can cling to this core when things around us are falling apart, knowing that an inexhaustible light shines from within ourselves. Times of external darkness can be a great gift in that they provide an opportunity to remember this inner light that shines regardless of the circumstances of our lives.

This was shot at the east coast of The Salton Sea on the shores of Bombay Beach. Several decades ago, this area was a thriving Mecca for Hollywood‘s “Rich and Famous” and a very popular Resort Town for people who enjoy water skiing, sport fishing and otherwise soaking in the desert sun. Over the years, popularity has faded and the area has fallen into a state of decay. For a Photographer, this presents many wonderfully dramatic opportunities with old building, piers, machines, cars and the like. The best time to visit this area is in the winter when the temperatures are not quite as scorching and there is the possibility of storm clouds and spectacular sunsets. Using long exposure times on shots like this will smooth out the surface of the water to great effect. Certainly this is a go-to place for the curious and the intrepid Photographer.

Hit The Lights!

A continuation from our Salton Sea explorations! This is from a location where we are planning to shoot some recreations of “Ghosts of the 20’s and 30’s” very soon. The Salton Sea was accidentally created when the Colorado River was diverted, and filled up this basin in the desert with fresh water! It then became the playground of the Rich and Famous from the Hollywood Set. Resorts, Restaurants, Hotels popped up like mushrooms and the entire area flourished! The Great Depression, WWII and other economic factors later caused the area to lose its allure and eventually fall into decay. The Sea itself, due to the fact that it no longer has a fresh input of water became more and more salty as the hot desert sun evaporated its water, leaving only the heartiest of fish, The mighty Tilapia, behind. You may recall previous posts regarding this fish and how it lines the shores…yuck!

This image harkens a time where perhaps a band was about to come to the stage, Flappers and Gents with Spats ready to dance – the call comes to the Stage Tech – Hit The Lights… perhaps we can also create a modern-day story around as part of our Salton Sea Project? What do you think?

Thanks for the kind visit to our humble Photoblog!  If you have any questions, just drop a note

Kathleen and Erik

A Salton Sea Totem Pole

A continuation of our Salton Sea Series. This just caught our eye during the hard light at around 3 PM. It could be just a post in the sand, or you could look at it symbolically as a Modern Totem Pole and with a bit of stretch, a crazy smokestack (perhaps the fuel is dead Tilapia…recall previous posts).  We are well in advance of our plan to shoot a stunning Harley Davidson at this location for the owner of a San Diego company. We had the privilege to spend some time with him at Chicano Park in San Diego where he was kind enough to move his bike all over depending on this fickle Photographer. He so liked the shots so much,  that when we proposed Salton Sea (and backed it up with a scouting report with test shots) he was all in.

The project is now growing in scope! We are trying to line up some San Diego Models and Makeup Artists to join us at this location. The initial concept was to celebrate the Glory of the Salton Sea, “Playground for the Rich and Famous” of the 20’s and 30’s. Having stunning Models in a grunge scene looking wistfully around, like they were Ghosts from Yesteryear would be cool. As all Projects, they evolve in Concept right to the time you set up the first lights and hit the shutter! EXCITED!

This shot was a light test having hard backlight with a bit of front fill. The sun striations were deliberate. For a Model, we would do the same – it is natural High Key Light and wonderful. We have a VERY powerful portable Quantum Flash that does magic!

Thanks for the kind Visit to our humble Blog

Kathleen and Erik

PLS contact us  if you would like a TFP, Models and MUA Welcome!


Open Me If You Dare

This continues the Grunge Series from the Salton Sea Area – there are just too many wonderful places to explore, and this was our first foray to The Eastern Shore. This shot is from an abandoned cafe, seemed like the guy on the right, din not like what could come through the door on the left!

Other wonders await at Bombay Beach, such as ruins of yesteryear, bubbling mud pools, mud volcanos and other Photographer’s delights! The South Side of Salton Sea has been recently hit with many Earthquake Swarms, or love intensity quakes. This could be a precursor to something a bit more serious and this particular area lies right on the San Andreas Fault!

What a shame it would be to organize a Harley Davidson Photoshoot only to have the Earth open up and suck that beautiful bike into its bowels…Models who want to join, have no fear, we will have ropes around your waists to yank you out! 😉

The southern segment (known as the Mojave segment) begins near Bombay Beach, California. Box Canyon, near the Salton Sea, contains upturned strata resulting from that section of the fault.[2] The fault then runs along the southern base of the San Bernardino Mountains, crosses through the Cajon Pass and continues to run northwest along the northern base of the San Gabriel Mountains. These mountains are a result of movement along the San Andreas Fault and are commonly called the Transverse Range. In Palmdale, a portion of the fault is easily examined as a road cut for the Antelope Valley Freeway runs directly through it.

After crossing through Frazier Park, the fault begins to bend northward. This area is referred to as the “Big Bend” and is thought to be where the fault locks up in Southern California as the plates try to move past each other. This section of the fault has an earthquake-recurrence interval of roughly 140–160 years. Northwest of Frazier Park, the fault runs through the Carrizo Plain, a long, treeless plain within which much of the fault is plainly visible. The Elkhorn Scarp defines the fault trace along much of its length within the plain.

Research has shown that the Southern segment, which stretches from Parkfield in Monterey County, California all the way down to the Salton Sea, is capable of a Richter scale 8.1 earthquake. An earthquake of that size on the Southern segment (which, at its closest, is 40 miles away from Los Angeles) would kill thousands of people in Los Angeles, San Bernandino, Riverside, and other areas, and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in property and economic damage.

Thanks for the kind visit to our humble blog and drop us a note if you have any questions regarding bookings or special shoots!

There is Something Fishy here…Why I dont Eat Tilapia


Yummy Tilapia!

This continues our Series of Salton Sea Shots. This was from the North Shore, not far from the abandoned Cafe from previous posts. Our first voyage to Salton Sea many years ago was quite exciting as we approached the Beach on the West side….it was sparkling white! WOW. As we got closer, it became obvious that the “white” was from thousands of sun bleached fish bones! Here, on the North side, these guys still need a bit of decay and some hot Cali Sun before they can transform this beach into pearlescent beauty! 🙂

Salton Sea is home to a large population of Oreochromis mossambicus known locally as Salton Sea Tilapia. How they got into the Salton Sea is not known for certain.  Salton Sea tilapia feed on plant material, phytoplankton (particularly diatoms), copeepods, rotifers, barnacle and larve, and small anneild worms. One peculiarity of the Salton Sea are the periodic algae blooms that cause the fish, including the Salton Sea tilapia, to die in massive numbers, causing a particularly nasty smell. Tilapia is very popular now but I would never put it on my table….not only due to its eating habits, appearance, none descript texture and taste, but I prefer something I can catch myself, like a crafty Rainbow Trout!

Thanks for the visit and may you enjoy your Tilapia Fish Taco! 😉


Blue and Brown

Will be your Buddie for an Apple

When we were scouting for a session location for a Harley Davidson Photo Shoot at The Salton Sea (recall previous posts), we stopped for a break before navigating down the mountain from the High Desert. There were several horses close by, so we decided to make friends…some were a bit skittish, but this guy just loved to be scratched (and having an apple which I gave to snack on probably helped too!). They all looked a bit sad when we finally had to leave and head to the wonders of The Salton Sea – next time we will bring apples for all! Notice the Blue Brown eyes….

The reason for this shot is that resembles the cover of a great Photo Website called “Lightstalking”. Here there are countless tricks and tips about Photography but the best part is that weekly, our friend Scott from British Columbia, makes a round-up of all of the best photos, tutorials from around the globe! We have been part of this list on several occasions and it is so humbling….AND COOL!

😉  Thanks for the kind visit…Kathleen and Erik

The 14 Dollar “Hook Up”

Bunny Ranch...Look Out!

This continues the Series from Salton Sea North Shore – this entire Region is just packed with gems for the curious Photographer! This was shot outside an abandoned Cafe which surely, in its time, served the best food West of…well, there isn’t much East of here! I know in today’s terms, “A Hook Up” has a somewhat different meaning that connecting water and electricity to a Recreational Vehicle, so that is why I think it is funny. Only 14 Dollars for a Hook Up! And you can “Hook Up” on The Sea, The Spa or The Pool! Wow! Nevada Bunny Ranch…Look Out…Salton Hook Ups have you on their Radar! (Broken, but fixable).

This is a hand-held three EV HDR (High Dynamic Range) shot. I usually execute these with a Tri-Pod, remote shutter release, but this was a trip just to scope the scene for a future Harley Davidson shoot – you can look through some previous posts from Chicano Park. This is an awesome Bike and deserves more Photographic Love! Recent Snowy Conditions in the mountains we would have to cross (Yes, it snows in SoCal) cancelled the Project last Sunday, but we are replanning before it gets too hot in the Desert!

Thanks for the visit and if you have any questions just drop an email to

I Am Free!


I am Free...Free Falling!

This continues the Series from the North Shore of Salton Sea. We continued our search for the ultimate Harley Davidson bike shoot and looking forward to an Edgy Trash the Dress location. This was a warehouse, somewhat creepy, full of debris, Tags and evidence of some outrageous activities.  We would not like to return and a Friday night! Still curious how to get the Harley inside without damaging the bike…or having a clear Escape Route in case of trouble…Hmmm.

Thanks to all the Local Photographers like Nick Chill and Shane Lund (I know I am missing some), who helped us to discover these cool spaces!

With Kindest Regards, Kathleen and Erik


Have a Seat, Relax!

Did you bring Popcorn?

This was shot in what looked like an old warehouse on the east shore of The Salton Sea, just east of San Diego California. We were scouting for interesting and edgy locations for a Harley Davidson motorcycle shoot as well as a Trash the Dress sometime later this summer. This was an enormous location, but from the debris, it looked like it is actually a busy spot. During the week at three PM it seemed rather safe, but I can imagine that there is much more activity later during the week and as the sun goes down. Still, an amazingly interesting spot!

In the 1920s, the Salton Sea developed into a tourist attraction, because of its water recreation, and waterfowl attracted to the area.

The Salton Sea has had some success as a resort area, with Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, and Desert Shores on the western shore and Desert Beach, North Shore, and Bombay Beach built on the eastern shore in the 1950s. The town of  Niland is located 2 miles (3 km) southeast of the Sea as well. The evidence of geothermal activity is also visible. There are Mud Pots and Mud Volcanoes on the eastern side of the Salton Sea. There are also hundreds of thousand of dried up fish bones lining the shores, glistening white after being bleached by the harsh desert sun over the years! This place is a must see for Photographers.

Thanks for the kind visit and if you have any questions, just drop us a note

The Fish Eye

And Sir, we have Fresh Tilapia on The Menu tonight!

This was shot on the west shore of the Salton Sea, east of San Diego. When we first went there, it looked liked there was a pristine white sandy beach on the shores of a placid mini ocean. As we approached we noticed that the white sand was actually the bones of millions of dead fish, bleached white by the blazing desert sun. This image shows one of the newer contributors to the beach, and coincidentally, shot with a “Fish Eye” Lens.

The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, overrunning a set of headgates for the Alamo Canal. The resulting flood poured down the canal and breached an Imperial Valley dike, eroding two watercourses, the New River in the west, and the Alamo River in the east, each about 60 miles (97 km) long. Over a period of approximately two years these two newly created rivers sporadically carried the entire volume of the Colorado River into the Salton Sink.

In the 1920s, the Salton Sea developed into a tourist attraction, because of its water recreation, and waterfowl attracted to the area. The Salton Sea remains a major resource for migrating birds.

The Salton Sea has had some success as a resort area, with Salton City, Salton Sea Beach and Desert Shores on the western shore and Desert Beach, North Beach and Bombay Beach built on the eastern shore in the 1950s. The town of Niland is located 2 miles southeast of the Sea as well. The evidence of geothermal activity is also visible. There are mud pots and mud volcanoes on the eastern side of the Salton Sea.

The lack of an outflow means that the Salton Sea is a system of accelerated change. Variations in agricultural runoff cause fluctuations in water level (and flooding of surrounding communities in the 1950s and 1960s), and the relatively high salinity of the inflow feeding the Sea has resulted in ever-increasing salinity. By the 1960s it was apparent that the salinity of the Salton Sea was rising, jeopardizing some of the species in it. The Salton Sea currently has a salinity exceeding 4.0% w/v (saltier than seawater) and many species of fish are no longer able to survive. It is believed that once the salinity surpasses 4.4% w/v, only the Tilapia will survive (A favourite fish of many Locals, myself NOT included).