Monday, June 30, 2014

Abandonment Issues vol. 002

I hadn't planned on spending the entire day exploring abandoned places, but one thing led to another and now I've got a full blog post of photos. Kaylah and I had planned to head south to see if we could find and explore an old abandoned train tunnel and after a nearly two hour drive we pulled to the side of the road, and walked a little ways through the woods to find the tunnel we were looking for. Built in 1871 and abandoned in 1976. 

On the way home from the train tunnel my friend Brandon called me to see if I wanted to meet up with him to explore a few abandoned buildings. 

Next door to the building that we explored was an abandoned playground.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8 lens.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Film Friday - 4

I have tons of cameras in my collection, but the one that I use the least is my Holga. I love the camera, but to be honest I've never had much luck with it. It's a fun little toy camera, and I love that it's medium format but it can be a bit finicky and I can be a bit sloppy.

I apologize for repeating some shots. I have a bad habit of shooting every shot with every camera I have on hand. 

The Salton Sea

Dinosaur from Pee-wee's Big Adventure

The next few are from Norah's Art, in Joshua Tree.

I don't remember what city this was or even what state it was in but this guy had the most amazing front yard ever!

Photos taken with a Holga 120N, with Kodak Ektar 100 film.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Out West: Day Two Continued

The first two days of our trip were so full of random stops, which is what really made the trip so much fun. Some we had planned but most sort of fell into our laps. For example, the shoe fence in the Mojave Desert. I don't know much about this place but from what I can gather it's the ruins of a small house or building that burned to the ground and at some point people started leaving their shoes, and sometimes clothes. 

Another small ghost town.

The dinosaurs from Peewee's Big Adventure.

The bridge going over this drainage canal is home to thousands of bats and every night just after sun down they fly out in swarms to feed on the insects that fly around the citrus orchards that surround the area. It was nearly impossible to get any decent photos of the bats. They're too fast, too small, and the light is too dim; but it was fun to watch.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8, and Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Out West: The Salton Sea

Let me start by saying this, the Salton Sea was a mistake, an accident, an ecological mishap. It's a floodplain, that in 1905 flooded and never dried up. This is because in the early 1900's they dug irrigation canals to divert water from the Colorado River, and when the river swelled and flooded after an above average rain fall the floodplain flooded creating the largest lake in California. This seemed all well and good for a while. In fact hordes of people flocked to the lake in the middle of the desert to enjoy all sorts of recreational activities. They vacationed here, they built summer homes and resorts here, they made a life around what was advertised as a miracle but was actually a time bomb.

It didn't take long for the lake which had no outflows, to fill up with saline deposits from the Colorado River. This led to a salt content higher than that of the Pacific Ocean. To make matters worse, agricultural run off was also filling the lake with pesticides. The fish didn't stand a chance. They died off in the millions, leaving the banks littered with rotting fish carcasses. The lake had become toxic, and the tourists had left. People abandoned their summer homes and RV's. The Salton Sea and it's dozens of resorts, motels, and beach side communities were left to decay in the desert sun.

This is what compelled to me to visit this place. It was six or seven years ago when I first saw photos from the Salton Sea, and I'd been dying to see it for myself ever since. I shot as many photos as I could but none of them can even begin to describe what the Salton Sea is really like. Being here is a surreal experience, one that I'm anxious to return to. 

I have so many photos from here, including dozens of 35mm and 120 film photos, so look for a Salton Sea film post sometime next week.

Photos taken with Canon TL QL, 50mm f/1.8, 28mm f/2.5, using Kodak Gold 200, and Fujicolor Superia 200 film.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Out West: Day Two

We had left Las Vegas the night before and driven until roughly two or three in the morning. After sleeping for a few hours at a rest stop, I got up, filled the gas tank, and started driving. It had only been a few minutes before the sun started to rise over the mountains and this soft hazy blue light filled the Mojave Desert.

The sun rose quickly and with it came the heat.

In case you needed some honey while driving through the desert.

The Mojave is beautiful and peaceful. We spent quite a bit of time wandering around the desert, Kaylah looking for critters and cacti, me snapping photos and looking for mounds of rocks to climb.

Our main objective for day two was the Salton Sea. A place I had wanted to see first hand for the last several years. We also planned to see a Banana Museum, and the Dinosaurs from Peewee's Big Adventure, not to mention another half a dozen or so random little stops along the way.

Photos taken with a Canon Mark III, with a Canon 20mm f/2.8, and Canon 135mm f/2.0 lens.