Category Archives: United States

Return to the Salton Sea

          

View of Santa Rosa Mountains from the Salton Sea Recreation Area, California

View of Santa Rosa Mountains from the Salton Sea Recreation Area, California

I am back at the Salton Sea. I have been here for two weeks and have less than a week to go. This past weekend I realised that blanks are filling in, on this project; it is a satisfying feeling. Another trip or two, to this area, and I should be able to say “that’s it!”  This place, right from the start, touched me. It will be odd to not have to return. In the meantime… there is still more work to get done.

Dust Storm seen from Route 111, California

Dust Storm in the Imperial Valley, California

Niland, California

Niland, California

Niland, California

Niland, California

Calipatria, California

Calipatria, California

Calipatria, California

Calipatria, California

Brawley, California

Brawley, California

Brawley, California

Brawley, California

Brawley, California

Brawley, California

North Shore, California

North Shore, California

North Shore, California

North Shore, California

Westmoreland, California

Westmoreland, California

Westmoreland, California

Westmoreland, California

Westmoreland, California

Westmoreland, California

Bombay Beach, California

Bombay Beach, California

Bombay Beach, California

Bombay Beach, California

For some facts about the Salton Sea take a look at the Salton Sea Authority website.

Bombay Beach, California

Bombay Beach, California

Breathless Without You

I am playing with an ongoing series of diptychs and triptychs of photographs, mostly shot in completely different places and/or years apart (and certainly not meant for each other), that seem to come into being when put together. The three pictures below are something of an exception to the rule and were taken during my last trip to the Salton Sea, in California, a few weeks ago. Not intended to be linked, jointly they come to life.

Desert Shore, California.

Desert Shores, California.

Off Highway 111, California.

Off Highway 111, California.

Bombay Beach, California.

Bombay Beach, California.

Back at the Salton Sea

Road toward Naval Test Site, Salton Sea, California

Road toward Naval Test Site, Salton Sea, California.

Another view of the road toward Naval Test Site, Salton Sea, California

Another view of the road. Naval Test Site, Salton Sea, California

This past week I wandered off Route 86 onto the only paved road (not in a city/town) that leads to the Salton Sea – just past the Border Control station. That morning I hiked eight miles to and from the water; I spent the rest of the time photographing what little remains (without going off-road — a sedan does not cut the grade for driving in the desert; and on top of that, there *may* be unexploded ordinances in the area!) of the old World War II Naval Test Site.  This was operated by Sandia Base (later Sandia Laboratory) as a site for test-dropping dummy and live bombs; Sandia called this site The Salton Sea Test Bed.

As I headed back toward the “86” I noticed a Border Patrol truck parked at the edge of a date-palm field. Moments later, it seemed I was being followed; it took about three or four minutes before I was pulled aside. The officer asked me what I was doing down the road. Had I slept there overnight? How long had I been there? I was never asked to open my trunk (thus my smuggled Mexicans and meth remained undetected), my car was not searched, nor was my driver’s license asked for. He did request that I return to my car, however, because i had stepped out (foolish me). Once he’d convinced himself that I was not a risk to anyone or to myself, I had a chance to ask him a few questions.  It turns out that this is a common area for illegal entry into the United States from Mexico. Below are two articles I dug up on that topic (most of my findings had to do with people being stopped at this Border Patrol point – not after or before it…) :

http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jan/31/news/mn-14074

http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/salton/NewRToxicPathtoUSA.html

And here are more photographs from the Naval Test Site:

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea! Salt-encrusted metal at the Salton Sea, California.

Naval Test Site Pier. Salton Sea, California

Pier. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California

Building A-1(?). Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Building A-1(?). Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Naval Test Site. Salton Sea. California

Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Same building as above - frontal view. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Same building as above – frontal view. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Inside. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Inside. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Inside. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

Inside. Naval Test Site. Salton Sea, California.

 

The Nature of the Place

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

In a post from August 10, 2015 I wrote,

I have never considered landscape photography something I “do” nor a genre in which I am seriously interested. Yet, as I review my images of the last few years, I notice that I have taken my fair share of landscape photographs. Apparently, not only do I like “being” in the natural world, I like taking pictures of it from time to time. Looking through Ewing’s book, and other photography books I have, it is evident that the groundwork for landscape photography is as varied as the world itself and that imagery of landscape includes all forms of the man-made. Sometimes, my photographs are devoid of human figures but they are, nonetheless, often pregnant with human presence.

The first three months of this year I was in Florida – a place I do not much care for unless I am in its natural environment. At the end of my stay, there, I had the opportunity to spend time in Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. I have been to the Everglades multiple times and adore it but never have I visited Big Cypress. The few days were terrific and resulted in driving to various hiking spots. Perhaps because I recently inherited the book Landscape (part of The Library of World Photography series), from my father, I have been looking at more landscape photography than usual – much of it in black and white. Not coincidentally (perhaps), I could not help but feel in my heart that this part of Florida was meant to be seen in black and white and elusively; this sentiment was abstract but strong as I was engulfed in the terrain and had the opportunity to meditatively reflect on this ecosystem. Unlike many other landscape images in my repertoire, the following are pictures from an environment seemingly devoid of human touch.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Everglades National Park, Florida, U.S.

Everglades National Park, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Big Cypress Preserve, Florida, U.S.

Working Music

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Once upon a time, when I was involved in visual arts other than photography (mixed media sculpture installations and a bit of drawing and monoprints), I listened and sang, while I worked, to the music I walk by. These past few months, in Florida, it has not been easy to go out and take photographs so I have spent most of my “photography time” processing my work, instead (i.e., editing images and/or sequencing them). When doing this I tend to listen to music without words. Much of it is percussion. When I started listening to jazz, in my late teens, my ears and heart concentrated on the drums and bass. It is not surprising that listening like that has carried itself to today and relates to the music I love, in general. The following list is not comprehensive but is what I tend to listen to most often *if / when* I work to music.

Alarm Will Sound : http://www.alarmwillsound.com/recordings.php

Andy Akiho : http://www.andyakiho.com/#video

Bill Evans : https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bill+evans

Glenn Gould : http://www.glenngould.com/video/

Glenn Kotche : http://glennkotche.com/listen (probably better known for being part of the band Wilco)

Jun Miyake : http://junmiyake.com/

Kadri Gopalneth : https://www.google.com/search?q=kadri+golpaneth&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=kadri+gopalnath&tbm=vid

Oscar Peterson : https://www.oscarwithlove.com/pages/listen

Ravi Shankar : http://www.ravishankar.org/

Rudresh Mahanthappa : http://rudreshm.com/

Sigur Ros : http://sigur-ros.co.uk/valtari/videos/ and https://vimeo.com/sigurros/videos

Steve Reich : http://www.stevereich.com/ (click on mp3 or video to listen/watch)

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.

Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.