Do you ever just wake up one day and think to yourself, “Damn I am feeling some kind of end-of-the-world vibes”? Then drive 3+ hours south of California, past San Diego through Calexico to the Mexicali Border? Yup, this is what I did just out of pure impulse and curiosity. I ended up at Salton Sea, in the Imperial County and Coachella Valley.
This “sea” out in the desert was a man-made sea in which engineers dug irrigation canals to divert water from the Colorado River into the Salton Sink (once a dry lake bed). For at least 2 years, the Salton Sea was fertile and filled with fresh water. During the 1950’s Salton Sea was a popular vacation / resort destination in the desert for celebrities and musicians. Unfortunately over time the sea became increasingly filled with pollution, agriculture waste and salinity. Some have described the smell of the “sea” as “toxic”, like decay and “dead fish”. On top of the rising temperatures over the years in Imperial County, clouds of toxic dust adds another element of pollution to the sea.
Eventually Salton Sea and the nearby town of Bombay Beach was abandoned and forgotten, until 2011 Bombay Beach became a destination for “desert art” and installations. So if you are ever looking for an abandoned and apocalyptic escape at the edge of nowhere, mixed with a bit of Burning Man, definitely drive out to Salton Sea and Bombay Beach.
Also shout out to my dad for joining me on this random adventure. Only he can put up with my spontaneous and impulsive…bursts of curiosity. Granted he was probably did not want me to drive out to the desert alone, in 100 degree weather…to the edge of nowhere.
Lastly, it was my first time shooting E-6 film, not bad if I do say so myself. Of course I went with Fuji Velvia 100, with 1 stop underexposed. Might try more E-6 in the future.