Road Tripping Stateside Part 1 / by craig levers

In 2012 I did road trip down the 395 Highway of California. I teamed up with my old friend and fellow photographer Rob Hansen . We concentrated on shooting large format film. We scored. That roady has become hugely defining in what I want to shoot and how. Some of the 617 panoramas from that roady won Epson Pano Awards. Other images have gone on to be client favourites.  

  This is one of the award winners from 2012

This is one of the award winners from 2012

I'm back on the West Coast of the USA right now, halfway through another epic roady. First mission; hooking up with Rob for a quick desert run.

This time we headed to Salton Sea. The modern sea was accidentally created by engineers 1905. In a bid to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River. Due to fears of silt buildup, a cut was made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal. The river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the ancient dry lake bed.

The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area in the 1950s. Now many of the settlements are abandoned because of the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake. Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. 

What more perfect place could there be for shooting desert grit. Salvation Mountain was a firm favourite, but Bombay Beach and Salton City are definitely on the have to return list.

 Bombay Beach, not your average beachside resort

Bombay Beach, not your average beachside resort

The 24 hour dash done and dusted. Film processed back in North County, [I've got some great panoramas to share with you later] Time to hit the road North to Redwood territory and on to Oregon.

But that will be in Part 2 next week.