The Infinity Pool of California

The Infinity Pool of California

California’s natural infinity pool.

The remains of a pier, Bombay Beach.

The Salton Sea – California’s largest lake

This lake is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial Valley, and is about 226 ft (69 m) below sea level. The deepest area of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff drainage systems and creeks.

It’s this agricultural runoff and drainage, along with the high salinity of the rivers, that make this water rather putrid. Tons of tilapia wash up on shore, and the water has a peculiar odor.

The lake hasn’t been around for long, though. The Salton Sea as we know it began in1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, pouring over headgates for the Alamo Canal, gushing down the New River and Alamo Rivers, rushing over an Imperial Valley dike, and carrying the entire volume of the Colorado River to create the Salton Sea in two years.

The Salton Sea, however, has no outflow, so all the salt, all the runoff, and all the drainage stays in this salt-encrusted water.

Geek Talk  This is a long exposure shot taken with the Nikon D90 and Tokina 11-16mm f2/8 lens and a B+W ND1.8 filter, keeping the shutter open for several seconds at f/22 to create the milky effect from the water. Shortly after I took this photo, while switching lens, one of the legs of my Feisol tripod suddenly shortened after it had been standing for five minutes, sending my camera plunging lens-first into the sand. Nothing appears permanently damaged, but it took a long time to brush the sand out of the lens, filters, and camera.

Equipment:  Nikon D90, Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens For Nikon

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And you can go to the Ken Lee Photography website, which has more photos from Ken Lee.  Thank you very much for visiting!

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Mr. Knight’s Message of Love – Slab City Wedding, Salvation Mountain

Slab City Wedding, Salvation Mountain

Leonard Knight came out to Slab City, near Niland, and liked the area. He began building this as a result for his deep passion for The Lord. He started one week. One week turned into another, then one year into another.

The “Toxic Nightmare”: Saving Salvation Mountain  In summer 1994, the county hired a toxic waste specialist to test for “contaminants.” Even before the test results were back, they cordoned off the area and labeled it a “toxic nightmare.” The tests predictably came back claiming high amounts of lead in the soil. The county petitioned the state of California for funds to tear down the mountain and haul it to a toxic waste disposal site in Nevada, a state that seems to be rather good at this sort of thing.

However, local residents collected hundreds and hundreds of signatures were collected on circulated petitions. Thanks to the help of many old and new found friends, Leonard dug soil samples from the very same holes as the toxic waste specialist had dug, submitting it to an independent lab. The new tests revealed no unacceptable levels of any contaminants, including lead. Salvation Mountain was saved. Just a few year later, in 2002, Salvation Mountain was entered into the Congressional Record proclaiming it as a national treasure. Mr. Knight hopes that someday the museum will hold photos and artifacts of the mountain, including his struggle with the county supervisors, as well as his art. But more than that, he hopes that his message of love and compassion for all will be seen by more.

And indeed, Mr. Knight’s message of love and compassion could be seen in full display. Sara and Mike, residents of Slab City, held a wedding reception at Salvation Mountain in April 2012. Here, Mike puts a ring on Sara.

They were lovely, kind, warm people, and I was happy to be a wedding photographer again, if only for a short while. 😀

Equipment:  Nikon D90, Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens For Nikon