Monday, February 20, 2006

Salton Sea

My wife and I just returned from a little weekend trip to the Salton Sea, a really interesting lake in Southeast California. When we got there, it was dark and I couldn't believe my eyes... the lake appeared to be glowing! It turns out the lake has a very high salt content and it also has Phosphorus material in the water, which makes the water glow when it moves. It was super windy that night, so the waves on the lake were causing it to fully glow. So of course I took a lot of photos, and here they are.

And for you photographers out there, the first image above was a 17 minute exposure on the Canon 5d, with no noise! I was very surprised and excited about that! This is kinda funny too, I haven't bought a cable release yet so this is my ghetto release I made. A broken pencil with gaffers tape. Hey, it worked...


Blogger Ali said...

You say you got that image in 17 minutes? Thats great! Plus the fact that you didn't use a cable release for it (which I don't have). Can you give some more shots of this setup, or exlpain what you have done, so I can try it for myself?

Thats a great shot though. The way the stars are going round. I have never noticed they do that.

2/21/2006 3:56 AM  
Blogger blaine said...


There is a great tutorial at this site-

Learn a few of the basics there, and then go out and play!

have fun!

2/21/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Just one more thing. How did you keep the button pressed without using the cable release? I saw the picture with the pencil on the camera, but if its not too much trouble, can you tell me a bit more (possibly a couple of pictures)? That would be great!

2/22/2006 2:52 AM  
Blogger Kiwi (no not the fruit!) said...

Ha ha, loved the Ghetto Release Blaine!!!! :)

Those pics are absolutely amazing! Your stuff just keeps getting better man!! Am surprised about the noise, or lack therof! Tell me how you think the colours are compared to your other cameras.
Blessings Dude,

2/22/2006 7:27 PM  
Blogger blaine said...

The pencil was taped so that it pressed the shutter button straight down. The camera was on bulb (B) mode, so the pencil held the shutter down instead of my finger having to do the job, which gets really old after just a few minutes.
A cable release is the best way to do it though.

2/23/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger JP Jespersen said...

Nice Blaine, Sometimes our similarity scares me. I also just got a collection of my work represented by a stock agency a couple of weeks ago(Workbook Stock) and on top of that I was at the Salton Sea about two days after you apparently. Unfortunately there was no wind to kick up the phosphorus.

Nice work! John-Paul

2/27/2006 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in the Imperial Valley and recently made a trip back to the Salton Sea the other day. My childhood friend told me about the strange phenomenon and I had to see it for myself. We drove out there late Saturday night and it was absolutely breath-taking and spectacular. I returned home (I live in LA now) and did a simple Google search on the phenomenon and stumbled onto your blog. Although, I do not know anything about photography, your photographs are amazing. Thanks for capturing a special piece of my past.

3/30/2006 12:15 AM  

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