Dead trees of the Salton Sea

Click the pic for a bigger view

Today we have another shot from my recent adventure to the Salton Sea.

Our morning trip down to the Salton Sea from the Joshua Tree National Park was quite a little jaunt.  After fueling up on some In-N-Out our merry little band set sail for the Salton Sea.  Rick Young and I were in the lead vehicle for the trip.  As we were driving the perimeter Rick checks the GPS and says “I wander where this road goes”?  So off we go down a desolate road with caution to the wind and no hope of returning.  A few bumps and dust clouds later we arrive on the north end of the sea.

The shore line we walked around is nothing I’ve ever been on and God willing will never be on again.  It is composed of decaying fish bones and some white salty looking silt.  I’m pretty sure we took a year off our lives from the exposure.

Nonetheless after walking around we came to this desolate area you see in the picture above.   After staring out into the sea through these dead trees you get the sense of being in some strange futuristic world where civilization has nuked itself and this is what is left.  I couldn’t help but process this image into a slightly darker eerie landscape.  It is not something I do often but it seemed to fit what I felt and saw that day.

The Salton Sea is an interesting place to see at least once.  If you are a photog there are ample opportunities to shoot some interesting stuff.  Just be ready for fish bones and white goo. :)

Until next time…


Camera: Canon 40D with a Canon 17-40L

Processing: Lightroom 3, CS5, Phototools 2.6





  1. Chris Nitz February 2, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    This reminds me of the scene from T2 where the nuke is detonated and the machines start kicking our human butts. BTW, your description of this area just took a few months off my life…ewwww!

  2. Rick February 2, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    The goop was nasty. Ruined my Puma’s. I just finished getting the crud out of my tripod legs and hinges.

  3. Chris DeAngelis February 2, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Yeah, it was definitely gross there :) Great shot though and great B&W!

  4. Eden February 2, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Nice work Chris

  5. Edith Levy February 2, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Great title…very appropriate. It does seem like a scene from The War of the Worlds. Terrific image.

  6. Curt Fleenor February 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Man this does look like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie!

  7. Rich McPeek February 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Great shot Chris!

  8. Len Saltiel February 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    That is an aptly named image Chris. The composition and processing gives off that feel of devastation.

  9. Mark Summerfield February 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    What an appropriate title! As soon as I saw this image I though of the scenes from the WWI trenches especially with the depression just short of the horizon.

  10. A.Barlow February 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    lol that’s a cool shot man! Did you get lucky and step through what you thought was dry but was nothing but muck underneath?

    Aside from the bones that white crusty stuff is in fact salt, but not totally. As all of those fish decay it breaks down calcium carbonate and it’s the build up of that which you see.

    And it’s not just fish bones. Look closer and it’s scales as well. Not to mention sometimes you can find whole birds. Complete and whole but nothing but bones.

    • Chris February 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

      Wow, glad I didn’t know this at the time. :)

  11. murphyz February 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Perfect title. This is a location I keep seeing more and more of, and definitely one place I wish to visit.

    • Chris February 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

      It is a pretty cool place to shoot. You just have to not focus on the goo you are stepping on. :)

  12. Steven Perlmutter February 3, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I like the way you composed this shot, and the processing really suits the scene.

  13. Jimi Jones February 3, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Awesome title for this scene. :-) The B&W really brings it all together. Nice one, Chris!

  14. Dave DiCello February 3, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Love the depth to this shot man and the title is just perfect. Simplicity at its best man!

  15. Phillip Burrow February 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Great shot Chris, and a wonderful title. It really does look like the place has been nuked.

  16. Adam Allegro February 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Truly a unique area. I cannot wait to go photograph there one day. Nice work Chris.

  17. Marc Collins February 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    What an apt title!

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