Where to begin with this one…. I can start off by saying I have some serious catching up to do! This is a recap of the rest of my Presidents Day weekend. I’m going to keep it brief and to the point. The location we explored was an abandoned mining town dating back to WW2 which is still very much in tact and protected by a caretaker. Romain and I had both wanted to visit this spot for a while so it was nice to finally be able to knock it off the list. We drove to the outskirts of the mine on Friday night, parked our cars and set our alarms for 4am so that we could get up and make our way onto the property under the cover of nightfall.
The next 24 hours were taxing to say the least but also some of the most rewarding! After successfully infiltrating the mine at 4am and then shooting till about 1pm we made our way back out… ready to eat and refuel our systems. Romain and I had been trying to decide whether to go camp at Joshua Tree that night or stay and go back into the mine to shoot it under the stars. Ultimately we decided to choose the mine as there are no guarantees it will be around forever. Not only that but the idea of trying to find a good camp zone in Joshua Tree on the holiday weekend was something I was not at all ready to deal with. We drove out of the remote stretch of desert to go grab some dinner and then made our way back a few hours later to infiltrate again.
We spent a good 2-3 hours under the night sky shooting long exposures! It seemed that Romain and myself had both given some thought prior into the shots we wanted because we immediately split up and disappeared into the night. I always love shooting at night because its a totally different experience then during the day. If I go shoot an abandoned place during the daytime I usually will shoot anywhere between 200-500 images where as if I go at night I only take about 50 pictures at the most. Out of 50 id say probably 10 are actually usable and thats what I love… its the pursuit of the perfect shot! With that being said, we shot our little hearts out and came away with some incredible images! I tried my first “star trail” which consists of leaving the cameras shutter open long enough to capture the actual movement of the stars! I think for my first run I came out with some pretty impressive shots and it has only made me more excited to shoot the night sky in the future… something I already had a deep obsession with! When we finally got back to our cars after a good 30-45 minute hike I was just about ready to fall asleep on the ground. As much as we wanted to crash and call it a night we decided we might as well drive back towards the Salton Sea so we could wake up and shoot more before parting ways and finishing the epic weekend. I had the location of an old “Ratpack” hangout/clubhouse on the western shore of the lake so we hopped in our vehicles and made our way out of the desert for the second time that day. The following morning I was woken up at 4am by a Police officer flashing his mag-lite in my face and making sure I knew where I was sleeping? He seemed to be totally surprised that Romain and I had decided to park next to an abandoned building along the coast of the Salton Sea. After making me crawl out of my truck bed and grab my ID he let me go back to sleep and went on his way. Initially I was a little pissed but looking back I’m just thankful it was a friendly Police officer giving me the wake up call and not a tweeker meth head! When I woke up a few hours later I snapped some shots of the building under the morning light and then Romain and I parted ways to return to our respective destinations. The drive back to San Diego held some little treasures along the way too!
I hope whoever is reading this is enjoying it! I have about 3 more adventures/posts to get up before the weekend is over, just trying to keep my head above the water! I also just got a drone to take aerial photos so stay tuned for some aerial shots! Cheers and thanks for the support!