Today, a completely different view of the tetrahedral sculpture at Bombay Beach that I’ve showcased previously. I really find this thing fascinating; placing it in greater landscape context takes away none of its surreal presence.
I guess there are worse tautological statements to make into a sign.
Even might Jeep Life™ has its limits, as this Wrangler found at Bombay Beach. The Salton Sea is an artificial body of water in a valley that was once home to an ancient ocean, and the result includes these large flats made from the calcium carbonate skeletons of long-dead sea creatures. Though the outer surface may look like a desert—and the dry surroundings might support the assumption—this is really just a thin crust, below which is a lot of mud.
I’m guessing this kind of thing happens regularly, because the entrance ramp to the beach included multiple signs with telephone numbers of locals offering to pull people out if they get stuck—for a fee, of course.
Whether water or earth, the nonlinear and irregular forms of nature are in stark contrast with the Bombay Beach tetrahedron’s straight lines and round connectors.
Sailboats and Sutro Tower are both iconic components of the Bay Area summer, but the warm Friday afternoon implied by this image is not a part of that post-solstice set. Like many evenings, sweatshirt weather was close at hand.
Bombay Beach has all manner of contextless structures; why shouldn’t that include a disembodied front porch?
Bombay Beach is awash in two things: (1) crystallized runoff from the Salton Sea and (2) surreal sculptural juxtapositions. Both the rusty pyramid and the sand rail are metal framework structures, but in radically different applications and states of repair.
I posit that, from a certain point of view, life gets no better than hanging out on a sailboat on a Friday afternoon in the June sunshine. Not in reality, of course—there are lots of ways to enjoy life—but the version of the experience in my mind is just unbeatable.
This school bus, parked at Bombay Beach by the edge of the Salton Sea, seems to be focused on some not-school-appropriate activities.
Before riding off to the environs of Bombay Beach on the shores of the Salton Sea, this fellow prepared his ATV. The upside-down American flag in front of the semi-abandoned landscape make for an appropriate pairing.
Big, dramatic American landscapes, red filters, and square aspect ratios might be a cliché combination, but while Ansel Adams shot with a tiny aperture for deep and pin-sharp focus, I feel like this wide-open approach and its soft bokeh provide a new twist.
Well-maintained but sunbaked picnic tables on the shores of the Salton Sea seem a little bit taunting—asking travelers to stop for a snack in a place not fully safe to live.
A wide-open aperture captures the desert dust storms and provides some soft bokeh to a prickly American landscape. I like the sense of depth and space it creates.
Dream-logic usually stays confined to dreams, but this swing in the Salton Sea appears fully isolated and separated from reality (while still existing within it); I’m reminded of an extremely low-rent version of Itsukushima Shrine.
On the one hand, from the perspective of a young boy, I can see why exploring Bombay Beach would be just about the coolest thing ever. On the other hand, from the perspective of an adult, the view of a father smoking while his kids play in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of the Salton Sea is hilarious.