DESERT PHOTO TOUR
Copyright Sandi Wheaton. All rights reserved.
This itinerary is the basic structure of the trip. Sandi knows this area intimately, and many additional locations will be added as the schedule unfolds and allows. There is so much to photograph in this area, we will have no shortage of subject matter!
Day 1 - Saturday: Fly into Palm Springs - Sandi will pick you up at the airport; try to arrive by 1pm. We'll stock up at the grocery store, and then drive to the Salton Sea and check into our two-bedroom homes near the shores of Bombay Beach. Two people per home, each will have their own bedroom and bathroom attached to their bedroom, allowing total privacy if desired. Large kitchen/living space to be shared as well as a large outdoor deck. The grounds nearby have two large swimming pools with desert mountain views and several hot tubs for our use, as well as an exercise room and other recreational facilities. Depending on timing and conditions, we may stop for a sunset shoot on our way to our accommodations. Welcome meal and drinks that night under the stars in the desert, and you might choose to take a dip in the pool or hot tub too.
Days 2-7 - Sunday-Friday: Basing ourselves near Bombay Beach, we will venture out to explore and photograph nearby sites, such as:
- Salton Sea Beach: post-apocalyptic ruins next to the shrinking Salton Sea, sweeping sea views and graffiti abound
- Algodones Dunes: massive sand dune recreational area used by bikes and dune buggies; morning arrival will allow less tracks and more pristine dunes
- Salvation Mountain: unique colorful folk art site, a mountain painted by Leonard Knight, to spread the word of God's love to all
- Slab City: haven for misfits, visionaries and the marginalized, a ramshackle collection of trailers and makeshift homes on the site of an abandoned Marine Base (site where parts of "Into the Wild" were filmed)
- Niland Boat Ramp: great sunset location, and abandoned changing shacks from the days when it was a public beach area
- East Jesus: an experimental site with fascinating inhabitants and a spectacular found art outdoor sculpture garden in the heart of Slab City
- Joshua Tree National Park: pristine desert wilderness with surreal sculpted rock formations and spiny Joshua trees
- Bombay Beach: half-sunken ruins caked with post-flood mud from the retreating sea and great views west to the Santa Rosa mountains
- Anza-Borrego State Park: huge desert park with protected landscapes of ocotillo forests, rugged cliffs, huge desert views
- Desert Center: a forgotten corner of the desert just off the interstate, ruins abound
- Red Hill Marina: deserted marina on the empty shores of the Salton Sea, with photogenic dead trees rising ominously from the dried-up lakebed
- Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge: home to hundreds of species of migrating birds
- and more (North Shore, Obsidian Butte, geothermal power plants, mudpots, etc...)!
We will spend some afternoon time at our home base, resting as required (after a late night / morning shoot), and sharing and discussing work. Sharing work has proven to be one of the most enjoyable and beneficial aspects of this experience, and is one of the reasons we stay in one location rather than moving around from place to place. Staying at our base during the less interesting afternoon light times allows us the chance to edit, share and discuss work together. It also allows for some recreational time (pool or hot tub) or rest, should we desire!
Day 8 - Saturday: Transfer to Palm Springs airport to catch your flight home. **When booking your flights, be sure that your departure from Palm Springs on Saturday is not an early morning flight.
Note that this is the basic itinerary for the tour. Many more stops will be made, and Sandi reserves the right to tweak itinerary to best serve the group as needed, and to work around road closures, weather issues, etc. (Want more info? Email Sandi at firstname.lastname@example.org.)