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salvation mountain | travel photography

Pardon my lack of blogging last week.  I was gone for most of the week attending WPPI (a photography conference) in Las Vegas, and took the rest of the week to recover.  It was great to see old friends and make new ones!  We left Cameron home this year and while we missed him, it was really nice to have a few days to ourselves.  We squeezed in a little date night, and even a couple of parties!  Woo!  Fun times indeed!  And while we’re on the subject of the desert, a couple of girlfriends and I took a trip out to the middle of nowhere to check out this massive artwork called Salvation Mountain.  I was honestly a bit overstimulated and didn’t know where to focus.  Leonard Knight, who created this, lived on this land in a truck.  Luckily, his family recently moved him into a nursing home.

As colorful as it is, it was actually quite creepy being there.  It’s literally in the middle of nowhere.  About 1.5 hours south of Palm Springs, close to Mexico.  It felt like we drove into a time warp.   The town was full of abandoned buildings & trailers.  You see the people and can’t help but to wonder what they do there… how they ended up there… where the kids go to school… where they even buy their groceries…  On our way back, we had to drive past border patrol.  They asked us where we’re going.  We said we’re heading home from Salvation Mountain and they chuckled, “You drove all the way here for THAT?!”  We asked what else should we do in the area and their response was, “Get out of here as fast as you can.”  hm…

This is the trailer that Leonard lived in.  His blankets were still in there!

Once I walked into the actual “exhibit”, it was much more cheery… but is it weird to say that the fact that it was so cheery made it even more eerie?

So do I recommend driving 3 hours out to see this?  Probably not.  But if you have good company, it’s a fun day trip.

Tommy Han - February 27, 2012 - 6:57 am

OK that baby pic is freaky!

Emily - February 27, 2012 - 8:09 am

Wow I’ve never heard of this place before! Crazy!

Hannah Wilson - February 27, 2012 - 8:27 am

Crazy! But it’ll make a great little story to tell to people.

And the colors make for really cool portrait backdrops!

- Hannah
darladear.blogspot.com

caroline - February 27, 2012 - 8:46 am

lol, the whole time i was thinking about how cool of a backdrop it would make for portraits too… just too bad it’s in the middle of nowhere! 3 hr drive into nothingness… not sure i would do it again, but glad it worked out this time. :)

Karleen - February 27, 2012 - 11:46 am

Not sure if I’d drive 3 hours, but nevertheless makes a very interesting shoot/story. That doll is so creepy!

Alice Hu - February 27, 2012 - 12:07 pm

eeeekkk…that doll is still SO creepy!

Adrienne Gunde - February 28, 2012 - 12:51 pm

Definitely a weird & creepy place but had so much fun with you girls! Can’t wait til our next photo trip :)

Becky Bing - February 29, 2012 - 8:34 pm

Aw…my friends and I were actually planning to go out there too. I had hoped Leonard would still be there. I’m glad he’s getting better care, but part of the reason I wanted to go was to meet this odd artist that created Salvation Mountain before he was gone. A bit disappointed now. Great photos though!

Marie - March 1, 2012 - 7:47 am

I love this place! Salvation Mountain is an amazing place to visit. I have visited with Leonard a couple of times and enjoy the conversations we’ve had. It was sad to hear that Leonard is in a senior home now. On our way out, we always stop at Bombay Beach to shoot sunsets at the Salton Sea. It is the epitome of urban decay but there is a feeling of peace there.

   

krabi, thailand | beach baby

I was fortunate enough to shoot a wedding in Thailand last month, and even more fortunate to have been able to share this amazing trip with my family.  I brought my mom and dad too.  It was all our first times in Thailand and we had such an amazing time.  The memories there are truly priceless.

We went to Krabi before heading up to the wedding in Chiang Mai.  Krabi was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen.  Our resort had a private beach that was so quiet, clean, and had just miles of powdery sand.  And near sunset, the tides were extremely low – so low that we could let Cameron crawl for probably 100 yards out.  The sand was fluffy and soft.  Cameron enjoyed digging in it and looking for seashells, coral, and crabs.

Cameron found more coral, and Jonathan found this cute crab:

Cameron took a face plant in the sand here, just like in Hawaii.  oops.  Both times, my hands were tied protecting my camera.  Sorry, baby, you like the sand though!

On our way to Krabi, I said to Jonathan, “I’m afraid I’ll be bored at Krabi… 5 days with nothing but beach?  What are we supposed to do?”  I was serious too.  I’m such a busy body that I was nervous about having nothing to do.  Needless to say, I loved it.  We got to enjoy sunset everyday like this:

One of my favorite photos of Cameron and me.

I never got to travel growing up, so I’m grateful to be able to do it these past few years.  I’m even more grateful that I get to take Cameron and Jonathan along.   We have a few more destinations planned this upcoming year, so if anyone is interested in scheduling a portrait session while I’m in town, email me.  Here’s what’s planned so far:

Feb – Las Vegas

March – San Francisco/San Jose

April – Washington DC

May – Chicago

June – San Francisco/San Jose

July – San Francisco

August – Napa Valley

October – New Mexico

A few more destinations that are being considered include Hawaii, Singapore, New York, Costa Rica, and New Orleans.  I’m still deciding, so let me know if you want me to take your schedule into account.

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Lucy - February 16, 2012 - 6:32 am

Oh! You’re gonna love costa rica! We had our honeymoon there and vow one day we’ll go back! :-)

ken kienow - February 16, 2012 - 1:22 pm

these are soooo beautiful caroline :)

Jade Sheldon - February 16, 2012 - 9:29 pm

Sounds like a truly special trip. I didn’t travel much growing up either. In fact, the only trip we took out of state as a family was to Florida when I was 10. I hope that I am fortunate enough someday to be able to travel with my fiance and our future family. Beauty pictures of your sweet babe!

caroline - February 16, 2012 - 9:35 pm

jade, congrats on your engagement! i wish you & your fiance a great journey to the alter, and an even more exciting journey to starting a family!

Kimberly - February 21, 2012 - 6:17 pm

How funny, I said the same thing about going to Krabi when I went to Thailand this past year.

ilynn - February 23, 2012 - 7:40 am

Hi Caroline…
I love the way you capture your photos.
If you don’t mind in sharing your knowledge, what type of lense do you use for these photos & how do you shoot into the sun and get clear picture of your baby? Do you use flash?
I am learning and I think you are one of the best =)

Caroline - February 23, 2012 - 9:15 am

Thanks, ilynn! I never use flash when i’m outdoors during the day. I am able to shoot into the sun because I meter for the shadows. Hope this helps!

ilynn - February 24, 2012 - 9:45 am

Thank you for your share Caroline. Hope to learn more from you..your photography style is definitely an inspiration. =)

adamseguin123@gmail.com - February 26, 2012 - 8:38 pm

Wonderful work as usual. Every post pulls me in.

Emma - June 4, 2012 - 6:09 pm

Living in Australia we were fortunate enough to travel around the country and experience different scenery and towns. As a teenager I dreamed of foreign lands, particularly Asia, and was driven to spend time overseas. I wish I had of taken the risk rather than fantasising and making those wishes come to fruition.
Ten years on my husband, 9 month old son and I live in Singapore. Best journey of our lives. We love what we have on our doorstep; a 90 min flight to a different country, culture and tropical heaven.
If you are EVER in Singapore, I would love to book a photo session for our son (1 in August). You capture the peace and essence of the emotions/scenery. Captivating and beautiful. You should consider a coffee table book.

   
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