The desert seems like a good place to blatantly rip off Jim Morrison for this blog title, however this blog post should be slightly less hallucinogenic than The Doors infamous drug fueled romps through the desert. Quite pathetically, this blog post is rated G by the motion picture photographer, namely me.
I spend last weekend on a trek through the Anza-Borrego Desert during a 4-day film shoot. The RV arrived at my house around 9pm Thursday night and we were trucking along to the camp site until well after midnight due to a missed turn at S2 (not well marked). Our call time was at 5am (grrrr implied) and the pictures below are what I woke up to in the morning. We still don't know what made those large paw prints, but I sure as heck didn't really want to know in the dark at 5am. Would you? Maybe slightly less importantly I didn't want to run my shin into the local succulent plant life.
The park is filled with canyons, caves to explore, paths carved by water, and large hills to climb. Little did I know until the last day that we were actually staying below the desert floor in a small canyon. The transition from desert floor to slot canyon was so seamless that I thought we were just surrounded by two large hills on either side!
The part of the park we were filming in features incredible caves and rock formations. There is that old hiking saying that goes something like, "leave only footprints," but the temptation is just too large to climb the dirt slopes and go exploring. The dirt won't mind a rock or two out of place.
I think the real reason we were at the park is because of the grand landscapes, reminiscent of the 1950's epic adventure films. I only had a point-n-shoot camera with me during the trip, but I still managed to snap a few photos to stitch together as panoramas. I recommend clicking on the images to view them at a larger size. I down-rez'd these to HD width. Both are originally over 9k pixels wide. Beat that Red!
Of course, the campsite settles down at night for a rousing game of Scrabble or Taboo. That gave me time to go exploring for long exposure desert photography. These photos were taken on the same point and shoot at f/2.0, ISO 100, 15s exposure (max time). They still had to be bumped up in post about a stop, but it surprisingly worked. Not bad for a $400 camera.
I did manage to take quite a few behind the scenes photos during the shoot, but out of respect for a production I have to hold off on posting those for a while. Hopefully I can get a few of those photos up soon.
HOW WE DID IT: Doc Style
2 years ago