Heavenly Swing Set Second Edition
Heavenly Swing Set Second Edition.
Milky Way galaxy above a swingset in the water off of Bombay Beach at the Salton Sea. This art installation is in the Bombay Beach community of the Salton Sea and is the work of @ssippi on Instagram. I shot this a bit later at night than the one I posted yesterday. Also, I waded into the water and carefully set my camera rig up in the water as well. The water wasn't as still and reflective at this time, but I like how having the camera closer to the swingset here makes it look much larger. Also, the Milky Way was well-centered above the swing at this time. And the sky had a greener tone to it. The whitish streak on the horizon to the right is from traffic on the highway.
I've been wanting to shoot the Milky Way over this swing ever since I learned about it being installed here earlier this year. This past Friday July 5th the conditions were just right: no wind, calm & reflective water, and clear skies. This is a blend of a tracked exposure of the sky and another exposure of the swing, lake, and mountains in the background. As with all my composite shots, everything is where it really was at the time. This took several hours of processing to get the colors, edges of the horizon, masking out the swing from the tracked sky exposure, and more.
Exposure time for the tracked sky was 240 sec f/4 ISO 400 and the for the swing, water, and mountains in the distance, 240 sec f/4 ISO 400. Due to the 85° F temperatures, there is a bit more noise here than my recent milky way shots I've done in the mountains.
Though the lake is drying up due to famers using much more efficient crop irrigation methods (that results in much less runoff water flowing into the sea), several eccentric artists have begun flocking to the area in recent years. This is one of many fascinating art installations in the area.
I've been intrigued (maybe obsessed as well) with the Salton Sea ever since I saw an exhibit about it at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts several years ago.
The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in the U.S. state of California's Imperial and Coachella valleys.
The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. Its surface is 236.0 ft (71.9 m) below sea level as of January 2018. The deepest point of the sea is 5 ft (1.5 m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo Rivers (though just a trickle), as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks.
Decades ago, the Sea had its heyday and was booming with tourists, fishermen, boaters, swimmers, water skiers, yacht clubs, and hotels. In time, however, the salinity of the water began killing off the fish by the millions. Also, algae blooms would boom and bust and the stench of the decaying algae would give a a sulphur (rotten egg / sewage) smell and drive tourists away. Despite all this, the Sea is still an amazing and beautiful lake and is worth preserving.
Just the other day, the United State House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740, an appropriations bill in support of a federal agreement to allot $30 million for projects which would address the environmental and health crisis at the Salton Sea. While this bill still needs approval from the president before being enacted, this is some great news. #saltonsea #bombaybeach