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The Road to the Upside Down (night photo of reeeeally remote abandoned car)
Lens: 15-30mm f/2.8 Camera: K-1 Mk I Photo Location: Mojave Desert ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Ken Lee, 01-08-2022, 06:10 PM



The Road to the Upside Down
~~~~~
Night falls on what appears to be an upside-down 1949 Cadillac 62 Series, one of about half a dozen cars buried in the sand of the mysterious Mojave Desert. This appeared to be the only car in which the paint is somewhat intact. The other ones are considerably more rusty. This $3500 Cadillac, about half the price of a house in 1949, gave you your money's worth for durable paint, that's for sure. This is many miles from the nearest paved road, after which, we also walked for a while to get to the location. This was my first visit in over five years. After two long years, my night photography friends and I got together for an eight-night trip to Nevada and California. This was a 1856-mile night photography safari with Tim Little, Mike Cooper, and George Loo, and George the monkey. Illuminated during the exposure by a full moon and a handheld ProtoMachines LED2 light painting device. This photo may appear in an upcoming history/night photography book I'm working on now. Thank you.
~~~~~
(Plate 6080) Pentax K-1/15-30mm f/2.8 lens. 3 minutes f/8 ISO 200. October 2021.
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01-09-2022, 07:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken Lee Quote

The Road to the Upside Down
~~~~~
Night falls on what appears to be an upside-down 1949 Cadillac 62 Series, one of about half a dozen cars buried in the sand of the mysterious Mojave Desert. This appeared to be the only car in which the paint is somewhat intact. The other ones are considerably more rusty. This $3500 Cadillac, about half the price of a house in 1949, gave you your money's worth for durable paint, that's for sure. This is many miles from the nearest paved road, after which, we also walked for a while to get to the location. This was my first visit in over five years. After two long years, my night photography friends and I got together for an eight-night trip to Nevada and California. This was a 1856-mile night photography safari with Tim Little, Mike Cooper, and George Loo, and George the monkey. Illuminated during the exposure by a full moon and a handheld ProtoMachines LED2 light painting device. This photo may appear in an upcoming history/night photography book I'm working on now. Thank you.
~~~~~
(Plate 6080) Pentax K-1/15-30mm f/2.8 lens. 3 minutes f/8 ISO 200. October 2021.
This Caddy most be in remote country evidently .
01-09-2022, 07:46 AM   #3
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Wonderful, otherworldly shot!

Jer
01-09-2022, 08:02 AM   #4
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This could be promo for a TV show "Where is it from? How did it get here? The things that you are finding in the Mojave desert are very interesting as are your your captures of them. Looking forward to more of these bizarre images.

01-09-2022, 05:19 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichaser Quote
This Caddy most be in remote country evidently .
You could not be "righter". It's already in a remote place. Then it's many miles up a dirt road. Then, hiking for considerably longer with no trails or anything to mark the way. No cell coverage, very dark, very quiet. But that's part of the beauty in the whole experience, even if it's quite a journey to get there. It takes a lot of planning to get out there, as we want to be as safe as possible. So emergency equipment, radios, tons of water, and so forth.

---------- Post added 01-09-22 at 06:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Wonderful, otherworldly shot!

Jer
Thank you very much!

---------- Post added 01-09-22 at 06:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MikeNArk Quote
This could be promo for a TV show "Where is it from? How did it get here? The things that you are finding in the Mojave desert are very interesting as are your your captures of them. Looking forward to more of these bizarre images.
Haha! Thanks. I shall try and post more of these. It's kinda what I do anyway. I have two books out that are centered around the Mojave Desert. They're both history/night photography books on abandoned stuff.

Here's another one, this one a house buried in sand.

01-10-2022, 02:29 PM   #6
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I drove one of these '49 Caddys back in '69. Thought I was a "cool dude"!
That car was amazing! Twenty years old and still very beautiful and comfortable and road worthy.
One of the best gas-efficient cars of the day, even with a big V-8!
Fascinating that you found this one, still painted, way out there in that forlorn place!
Angky.
01-10-2022, 03:19 PM   #7
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In 1978, I stopped in Rice, California on Route 62 to buy ice tea at the town's convenience store. FORD used Rice to photograph its F-250 and F-350 truck lines and produce colorful brochures in the 1980's.

Last time I visited Rice in 2018, there was nothing left and Rice is now a "ghost town". The same phenomenon is happening in Bombay Beach along the Salton Sea. It was once a sought-after resort place and is on the way to becoming a "ghost town". Same thing in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve where almost nobody lives anymore. Same in Amboy, Nipton and numerous other towns.

Going through these towns is almost "scary" nowadays. Incredible that such a thing can happen 200 or 300 miles from a huge metropolitan area like Los Angeles (10 million ha.).

Regards

East of Amboy on Route 66, near Exit 114 of Interstate-40


Last edited by RICHARD L.; 01-10-2022 at 04:45 PM.
01-10-2022, 05:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
I drove one of these '49 Caddys back in '69. Thought I was a "cool dude"!
That car was amazing! Twenty years old and still very beautiful and comfortable and road worthy.
One of the best gas-efficient cars of the day, even with a big V-8!
Fascinating that you found this one, still painted, way out there in that forlorn place!
Angky.
Upside down, out in the elements, and still somehow managing to look good.

That is so cool that you had one of those before!

---------- Post added 01-10-22 at 07:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
In 1978, I stopped in Rice, California on Route 62 to buy ice tea at the town's convenience store. FORD used Rice to photograph its F-250 and F-350 truck lines and produce colorful brochures in the 1980's.

Last time I visited Rice in 2018, there was nothing left and Rice is now a "ghost town". The same phenomenon is happening in Bombay Beach along the Salton Sea. It was once a sought-after resort place and is on the way to becoming a "ghost town". Same thing in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve where almost nobody lives anymore. Same in Amboy, Nipton and numerous other towns.

Going through these towns is almost "scary" nowadays. Incredible that such a thing can happen 200 or 300 miles from a huge metropolitan area like Los Angeles (10 million ha.).

Regards

East of Amboy on Route 66, near Exit 114 of Interstate-40
I am moving out to the desert soon.

Bombay Beach is actually undergoing a resurgence of sorts, with housing prices going up and some artists moving in. Don't get me wrong, it still looks like hell, but it looks like hell with interesting art. Much of the buildings are still abandoned or are in really crappy shape as you might expect.

Mojave National Preserve has some people "grandfathered" in, but a lot of them were affected by the catastrophic Cima Fire, which also wiped out an estimated 1.2 million Joshua Trees. It was JT carnage.

I guess I don't find the open desert scary. I mean, unless I were completely broken down there with no one around. But in seeking out these super remote places, I have to be self-sufficient, tell people where I am going and when I will be back, and bring tons of emergency supplies. And yes, a bizarre amount of water. So all that open area? To me, it's this beautiful openness. It feels free. And at night, it's magical. It's peaceful and quiet, a fantastic chance to get away from the city.
01-10-2022, 06:36 PM   #9
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Snowbirds can "winter" near Bombay Beach for nothing. Nobody charges any fee for spending time there. There is a tremendous amount of graffiti everywhere in Bombay Beach and plenty of dead fish on the shore of the lake. Agricultural runoff is slowly killing all life in Salton Sea.

Another "scary" place is Anza-Borrego. I visited the State Park during summer of 2019, it was 120 deg F, I never saw another car, I had never heard "such silence". I was glad to reach a road in Imperial County and get back to civilization. Your vehicule becomes your "survival unit" in these godforsaken places. I went to Julian at the junction of Rte 78 and Rte 79 to taste their apple pie to get some relief ... lol!



01-11-2022, 08:46 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Snowbirds can "winter" near Bombay Beach for nothing. Nobody charges any fee for spending time there. There is a tremendous amount of graffiti everywhere in Bombay Beach and plenty of dead fish on the shore of the lake. Agricultural runoff is slowly killing all life in Salton Sea.

Another "scary" place is Anza-Borrego. I visited the State Park during summer of 2019, it was 120 deg F, I never saw another car, I had never heard "such silence". I was glad to reach a road in Imperial County and get back to civilization. Your vehicule becomes your "survival unit" in these godforsaken places. I went to Julian at the junction of Rte 78 and Rte 79 to taste their apple pie to get some relief ... lol!



Yes, nearby Slab City is a popular place for snowbirds. And Salton Sea is a fascinating place to visit/photograph. Unfortunately, you are correct about agricultural runoff slowly killing so much around there.


Abandoned mineral spa, Salton Sea

Abandoned mineral spa, Salton Sea

Anza-Borrego is huuuuuuuuuuuge. It takes quite some time to go anywhere in the Park. And you do have to be self-sufficient when in some of these places, especially in the remote places where you are far from the nearest paved road. This is what I do much of the time. Many of the most interesting things to photograph are not on a paved road.
01-11-2022, 01:22 PM   #11
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And let's not forget the Union Pacific railroad running parallel to Rte 111 along the eastern shore of Salton Sea. You hear them wailing 10 minutes before you start seeing them (not surprising they call this the "SONORA" Desert) ... lol !
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01-11-2022, 07:18 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
And let's not forget the Union Pacific railroad running parallel to Rte 111 along the eastern shore of Salton Sea. You hear them wailing 10 minutes before you start seeing them (not surprising they call this the "SONORA" Desert) ... lol !
I can't find my train photos by the Salton Sea right now, but yes, that's great. I have this gap where I stopped posting to Flickr, where I am hosting these photos, so there's a lot of photos missing.

Anyway, here's another one that shows how that precarious thing collapsed. This is an earlier photo:
01-11-2022, 08:21 PM   #13
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Fantastic photos .
01-18-2022, 05:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichaser Quote
Fantastic photos .
Thank you!!
01-18-2022, 09:46 PM   #15
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These are excellent photos Ken! I spent a year working in the Mojave in the early 80's as an inspector on a high voltage power transmission line being constructed between Mesquite at the Nevada-Utah border and Adelanto, CA. I had time to do a bit of off-road exploring during that time. People who drive through and haven't gotten off of the main roads have no idea of the raw beauty of it. I actually bought my first Pentax camera, a Super Program with a kit 50mm lens while I was working on that project.
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