Monday, September 05, 2011

Thematic Photographic–good thing I got an early hint.

I checked the blogosphere just before heading out to the Bonneville Salt Flats to photograph the sunset, and saw Carmi’s latest post.  In “About this photo:” he gave away next week’s Thematic Photographic theme.
Which was a good thing.  The sunset was phenomenally unimpressive, but the Salt Flats are a great place for “white” photographs.  It would have been a waste of a 120 mile (190 km) drive if all I went out for was the sunset, but fortunately about half way out there I made the connection between salt and white.
Now, it’s a stupid thing to actually drive your car out onto the salt flats.  They are salt after all, and anyone who drives in a snowy climate knows that salt eats cars.  But I have a 13 year old, $1,500 car that just needs to last two or three years, so I figured I’d just spend $10 at the spray car wash when I got home and when the car rots out in three years I’ll pick up another $1,500 one.
Real stupid is driving a $50,000 Porsche Boxter out onto the Salt Flats, look right above my car.  Then look at my tire and the back of the wheel well.  That’s not snow, that’s salt caked on there.  Now, I’m not saying driving my 1998 Ford Escort out there was the smart thing to do, but it’s definitely not a Porsche Boxter.  I wouldn’t even have taken my 2004 Subaru out on it, well, maybe in 2020 I would have.
Well, I sat out there until about 9:00 taking pictures.  There were a couple cars doing speed runs up and down a makeshift track, that was fun to watch.  The sun set and I headed home.  Since I had been out there with friends before, I knew how dark it could get without a full moon, so I pointed the car straight toward the parking lot that would lead me out of there and back to I-80.  And it was a really good thing that the Parks Department had added reflectors to the information sign because I was just a little bit off and without them I might have gone right past the road.
It was an enjoyable, and thanks to Carmi’s theme, a productive trip for me.  I got home about 11 and spent 15 minutes spraying down the underside of the car.  I think I got most of the salt, you can never get it all.  The car should last at least another 3 years before things start dropping off.
If you want to see more pictures for this theme, and especially if you want to join, click on the banner below.  It’s a lot of fun.

18 comments:

young-eclectic-encounters said...

Great shots- I never made it out to the salt flats while I lived out there so it was great to be able to view them through your photos
So glad you visited my blog as I was taking pics of the cars, which is not one of my usual subjects, I kept thinkg about how you would enjoy them. Glad to hear that was indeed so.
Johnina :D

Alexia said...

I've never seen anything like this - awesome photos, Max - thanks heaps for posting these!

Gilly said...

You went 120 miles to see a sunset???

Still, the salt flats are very impressive - and very white! I hadn't realised it sort of piles up like snow.

You learn something every day!

Bob Scotney said...

My doctor says I should avoid salt but with for the salt in your pctures I'd ignore his advice any day.

A Paperback Writer Photos said...

Dang. I was going to do the Salt Flats. Or at least Spiral Jetty anyway.

Still, you got lots more of the salt pics than I would've done. Someday, you have to take me with you to the Salt Flats for pics, okay?

Looks like you had fun with this.

Max said...

YEE - Thanks for thinking about me when posting the cars, I've had a thing for cars since I was 2 or 3. My dad says that even back then I could identify cars of the same make as his and would call out "Like Daddy's car" when we passed one.
Alexia - Thanks, glad you liked them.
Gilly - You think that's bad, in high school we used to drive 80 miles (right across the Wyoming border)for a beer.
Bob - Your doctor probably didn't mean walking on it. As long as you don't bring any pretzels, you should be safe.
Writer - I want to make it out there for a full moon, it's amazing how bright it is there in the middle of the night. If you're interested I'll let you know.

Little Nell said...

Superb shots Max. I hope your car survives another couple of years as you hope!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Wow, have never seen one in my life.. Thank u for posting this..

A Paperback Writer Photos said...

Yes! I wanna go!

Oh, and I decided to put up a few salty pics anyway.

Max said...

Little - Yeah, it should. I'm obsessive when it comes to washing the cars, and that'll help keep it from rusting out.
KBF - No problem, glad you liked the photos.
Writer - It's a deal. I'll let you know before I head out. I'll have to check out the lunar cycles and see when the next full moon coincides with a good time to go.

MissMeliss said...

Your blog, and the photos hosted within it, are beautiful and compelling.

Salt has never looked so interesting.

Karen S. said...

What an amazing place! I've seen movies of people out there...one not too long ago with a slick Bonneville, in fact was that the name of the movie...at any rate this is hands down the best white of all.....thanks for dragging ;) (LOL) yourself out there to get these shots!

Max said...

Meliss - Thanks, glad you liked the pictures, i enjoyed going out there to get them.
Karen - Thanks too. Yeah, "dragged" is not the word, I enjoyed driving out there in the (relatively) cool weather we're having and I'm quite honored by all the great comments the pictures have got. Thanks.

Karen S. said...

I'm glad you went too! I also loved your egg project as well! I hope you grade me well on this....do you still have any of your photos from the class? That would be so cool to see! Well teacher, check out my result and let me know what you think!

http://twincitiesblather.blogspot.com/2011/09/thematic-photographic-161-white-egg.html

Limar said...

Fascinating! Love your pics :)

Barb said...

Gorgeous shots! I very glad you checked Carmi's TP before going so we could all see this beautiful phenomenon of nature. On my list of cars to own before I die is a Boxter, but after seeing this one I think I will check for salt damage before checking any out that might appear on Craig's List! So far, though, the closest I've come is a 3-inch yellow die cast model.

Max said...

Limar & Barb - Thanks. You'll have to drop by again in a couple months after Writer and I go out there for our full-moon shots. The light from the full moon reflecting off the salt gives the place an eerie daylight feel.

Carmi said...

I've always been amazed at the physics of high speed driving on the salt bed surface. It must take nerves of steel to pilot a vehicle at such speeds. I get nauseous just thinking about it.

I grew up in Montreal - and they use road salt in winter to keep the ice from turning streets into skating rinks. It keeps you out of the ditch, but it'll destroy cars in much the same way as time on the salt flats will. Nice to know we've got yet another thing in common :)

Can't wait to see your night shots. Sounds ethereal.