Deep in the desert of southern California sits one of the worst environmental sites in America—a former tourist destination that has turned into a toxic soup: the Salton Sea.
The sea was born by accident 100 years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal; for the next two years the entire volume of the river flowed into the Salton Sink, one of the lowest places on Earth. The new lake became a major tourist attraction, with resort towns springing up along its shores. Yet with no outflow, and with agricultural runoff serving as its only inflow, the sea’s waters grew increasingly toxic. Farm chemicals and ever-increasing salinity caused massive fish and bird die-offs. Use of the sea for recreational activities plummeted, and by the 1980s its tourist towns were all but abandoned.
The skeletons of these structures are still there; ghost towns encrusted in salt. California officials acknowledge that if billions of dollars are not spent to save it, the sea could shrink another 60 percent in the next 20 years, exposing soil contaminated with arsenic and other cancerous chemicals to strong winds. Should that dust become airborne, it would blow across much of southern California, creating an environmental calamity.
This film is a collection of clips captured during the spring this year; it was shot in Atlanta area and surrounding parks, including some close ups I took in my own backyard. Also, note the swan scene(s) at the end were taken with the EX1 at 60p lat sunset on evening in northern California at a park near our home earlier this year; and the moth shot by a fellow-film-maker who kindly had suggested at one point I use it in one of my films.
Most of the footage was shot with the 5dmk2 in 24p and 30p; edited in 24fps timeline and subsequently rendered at 24p. Canon lenses include the 16-35mm EF, 180mm macro EF, the 24-70mm EF, and my favorite one, the new 14mm EF MKII.
The majority of the clips were color-corrected in post as they were shot with a super-flat profile kindly provided by Eugenia Loli-queru; I intentionally included a few clips at the beginning taken (the first 10 or so) with the standard profile provided with the camera to help us better appreciate the difference. I am personally sold on the idea of shooting flat in most cases, provided one has adequate time for post-processing—this can be a long and tedious activity.
This film is a celebration of Spring, and to show the world our Azaleas; they are in bloom this time of the year here in the south-east of the United States—this is a native plant of the Carolina's and Georgia—that by itself makes this video worth watching; but of course, you the viewer have the final word. Hope you all enjoy it and please don’t forget to leave me your comments; good or bad, I'll take it all with a great deal of interest.
Thank you all for watching.
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