the way the internets taught us was: 1. buy a full-frame dSLR; and, 2. take it everywhere. in some ways, the times that I have taken the big dSLR, and the assortment of lenses to the Salton Sea, the results have been good**. there are many lenses, which is the versatility needed when visiting the Salton Sea, for one never knows when the "mud" (a mix of gunk, water, soil and fine grains of fish bones) will make one say 'ok, this is good enough'. consequently, this means wide angle lenses and zoom as big as one can carry.
• Choose Wisely
for other reasons, one may want to bring Medium Format cameras too, which for most of us, it means that film and multiple cameras are required. over many visits, the cameras have included: Canon EOS3 & 5Dmk2, Olympus EP-1 & 3, Fuji XPro1 & X20, Mamiya 7ii, Hasselblad, Graflex, Polaroid 280, and a Rolleiflex. most of the Medium Format cameras have but one lens — fixed or that is what it is. with an interest for the Medium Format, which means 2 or 3 cameras, then the Canon system stays home, as it has been the case for the good part of the last 3 years. the versatility of the Fuji and the desire to travel just with checked-in luggage, means that it is the digital camera to bring. (I forgot the digital pinhole camera this time.) oh yeah, and a suitable tripod is quite needed too, and to be able to bring a small tripod, then that means that the Mamiya and Rolleiflex are the ones possible in the Medium Format size.
yes, I have been there a few times, but every single time, I am not sure what the light conditions will be, what have I done before, and most certainly, urban & portrait photography is not the way to prepare to come here. mind you, I am not trying to take "an awesome" photograph, nor is it about (the pitfall of) taking a "unique" photograph. the desire is simple, and very difficult:
« I would like to write a sentence about the experience with a few photographs as words. »
right? a photograph becomes a word (if real good!) or a syllable, when it is decent. then, there are the conjunctions-functionality photos. if the sentence ends up being poetry, then, a smile is earned.
" shootin' " and using the cameras are quite fun things to do in the Salton Sea, and to take a good photos is quite easy: one has not seen anything like it before, and it is going to be totally awesome. however, wanting to make something cohesive of the location is quite a challenge (to me).
in that sense, the phone camera helps to sort out the crap, from the "conjunctions", from the "syllables" and from cherished "words" types of photographs. the feedback is immediate, in that phone photos will look good... well, on the phone, and maybe some social media. otherwise, the ones from the bigger digital cameras can be quite misleading. (in this sense, I have come to depend that focus-peaking in mirrorless camera is an essential feature to guarantee the proper focal point is in focus.)
while the photos taken with the phone may be processed in a "heavy handed" fashion, because, hey, it is good to have fun with fakery of looks, there is a message to signify which locations and compositions worked well by how the phone photos worked.
then, it is that the first step of a Sentence Construction "workflow" comes from a phone, or photos from a compact camera (for example, the X20) processed with a mobile platform's apps. (in this one instance, the photos here are just from the phone.)
** those photos are no longer online, since all socio-photo sites have been deleted. however, the other day, I found that fotoblur's simple portfolio still exists. one has to go through many pages to see all of them. enjoy that! however, the Salton Sea photos should stand out to the eye trained from the photos above [ link ]. other photos can still be seen at Dunked [ link ], which are of the pinhole variety.