Clark Dry Lake (11 photos)

After our hike into Borrego Palm Canyon my friend Joe and I went to Borrego Springs for lunch and since it was still early in the day, we made a visit to Clark Dry Lake afterwards.

Here are my photos – some thoughts from behind the camera below the gallery.

Thoughts from behind the camera

Clark Dry Lake is one of these places that take a while to get used to – with the (relative) lushness of Borrego Palm Canyon that we had enjoyed just an hour before, the contrast could not have been bigger: some hardy shrubs somehow managed to establish themselves on this open mud flat, surrounded by nothing but rocks and barren soil. The wind had picked up considerably as well but despite these denying conditions, the place felt strangely peaceful and serene. On top of that, it was getting more cloudy again, and the light was soft and smooth.

Joe and I wandered around for a while, and then almost suddenly, the landscape and everything just “clicked” for me. I felt so immersed in this experience, at some point I just had to follow an impulse to lay down on the dry and cracked mud – and just stare at the sky for a bit. It was simply the desire to be in this moment as intensely as possible, and “connecting” more of myself to the earth felt like the right thing to do. Weird?

I think the combination of photography and desert is pretty intense. Working the camera allows us to be completely in the moment and experience it with heightened senses for every detail – in the landscape, but also the technicalities of “making that photo”. It’s deeply satisfying, and as if the entire consciousness gets focused in the camera and projected through the lens out, onto the landscape, generating perhaps a feedback loop as we take it back in through our one eye eye on the viewfinder. Ultimately, I think it’s this connection that makes us true landscape photographers.

All that probably sounds rather esoteric – but it’s also hard to put in words, and since English is not my native language, I still feel clumsy and awkward when I try to express these thoughts and feelings. But I guess if you’ve experienced it yourself you can relate, and perhaps understand what I mean.

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2 Responses

  1. “I just had to follow an impulse to lay down on the dry and cracked mud” From my distance I thought you had collapsed. Glad to see it was just a sublime experience.

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