Thursdays By The Sea

These images are from the desolate area surrounding the Salton Sea, the largest lake in California. Formed accidentally in 1905 by a breach in the Colorado River, this lake was, in the 1950s, a bigger tourist attraction than Yosemite National Park. But over the years the local population and tourists have been driven away. From its main water supply, the New River, the Salton Sea became heavily polluted with agricultural runoff and sewage from Mexico. As the volume of runoff increased, the lake’s water levels fluctuated so greatly that whole towns were flooded with this filthy, saline water. In the late 70s, the entire shoreline surrounding Bombay Beach had to be abandoned, leaving behind a sparsely inhabited ghost town.

 

The title of this project comes from taking trips out to the Salton Sea every Thursday for twelve months with a large format camera and 5 dark slides.