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Question about that 'cracked ground' look in the desert
Old 03-21-2006, 08:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi folks,

I am planning on shooting the lovely Sabrina Starr in a desert setting sometime this spring/summer. When is the best time of year to get that 'cracked ground' look?

Here's an example of what I mean:

Thanks, Art.
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Re: Question about that 'cracked ground' look in the desert
Old 03-21-2006, 09:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you're not going to find that cracked ground in any old desert. you're probably going to need to find a dry lake bed (in the desert) -- one that had filled with water (most likely during the winter) and has now dried out for the summer.

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P.S.
Old 03-21-2006, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Will you be looking for that cracked ground in one of those Connecticut deserts?
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Re: Question about that 'cracked ground' look in the desert
Old 03-21-2006, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Jimmy is right. . .
This effect is best found in an area where recently wet fine silt has dried over still damp soil underneath. Flood plains or recently flooded over streams and/or dry lake beds ar your best bet.
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Re: Question about that 'cracked ground' look in the desert
Old 03-21-2006, 12:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The above is correct. The only place I know of is out near Las Vegas NV. There is a huge dry lake bed about an hour from town.

JT Smith should be ab le to give you more info. Its one of the spots he uses in the Vegas workshop..

Good luck

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Re: Question about that 'cracked ground' look in the desert
Old 03-21-2006, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow
The above is correct. The only place I know of is out near Las Vegas NV. There is a huge dry lake bed about an hour from town.
JT Smith should be ab le to give you more info. Its one of the spots he uses in the Vegas workshop..
Good luck
Shadow
El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, near Victorville, CA, is about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles. That's where I shot the image of Kori Rae I posted previously and this one as well.
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CT is a desert in a whole different way!
Old 03-21-2006, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd
Will you be looking for that cracked ground in one of those Connecticut deserts?
LOL!

So I want to go out to Nevada, Arizona, California. I figure the chances of me getting that look would be better.

I hear Black Rock Playa has this ground effect. We just want to go somewhere that's close (say with a couple hours) of a major city that we can fly into, rent the right vehicle, get some equipment (if I have to) and drive to. Plus if there's a nearby Hojos, Motel 6 or something to stay at overnight to get the morning light.

Plus I need to know when to go. I fugured that a dry lake bed is the good thing, but when does the lake bed dry up? May? June, July? Also which one? And how long does stay with that effect before winds 'smooth' it out?

All the help I can get will be appreciated.

Regards, Art.
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This place is perfect!
Old 03-21-2006, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd
El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, near Victorville, CA, is about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles.
When's the best time to head out there for the ground effect? When did you shoot this? June? July? August? Can you get there by car? Do I need a jeep? I see the shadows are very low, so you shot it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I like the golden hour effect.

Details! Enquiring minds want to know...

Thanks in advance, Art.
PS If we go here, you can join us - as an alterior motive - we need a guide!
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Re: This place is perfect!
Old 03-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm not sure you can count on a particular time of year, since its more dependent on being there shortly after it rains, and the water drys up leaving the cracks. These dry lake beds never have much water (that's why they're called "dry" lake beds). You should find someone nearby to give you a heads up when the lake looks good. El Mirage, which as someone pointed out is north of LA, is actually a state park and should show up on maps (its just south of Edwards Air Force Base) although actually getting onto the bed can be tricky because the signs are so bad. But you don't need a jeep, you can drive on in a regular car. The big problem is getting there at exactly the right time, because after it drys out, it starts to flatten out, and especially with El Mirage, is popular with dirt bikers and dunebuggy types. I've been there a few times and the mud is almost always ruined with tread tracks and the mud ridges are collapsed. I did a shoot there with Chirsty Hemme a couple years ago, but by the time we got there it was almost sunset, and besides, all the mud was ruined by bike tracks, so we settled for this:

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Re: This place is perfect!
Old 03-21-2006, 10:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I know it can be really tough when you have to "settle".
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