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October 11, 2008 Salton Sea Area
In October of 2008, me and a few cosplayers and photographers were having lunch after a morning of
shooting in San Diego and we had some crazy urge to do some shooting in the Salton Sea area. The
area has many abandoned builidings and we thought it would be fun to do some cosplay photography
out there. Amazingly, we were able to organize this trip for the following weekend. We had a fairly
large group made up of 10 cosplayers and 6 photographers. Most of the cosplayers on this trip chose
to dress up as assassins, ninjas, or soldiers instead of the standard anime and video game characters
that you see at conventions. One group started out from Los Angeles and the other group left out of
San Diego and we met up in the town of North Shore on the banks of the Salton Sea. The main
attraction here was an abandoned motel and yacht club. Even though the buildings are somewhat
boarded up and falling apart, there really isn't much to keep people from entering and exploring them.
For me, it was a good place to try new things because you obviously don't get conditions like this at
anime conventions. Even in the city, it's hard to find places like this that aren't really dangerous. We
later moved on to our second location at Bombay Beach, where you can find the ruins of flooded
buildings. The ground is covered by a firm mixture of salt and hardened mud. This was a beautiful
location to take photos as the sun was going down.
The following day, those of us that returned to San Diego were having lunch at a Korean barbeque and
the cosplayers decided to call this project "S.A.LT." (Silent Assault and Liberation Team). It was a
unique experience for all of us who were a part of it. Most of us agree that doing cosplay photography
at conventions has its limitations. Going on a road trip to the middle of nowhere is a lot more fun than
any convention. We look forward to the next road trip and the adventure that waits for us.