Wasteland Wanderer

“Image was shot with a 4 stop neutral density filter which allowed me to shoot at a fairly wide aperture. I used two strobes to light the image. A 4ft octa camera left and a gridded reflector camera right.

The concept for this image started out with me wanting to do a little series with a post apocalyptic/burning man style shoot. I asked all of my friends on Facebook who have been to burning man, knowing they would most likely have the necessary costume pieces. Several friends got back to me, and I ultimately decided to use my friend Caity for this image. I knew I wanted to shoot at the Salton Sea, but wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to shoot there. I didn’t have the luxury of scouting out the location ahead of time (it’s almost a 4 hour drive there), so I relied heavily on internet images and a few calls to the local ranger station. At first I chose a location at the very south end, but due to time constraints we decided to find a location along the west side of the sea; one that didn’t require us to drive to the very south end.

We ended up driving into a small city called Bombay Beach. At the end of the city are the remnants of an old beach town, with abandoned trailers, broken down shacks, and signs of life strewn all over the place. After walking around for a bit, we decided this would be the perfect place to shoot. The beach surrounding the model is made up mostly of dead fish bones that have been calcified from the extreme salt levels. The model is standing on the remains of an old pier (you can see several of the piers pillars in the background). I placed my main light on a c-stand in the middle of the water to the left of the camera, and another light behind the model to the right. I actually ended up standing in the water while shooting, in order to get the right angle (which was a very interesting experience..instead of sand, its all fish bones..so I was stepping all over the remains of dead fish. Very eerie. I brought along a pair of binoculars for the model to hold, which in my opinion really help make the image. This is the first image in a series, the rest are still in development.

Shooting with a 4 stop neutral density filter also proved to be a big challenge, since it made focusing very hard. I constantly had to focus and recompose, which made getting a sharp image really hard. Thankfully, my favorite image from the set was also the sharpest.”- Sean Moore

Nikon D600
35mm lens @ f/4
1/200th sec
100 ISO


  • jr456

    It’s a lovely shot…nice work on this. How much time did you spend on post?

  • Devin Spitze


  • matthew odom

    world class

  • Sean Moore

    Thanks everyone!

  • Jodi Halter Shuben

    Sean, What a fantastic picture, I want to see more!!!

  • http://www.vonwong.com/ Benjamin Von Wong

    so cool!

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