Friday, October 26, 2012

Trona Pinnacles

Recently I have been playing around with camera tracking in preparation for an upcoming job. I have been filming my apartment and incorporating cg objects into the scene with decent success. Unfortunately the environment wasn't incredibly exciting. My apartment may be nice, but it doesn't make for the most impressive backdrop. So in an attempt to find some more captivating scenery I set out for the Mojave desert with a camera and a tripod, hoping to discover some rad desert environments that would make for a good sci-fi backdrop. My specific destination - the Trona Pinnacles.

The Trona Pinnacles are an incredible land formation located about 3.5 hours NE of Los Angeles. If you were going to Death Valley you would drive past them. The unusual spires and rock formations are known as Tufa Spires, which are deposits formed when natural springs interact with other bodies of water. Apparently, during the Pleistocene era there was a massive runoff of water from the Sierras that resulted in multiple lakes being created in the valleys of the region. The area of Trona was fully submerged under the currenlty dried up Searles Lake. Other lakes in the area such as Mono Lake were the result of the same runoffs. It was during the time when Searles lake was full that the pinnacles grew from their underwater springs.  The landfroms are rather young in the global scheme of things, ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 years old. They formed in three groupings during three different ice ages. This is why there are three very distinct types of spires in the collection of formations.

 If you ever have a chance, I highly recommend a visit to Trona. It is an incredibly alien landscape worth seeing in person. Please enjoy the Trona Pinnacles photo set, and look out for an upcoming video or two with some spaceships and other sci-fi things flying around the some videos of the area.

I think this area gets a lot of 4-wheelin

Vibe'n in the desert

Trona Railway 

Not Trona Pinnacles but an awesome sunset on the drive home

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