Don’t get in a rut, we told ourselves, but it was too late. It’s been almost 2 years since we got our camera and the setting rarely has moved from manual. So, Beth moved the switch off manual, and we headed out with new friends, Marlee and Kenton, to photograph outdoor sculpture.
Over 100 sculptures were placed in the desert at Borrego Springs, CA – a small, “island” town surrounded by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The philanthropist, Dennis Avery and his wife, Sally Tsui Wong-Avery, lived in Borrego Springs for years. He bought property when land prices dropped in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
We’d never heard of the sculptor, Ricardo Breceda. He started as a cowboy boot salesman, and, when his young daughter requested a dinsoaur after seeing “Jurassic Park III,” he welded one for her. His first sculpture, it was 45-ft long (14 meters). Only seven years later, he received his commission from Dennis Avery.
During the photo shoot Beth resisted the temptation to switch back to manual focus even though she could see there was an unusual look to the photos. When we returned and uploaded all the photos, she realized that she’d accidentally left the setting at “toy camera” effect. The manual says this creates “a soft image with shaded corners and reduced sharpness.”
For us – the accidental setting on the camera couldn’t have been better. It gave our photos that day an old-time look with slightly muted colorization. The glare on the desert floor from the sun is still there, as well as the blue sky. What better way to photograph giant creatures in the desert?
Changing camera settings and changing our setting to the desert for viewing giant welded animals lifted us right out of a winter rut.