The Salton Sea Fine Art Program – March 28-30, 2014

Only four openings left – register today at

Morning View from Salton City © Bob Killen 2014
Morning View from Salton City © Bob Killen 2014

If you follow my work, or have attended my classes, then you know that my overarching visual theme has been the study of man’s proclivity to abandon his/her dreams. So it is with the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, a land of dreams dashed, hopes crushed, and faith failed.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the Salton Sea supported dozens of thriving resorts, where guests swam, water-skied, and golfed during the day, then partied into the night at one of the many yacht clubs. Now, towns with such bold monikers as Bombay Beach, Salton Sea Beach, and Desert Spa are ghosts of their former selves, their bleached streets vacant and cracked, and the deep-water docks of times past jut into boatless, desert shorelines. The water smells of heavy salt; the shores, once lined with sunbathers, now crunch under your feet with fossilized fish. It’s an apocalyptic landscape, an ecological purgatory of lost dreams, and the perfect place to learn how to create a fine art photography essay.

Now I invite you to join me as we explore this theme and more.

Lakeside Spa Abandoned © Bob Killen 2014
Lakeside Spa Abandoned © Bob Killen 2014

You will stay at the beautiful La Casa Del Zorro Hotel in Borrego Springs, CA (see For three intense days I, and my fellow instructors, Dave LaNeve and Nick Lovell, will guide you through the workflow of developing a fine art photography essay. We will spend our time capturing images of a decaying Riviera paradise, and then come to terms with the ecological purgatory that is the Salton Sea of today.

This is an exceptional opportunity to learn the thought processes and workflow of fine art and editorial photography. But it is also a time to simply relax and capture some unique and photogenic subjects. We will spend our time helping you create the best possible images with HDR techniques, light painting, star shine, extending depth of field, landscape composition, and other techniques that will add voice to your images.

And most of all, this is a time for fun, to build relations with other creative photographers, and to grow.

See you there!

Course Highlights

Salton Sea Recliner © Bob Killen 2014
Salton Sea Recliner © Bob Killen 2014

On Day 1

I will present a lecture to provide you with a background on the area, and teach you the methods that I use to develop a fine art essay. We will then drive to the east side of the Salton Sea, make stops at Bombay Beach, Salvation Mountain, and conclude the day with sunset photos over the inland sea.

On Day 2

We visit west side of the lake to capture the sunrise, followed by a trip through the Salton Sea’s “ghost town” areas to capture spectacularly decayed houses, trailers, signs and other architecture that remain from the area’s glory days.

On Day 3

We explore some little known jewels such as three trees, the spa abandoned, Red Rock Marina, and other points that will help you fill-in gaps for your essay.

Onsite you will learn unique techniques for realistic HDR, how to extend depth of field beyond the cameras range. At night, we will explore painting with light, and star shine capture. During mid-day, we will return to the hotel, work with our images in Lightroom and Photoshop. As with my other classes, we will mentor and guide you to bring an individual voice to your images.

$995 – includes your room.

La Casa Del Zorro Hotel information:
Salton Sea History:

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