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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Photography around Rigdecrest, California
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01/12/2009 08:32:54 AM · #1
Hi all

I'm heading off to Ridgecrest, CA next week for 6 weeks. Can anybody recommend anywhere interesting to take some photos within 90 minutes of Ridgecrest.

Cheers
01/12/2009 09:28:35 AM · #2
I didn't think there was anything 90 minutes in any direction of Ridgecrest.

There is Death Valley. Also Lake Isabella to the west.
01/12/2009 09:43:03 AM · #3
Originally posted by mikeee:

Hi all

I'm heading off to Ridgecrest, CA next week for 6 weeks. Can anybody recommend anywhere interesting to take some photos within 90 minutes of Ridgecrest.

Cheers


Not that I would ever actually do such a thing or suggest that you do such a thing, but there's a Naval Weapons Test Station at China Lake out there where you can find some interesting things... Just don't call me to bail you out.

Seriously though, you can tour the NWTS (760) 939-3530.

There's also the petroglyphs at the Coso Rock Art National Historic Landmark, which is on the NWTS. There's a local museum that arranges tours (Maturango Museum (760) 375-6700 ). They deal with the Navy on the logistics so you don't have to.

There's the Mojave Airport, which doesn't sound like much until you realize that it's where the airlines store aircraft either because they are scrapping them or just storing them long-term.

Edwards AFB is also nearby, but I don't know about civilian access anymore. They say HERE that they have tours, but that page may not be current.

You can also just drive around the desert, especially if you have or rent a 4WD. Just make sure you have a GPS or map, some food and water, and bring a coat.

If you're up for it, go out to the middle of one of the dry lakebeds at night and look up. Prepare to be in awe.
01/12/2009 10:43:06 AM · #4
The Alabama Hills is about 1:15 hrs north of Ridgecrest and is a very interesting place to photograph. It's a historic movie location with TONS of interesting boulders, rocks and small "arches" with Mt. Whitney and the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. It's best to plan ahead and get there before sunrise to get the nice alpenglow on Mt Whitney and then when the sun hits the round boulders you get better texture than in the mid-day sun.
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I wish I had more pics on here to show you. The town of Lone Pine has plenty of restaurants and motels too if needed. Up about 10 miles from Lone Pine is the Manzanar relocation camp.
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01/13/2009 02:35:16 PM · #5
Thanks for the replies.

I'm working at the China Lake range so I know how tight their security is! It's a shame because they have a great aircraft graveyard but no cameras are allowed anywhere near them.

I'll definately try out Alabama Hills and I might be able to get into Mojave airport.

I love the Californian weather and how is preserves old metal. Here's a pic from the last time I was there...

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01/13/2009 03:05:33 PM · #6
Originally posted by mikeee:

Thanks for the replies.

I'm working at the China Lake range so I know how tight their security is! It's a shame because they have a great aircraft graveyard but no cameras are allowed anywhere near them.

I'll definately try out Alabama Hills and I might be able to get into Mojave airport.

I love the Californian weather and how is preserves old metal. Here's a pic from the last time I was there...


Way back in July 2001 I had gotten my foot in the door with a proposal to shoot a charity calendar at the Airplane Graveyard outside Tucson. One of my high school buddies had served at Cheyenne Mountain and had security clearance up the wazoo (which probably is why he walked funny) and had made a few connections for me. I was in the midst of an FBI clearance in September. You guessed it, that plan came to an end real quick. Last year I tried reviving the idea, but most of the people that I had made contact with had either retired or had moved onto other postings.

Message edited by author 2009-01-13 15:10:10.
01/13/2009 03:58:26 PM · #7
Originally posted by mikeee:

Thanks for the replies.

I'm working at the China Lake range so I know how tight their security is! It's a shame because they have a great aircraft graveyard but no cameras are allowed anywhere near them.

I'll definately try out Alabama Hills and I might be able to get into Mojave airport.

I love the Californian weather and how is preserves old metal.


I don't know what you're doing at China Lake, but if you have access there, you stand a good chance of being granted access to the Test Flight Museum at Edwards AFB.

If you're willing to go a bit farther than 90 miles, there's the Devil's Punchbowl in Pearblossom.

I miss the California weather every winter.

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