A Canyon Oasis in Baja California

First light in the canyon oasis, Baja California, Mexico

First Light in the Canyon, Baja California, Mexico

Riding Gus the eco bus.

I can’t remember the last time I heard some good news coming from Baja in the past year. It’s been a while since I’ve been down there because of all the media reports on the drup war, even David Muench told me to stay away from our border traffic areas and scenic parks. Of course I’m not one to stay away from something for too that I loved to photograph in the past. I finally gave in to my inner explorer and took a trip down to a very remote oasis deep in the Sonoran Desert of Baja. We passed through a couple of border towns in Mexico and the streets were full of people going about there business. I had a couple of guides that showed us around when we stopped at a super market to stalk up on food, water and spirits. I finished shopping quickly and went for a walk down to a taco stand with a friend from New Zealand. The walk was longer then I thought so I figured if anything bad is going to happen in Mexico now would of been a great time when I was seperated from the group and eco bus we were traveling on. Of course nothing happened and the only odd thing I saw was a hamburger truck passed by. Hmmm, in America or at least Los Angeles we have a lot of taco trucks it would be pretty ironic if they have hamburger trucks in Mexico? Hmmm.


At this moment I'm thinking this better not be the last I'm seen.  Easy to hide that feeling with a smile.

At this moment I’m thinking this better not be the last time I’m seen. Easy to hide the feeling with a smile.

The Sonoran Desert in Baja California

Here is a view of the basin below as we come down from the mountains.

A Sonoran Desert Oasis in the middle of nowhere.. .

Eventually we make it there and I get to explore this Sonoran Desert Oasis in the middle of nowhere.. .

After traveling so many miles via the eco friendly vegitable oil powered bus, walking across the San Diego / Mexican border crossing with only what you could carry on you in one backpacking trip and walking again from where the terrain became too difficult for the bus makes the beauty of desert something to cherish.

“I never saw a thing that the media used to keep me out of Mexico for over a year, Baja is different then mainland Mexico and TJ!”

Here is a little odd time lapse video I randomly put together to make my friends look like random free bird hippie types

I had never even thought of creating a time lapse video but I took my old 5D down into Mexico and it didn’t have the HD video on so I improvised.

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8 Responses to “A Canyon Oasis in Baja California”

  1. David Leland Hyde Says:

    I love this Baja series, especially the bus interior and the landscape with the beautiful “alpenglow,” if you can call it that in Baja, with fuzzy reflection. The videos are great too. You accomplished your desired effect with the bus roof movie. Also, the sand dune video is inspirational the way you set up where a number of excellent photographs came into the frame as you panned.

  2. Steve Sieren Says:

    David, Alpenglow must have a another name down there. Maybe it’s in your dad’s notes?

    I thought that video would be a great way to show I compose scenes. In the digital days we can take a lot of keepers but the time in photoshop keeps us from showing them all.

  3. Sharon Says:

    This is a wonderful series, Steve. Just outstanding. I enjoyed it immensely. The last photograph is gorgeous and I thought the timelapse was marvelous!


  4. Steve Sieren Says:

    Sharon, thank you. When the driver (our guide) asked if we wanted to bus surf I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. I thought this could get interesting. I did not have my HD video because when I travel in Mexico I carry the late model 5D, it does not have video and that is what I wanted to capture at that moment and the motion of the moving bus. I shot in continuous mode when there was an interesting moment on the bus top. Usually it takes 300 shots to get 10 seconds of video and I only took about 600 so I’d modified the recipe for creating a time lapse video to get the video to last a lot longer.

  5. mavourneen Says:

    I really like the last picture, it’s amazing! and interesting time lapse!

  6. David Leland Hyde Says:

    Not sure about the name for “Alpenglow” in Baja. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any such references in Dad’s notes. While I don’t think glowing mountains had as much currency with him as with Galen Rowell and today’s landscape photographers, Dad definitely did make some images of them in Baja and elsewhere. For the most part, I remember he usually called it simply “late sunlight,” which isn’t all that glamorous, but then he never tried to be such.

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