Monday, April 23, 2012

Land Sail Racers, Models and Photographers Mix at Primm

by Julie Kasperson

On my many trips to Southern California, I take the 15 Freeway south, which passes through Primm or Stateline. There you can find a few casinos, a golf course, an outlet mall, and a store that sells lottery tickets. On this particular Sunday in March, I spent hours battling the southbound traffic out of Las Vegas to meet with other photographers at Primm for a group shoot at the Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed.

I’ve always wanted to do a shoot on the dry lake bed. Now I was finally going to be doing it! We met up with various members of land sail racing clubs, who were there competing in a week-long America’s Cup event. Their national organization is called the North American Land Sailing Association (NALSA). Las Vegas has a local contingent called SASSASS (Sunny Acres Sipping, Sailing and Soaring Society). On this day, with 50 mph winds blowing, more sipping than sailing was taking place.

There are 13 square miles in the Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed, most of which are in California. You need a permit from the BLM to have access to the lake bed, but we were guests of the land sail racers and were able to attempt a photo shoot with their permission.

Most of the models were “no shows” for the shoot. I can’t say I blame them, considering the harsh conditions we encountered. We did manage to photograph models Brenda Andrade and Lionell Gray, who withstood terrible shooting conditions with hardly a complaint.

After we wrapped the shoot, we were invited to dinner in the main tent by the racers. I was able to meet club members from Santa Cruz, CA, Las Vegas, and from other locations around the U.S. We stood up to the challenge of high wind, blowing dust and dirt, and had survived. My Mustang looked like it had been on a bad off-roading trip. I would like to try my hand at racing a wheeled vehicle through the wind someday. Just not in 50 mph winds! I was told 20 mph is the max that they feel comfortable racing in. After seeing some vehicles topple over in the windy conditions, I can see why.

The Ivanpah Dry Lake is a stark, dramatic location for a photo shoot. Its flat, smooth surface, broken up with cracked, parched earth, has been used for countless photo shoots, film shoots, and commercials. I will return one day, and hope to have calmer conditions to shoot in.

Photos (click photos for larger image)

All photo credits: Julie Kasperson,

© 2012 Julie Kasperson - All rights reserved.

-VegasJules ( Julie Kasperson ) can be contacted through her facebook page.


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