Peter’s Favorite Photos from 2017

Barker Dam, Joshua Tree National Park

It’s that time of year again, to reflect on all of our trips and pick my favorite photos from 2017.  We went on 11 “named trips” including our epic two weeks in New Zealand.  I tried to pick at least one photo from each of our trips.  Here are my favorite 15 photos in chronological order. Continue reading


Photographing Pioneertown, CA – He saw. She saw.

by Mary

Pioneertown started as a live-in old west motion-picture set that was built in the 1940s. The set was designed to provide a place for the actors to live while using their homes as the main street in an old western movie.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading

Photographing Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park – Look. See. Imagine. Create.

The "classic" shot

The “classic” shot

One of our favorite locations in Joshua Tree is the Jumbo Rocks campground and trail to Skull Rock.  This has one of the most picturesque rock walls in the park.  Here’s how to photograph it.

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Photographing Sunrise at Barker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park

Sunday of the first

Sunday, January 29

Mary and I last saw water in Barker Dam in 2009.  With the drought in CA these past eight years, this particular photo has been elusive.  However, once you see this reflection shot, it’s like crack for photographers.  You want to make this photo over and over again.  We recently went to Joshua Tree two weekends in a row to try to get the best photo we could.  Here’s what happened. Continue reading

24 Hours in Joshua Tree


We had a bald sky, but calm winds.

Because of all of the rain in Southern CA, the Barker Dam area of Joshua Tree has a lot of water for the first time in about eight years.  Mary and I made a trip out there just to get that one shot.  There’s a lot you can do in Josh in one day.  Here’s what we did. Continue reading

A Weekend in Joshua Tree II

Morning in Joshua Tree near the Hidden Valley Campground

We recently went to Joshua Tree with our good friends Mark and Carolynn.  We only had time to shoot one afternoon and one morning.  We had bald skies again, but did the best we could with what we had.  We went to Josh about two years ago as novice photographers (see original blog post for more photos), so we were looking forward to seeing how we might have improved our eyes and our skills.  Here is our tight itinerary: Continue reading

A Weekend in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree Sunrise and Moonrise

Summer is coming to a close and its time to start planning your fall and winter trips.  One of the premier deserts in Southern California is in Joshua Tree National Park.  Josh is, actually, two large ecosystems – The Colorado Desert with stands of spike-like ocotillo plants and cholla cactus and the Mojave Desert which has extensive stands of Joshua Trees.

The prime time to visit Joshua Tree is October through April.  The late Spring and Summer are unbearably hot – in the low 100s many days.  However, in the cooler late fall and winter, it is really mild, sometimes even very cold, and very beautiful.  Besides better weather, photographing Josh in the winter also is advantageous for the lower sun and flatter light, as well as reasonable sunrise and sunset times. Continue reading