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 the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Art Museum in Yucca Valley, CA


One of the strangest and most interesting “museums” we have ever seen is just a few miles off of CA Highway 62 in Yucca Valley.  It is easy to visit on the way to or from Joshua Tree.  Here is what you will 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


Peter’s Favorite Images from 2014

Mary and I took ten named trips last year.  Instead of ranking my favorite photos from last year, I am going to just present them chronologically from our trips.  Between Mary and I, we usually make about 10,000 images in the field a year.  We kept about 2,000 and I think about 200 are really fine photographs.  Here are my favorite 20 photos from 2014. Continue reading


How to Photograph Cactus

Close-up of a XXX

Close-up of a Prickly Pear

We fashion ourselves as photographers’ of the southwest.  As such, we often times have the opportunity to photograph cactus.  Cactus comes in all shapes, sizes, and even colors.  Here are some tips to get your best cactus shots. Continue reading


Look. See. Imagine. Create: The Power of Black and White

Jailhouse Rock, Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Jailhouse Rock, Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park, UT

The very best time to make nature and landscape photos, even portraits, is the golden hours, i.e., one hour before and after sunrise and sunset.  I have written about the Golden hours here before.  The  issue is that sometimes you just can’t shoot sunrise and sunset for various reasons, especially when on vacation.  If you have to make photos in the middle of the day, black and white will almost always be a better option than color AND with digital cameras, shooting black and white is easier than ever  Here’s how: Continue reading


How to Photograph Trees

Napa Valley orchard on a rainy day

There is something primitive about our love for trees.  No matter where you are or the type of trees you may find, there is something appealing about them.  They provide shelter, food, materiale, and beauty.  It may seem easy, obvious, and terribly basic to photograph trees, but I think with a little planning and thoughtfulness, we can capture trees even better.  Here is how: Continue reading