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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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

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

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