There are some photographs one simply must shoot. Everyone shoots them.
Today’s brief post features two photos I made on this week’s trip to the Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park.
First: unadulterated luck. Everyone who travels through the windy Banning Pass between Los Angeles and Palm Springs tries for some dramatic rendering of the scene along Interstate 10. The valley floor is strewn with hundreds of large wind turbines. They’re an impressive sight. Probably a million tourists take a photo of them every year.
We were returning to Desert Hot Springs heading north from Palm Springs. I was driving. There, out my window, was The Shot. I grabbed the camera, aimed it (more or less) and got this:
Turbines and Mount San Gorgonio, the tallest peak in Southern California (11,503 feet). Sometimes luck is all you need.
The second shot, luck with some preparation, came late in that day. The sun was nearly on the crests of the hills, giving the rocky landscape dotted with Joshua Trees that golden glow: sweet light, as it’s known. We were there at that time by design, to be able to photograph in that light. Standard practice, of course, is to shoot objects with the sun behind one, but the jagged, primordial Joshua Trees, with their slightly sinuous trunks, offer an opportunity to shoot them the other way, silhouetted against the sun.
Timing (and looking) is everything.
More photos and descriptions of remarkable Joshua Tree National Park are to come. For the first in the series, click on “Valentine Greeting,” below.
© Brad Nixon 2017