I have never been to Joshua Tree National Park. In my recent workshop in the west coast, I took the time to go and check it out. As with any one of the sites I photograph, scouting the area for potential pictures is the first order of business. Well, my first impression of this park was not necessarily stellar, beautiful landscape but very few spots that I will call photogenic.
Something I have learn over the years is that locations have to grow on you, that you need to give them time to shine. During my three visits to the park I was able to get very few images that I liked, but I have to say that the night shoot under moonlight was my favourite. From Joshua Tree the next stop was Death Valley, another challenging and unpredictable location.
There you need to fight for pictures as they don’t come easy. If you have no clouds it is good for night photography but horrible for daylight photos. If clouds come about, it is fabulous for great day pictures but it blocks the sky for astrophotography.
My first day was full of clouds, which are hardly seen in this environment. This combined with the fact that there was some water on the salt flats from the recent floods, made for some interesting and unique imagery. The next day, no clouds and as a result, a struggle for meaningful photos during the day time. These are gorgeous and wonderful places with or without pictures. I love the feeling of loneliness and peace and the fact that there is no one out there at the times I shoot.