Christmas Morning 2017 by T.M. Schultze

December 2017 Photo of the Month

My December 2017 Photo of the Month is Christmas Morning 2017, a photograph I made in Joshua Tree National Park.

Christmas Morning 2017 by T.M. Schultze

Christmas Morning 2017 by T.M. Schultze

Christmas Morning 2017 Background

This was my 12th consecutive Christmas morning in Joshua Tree. Last year, I got a white Christmas when it snowed overnight. I also had rain and wind to deal with throughout the weekend. This year, it was incredibly mild.

Most photographers focus on the fabled 15 minutes before and after a sunrise or sunset.  I have learned to always be early and stay late, in case the light does something unexpected.  The amazing light in this case was wholly expected.  At least a hour before the proper sunrise, I could see faint red light appearing on the Eastern clouds.  This was the hint that some magic was going to happen.

My earlier sunrise images are great, and I picked a good, quiet, spot to enjoy the moment.  However, as the sunrise was very close to crossing the horizon, I started to see the rays in the photo above.

Joshua Tree is certainly my muse, and I feel that I know more and more subtle details every visit.  I have been coming here since I was a kid in the 1980s, and I never find myself in the park feeling satisfied.  There is always more to see, like my hike to locate the Queen Valley Pictograph Boulder, for instance.

This completes a full 2017 of Photos of the Month.  Click this link to see my current gallery of Photos of the Month, or click this link to read all of my Photo of the Month blog posts.

I am looking forward to a great set of monthly posts in 2018.  See my friend Alexander S. Kunz’s Photo of the Month posts here.

As always, thank you very much for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.

T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.

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