Christmas Eve Moonrise Joshua Tree
Christmas Eve Moonrise Joshua Tree is my newest image taken from my 9th consecutive year camping in Joshua Tree National Park.
I arrived in the park early in the day, got my campsite, and began thinking about what images I wanted to make this year.
By 2 PM, the clouds were high, thin, and setting up very nicely for a great sunset. While thinking about all of the locations in the park to photograph, I thought trying to make a backlit image of Temple Rock with great colorful clouds would be excellent.
Alas, after 4 PM, the clouds began to thin and disappear and I lost most of the great light I was hoping for. It appeared that some of the cloud cover over the Coachella Valley lit up, but being in the Jumbo Rocks region, I didn’t have much to photograph.
However, not all was lost. Christmas Eve also included the first Christmas Full Moon since 1977, when I was just a few months old. My image didn’t quite fully capture the moon as it was obscured by the clouds to the East, but I did enjoy the resulting photograph.
The unfortunate part of Christmas happened later in the evening when I went out to night shoot in the full moonlight. A big windgust blew over my tripod and destroyed my lens, with damage to my camera and GPS although they do appear to be working.
It is another reminder that one must always be cognizant of prevailing conditions, and also to always make sure your equipment is covered by insurance. I hope my PPA insurance helps me cover most of the loss.
Losing equipment is part of the landscape game, and this isn’t the biggest loss I have had, so I am hoping to stay positive. I did make a few images in the meantime that I liked.
Thank you 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.