My December 2014 Photo of the Month is Heartbreak and Hope, a photograph taken in Joshua Tree National Park at the Heartbreak Rock formation.
Heartbreak And Hope Background
Heartbreak Rock is a beautiful rock formation originally popularized by my friend Jeremy Long while exploring the greater Jumbo Rocks area of Joshua Tree.
This morning was one of the 300 sunny days a year. I hear a lot from people that this makes their visits a bust, but I do not agree. It is a challenge to make a pleasing composition, but through the use of negative space and leading lines, you can make a good image.
In this case, I worked with the knowledge that most people view images like they read: left to right (Arabic and Jewish readers notwithstanding!). My main subject is the rock with the starburst. However, the rock formation on the right leads up and to the right. This is exactly how you would like people to study the image. Because the starburst is so powerful, it brings people back to where they started, and they can review further.
There is a lot of negative space up and to the left. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A few clouds in the frame wouldn’t be bad either. However, too much, and this composition may have suffered from subject confusion, when your image is too busy. I believe in a well-defined subject. Simple is better.
We Have An E-Book For You To Enjoy!
Want to know this location (and GPS coordinates) as well as other great rock formations not listed elsewhere? I co-wrote an E-Book that helps photographers find formations and locations that are not obvious in the park. If you want to go beyond Skull Rock, you might want to pick up the guide. Go to jtphotoguide.com and pick up our Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree National Park.
As always, 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.