My August 2016 Photo of the Month is GSD1. I made this image during the height of the monsoon season in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Continue reading
Overlooked 2015 Photographs
I have a lot of overlooked 2015 photographs. Much of this comes from taking the images but not getting around to processing them at home! I get busy just like everybody, so I thought I would make this post and show a few that I have overlooked.
The Hungry Hippo
This is a cool rock formation near Jaguar Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. Curiously, this was the first time I photographed it. This was just after sunrise in temperatures in the low 20s.
To me, this rock reminded me of the Hungry Hungry Hippos game from my childhood.
Storm Over Borrego Springs
This was a great photo day where I took a great image from the Borrego Springs overlook on S-22 of a rainbow, but I neglected to process many of the storm images from the valley floor. The weather was very impressive on that day.
A Storm At The Motor Transport Museum
The Motor Transport Museum in Campo is such a unique place, with possibly hundreds of old decaying vehicles from brands I didn’t even know existed. The San Diego Photo Club went there on a trip, when a storm hit, and I never got around to processing these images. The vibrant colors with the moody cloud cover makes for a great contrast. I need to revisit soon.
The Desert View Tower
I have always ignored this place, although it is an important landmark for my Old Highway 80 Photography Project.
This was the last stop along US Route 80 before it descended the In-Ko-Pah Gorge to the Imperial Valley. The road ends here, but concrete remnants follow Myer Creek all the way to the town of Ocotillo.
I have many more overlooked images, but I thought this selection would make for a nice post.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images!
Spending Christmas in Joshua Tree National Park is a personal tradition for me. On that note, I will be out in the park on the 24th and 25th, so I am showing this image from last year’s Christmas morning in Joshua Tree. Continue reading
The Photographer’s Guide To Joshua Tree National Park will be coming out next month! It is a delight to be able to create a Joshua Tree Photo Guide for the public to use. On behalf of my co-author, Jeremy Long, I am very excited for the first edition release. The Guide will be available in multiple formats, Ibooks, Kindle, Nook, and a PDF edition. All should be readable on the device of your choice. Continue reading
This past weekend, I journeyed to Yosemite National Park with long-time friend, colleague, and fellow photographer, Jeremy Long. We were looking to make an image showing Upper Cathedral Lake at sunset, with reflection from beautiful Cathedral Peak.
On paper, the hike did not look imposing. My map indicated it was about 3.5 miles each way. Despite not having ideal weather (the forecast called for clear skies), we were excited to make the journey and add a new image to our respective portfolios. This looked like a simple, single-day hike.
As we learn, time and again, it rarely works that way. The hike up the John Muir Trail (the reverse of how most people travel from Happy Isles to Tuolomne Meadows) was tougher than we thought. This was especially true for me, carrying much more equipment in my backpack than I needed.
I also found that the hike was quite a bit longer than written on paper. My GPS noted the distance to the correct side of Upper Cathedral Lake at 5.3 miles. The paper mileage was 50% wrong! In addition, we quickly realized that the proper image was taken way up on the dome outcropping to the south. Only, after Jeremy and I scoured separate sections of rock, we did not find the best spot. The reflection of Cathedral Peak was either obscured by the shoreline, or we were lined up correctly but there were trees in the way.
Eventually, we both found a large outcropping that appeared to be in the right spot. The bouldering appeared to be tough, and the light was growing dim. However, with sunset growing close, and an additional 5+ miles back to Tuolomne Meadows, it wasn’t ideal to take more chances.
Learning Through Scouting Locations
We hiked back that evening tired, beat up, and sore. As always, one must remember to never trust the map. Besides the mileage, the hike was tougher than appeared on paper, and failed to take into account the extra work we needed to make the best image possible. We didn’t have the high clouds we dreamed of either, so in this case, we counted it as strictly a scouting trip.
The next time we go, we will be more prepared from this experience. And that is the whole point of scouting out locations. We know what to expect and will plan for an entire weekend and camp at the lake. We will be there earlier, with more time to scale the rock outcroppings to reach our best location. And we will give ourselves that much more chance to make the image we are dreaming of.
The lesson is to never discount the work it takes to make an image, long before the perfect scene reveals itself to you. If your trip doesn’t go perfect, remember the value in the experience and the knowledge you have gained. It will give you an edge the next time you are ready to make that photography.