My last trip to Joshua Tree National Park this winter began early morning, just as the sun was starting to light up the sky. Getting up early for the hour and a half drive to get into some of the locations I like to shoot for sunrise is never a hardship.
The image above was taken as sunrise was approaching. I loved the color on the horizon. I also liked the simplicity of the single tree and the pile of rock, both so representative of the park. Like most of my early morning photos, this was a three image exposure blend. I’ve talked about this technique before. Three separate images, one normal exposure, one dark exposure for the sky and a third lighter exposure for the foreground, are blended together so the shadows don’t get too dark and the sky doesn’t end up blown out.
As the sun rose above the horizon, it started to light up the tops of the distant hills.
As the sun rose higher, it started to peek through gaps in the boulders, giving a warm glow to the Joshua Trees.
The shadowy distant hills provide a nice backdrop to the warm golden tones of the grass and the green leaves of the Joshua Trees in the image below.
While far from an award-winning photo, the sunlight snaking between the boulders and zig zagging through the through the grasses, caught my eye and I just had to take the shot.
This was my last visit to JTNP for this winter, but it was not my last California adventure. I did a trip to Big Sur and to Moab, which I will talk about in future posts.