We Found what we were Looking for at Joshua Tree National Park

Maybe it’s because I was born in Arizona or spent half of my childhood in El Paso. Or maybe it’s because I spent the other half of my childhood imagining I was Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Whatever the case, I love desolate desert landscapes. We spent half of our Thanksgiving holiday in a desolate landscape photographer’s dreamland: Joshua Tree National Park. And, yes, we listened to U2 on our way there. As one friend told me, that’s not cliché. It’s classic. Here are some of our favorite images from our first day at the park. We focused the first part of our visit on the Joshua trees and the rock formations. We’ll post some images later in the week of the Cholla Cactus Garden and the Cottonwood Oasis.

Bowing to Shemesh

“Bowing to Shemesh.” Just hanging’ out with some sun worshippers at sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park. Actually, the Joshua trees allegedly got their names from Mormon travelers who thought the trees looked like Joshua raising his arms leading them to the promised landPrint Available.

This seemed like a wise old Joshua Tree. I had fun combining different effects from various plugins for a more artistic approach.

This seemed like a wise old Joshua Tree. I had fun combining different effects from various plugins for a more artistic approach. Print Available.

We got a little starburst happy on this trip. Michelle caught this great one in the middle of a well developed Joshua Tree. We had fun processing this as a split tone in MacPhun's Tonality Pro. Print Available.

We got a little starburst happy on this trip. Michelle caught this great one in the middle of a well developed Joshua Tree. We had fun processing this as a split tone in MacPhun‘s Tonality Pro. Print Available.

Speaking of starbursts, it's not all about the trees at Joshua Tree. There's lots of rocky fun, too! I liked how the solar flare worked on this one.

Speaking of starbursts, it’s not all about the trees at Joshua Tree. There’s lots of rocky fun, too! I liked how the solar flare worked into the green spots on this one.

Stony Texture

Michelle loves to photograph textures and shapes, and this shot definitely demonstrates that. Again, we used MacPhun’s Tonality Pro for some purply monochrome action on this one. Print available.

Michelle also has a thing for paths. Apparently when the Joshua Trees get too top-heavy, they fall over in the desert wind. In fact, the famous Joshua Tree from the U2 album cover fell down in 2000.

Michelle also has a thing for paths. Apparently when the Joshua Trees get too top-heavy, they fall over in the desert wind. In fact, the famous Joshua Tree from the U2 album cover fell down in 2000. We had some fun with textures and sepia in MacPun on this one.

The landscapes at the Joshua Tree National Park are so diverse. I loved having the chance here to get a Joshua Tree with the mountains in the background. Coming soon: the Cholla Cactus Garden and Cottonwood Oasis.

The landscapes at the Joshua Tree National Park are so diverse. I loved having the chance here to get a Joshua Tree with the mountains in the background. Coming soon: the Cholla Cactus Garden and Cottonwood Oasis.

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