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.

2014 Fall Fun Fest Chronicles Chapter Two: Conasauga Falls and Family Photo Shoot

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Some crazy fun chaos on a blanket!

The Fall 2014 adventures of Garber Geektography continued last weekend with a family shoot and a “quick” two mile hike. We started off the weekend with a fun shoot with our friends Carra and Brian at Alexander Park in Gwinnett County, GA. The light was great to work with in the fields of tall grass. It was a crazy fun shoot, since Carra and Brian have one-year old twins, a toddler, and a four-year-old. They have such a great family.

Walking towards the sunset.

Walking towards the sunset.

The deceptively easy trail.

The deceptively easy trail.

We spent most of the weekend indoors with my family cheering on Duke, Baylor, and Texas A&M. Yes, that is an eclectic mix. Our cousin, David Helton, plays linebacker for Duke, so there is one connection. I graduated from Baylor, and, oh my, was that a great comeback, or what? My sister and her husband are Aggies, so we pulled for them despite the loss.

A detail shot of the Falls that Michelle directed. We had to put up one camera since it isn't weather sealed.

A detail shot of the Falls that Michelle directed. We had to put up one camera since it isn’t weather sealed.

On our way home from the Knoxville area, we stopped off at Conasauga Falls for what we thought was going to be quick two-mile, in-and-back hike. The first part of the hike was deceptively easy, with a gradual downhill slope and some switchbacks.

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The cascades of Conasauga Falls with some hints of autumn color.

The golden light at the end of the tunnel?

The golden light at the end of the tunnel?

 

It got a little more slippery as we approached the falls at the bottom. But the hike was definitely worth it when we got there.

Of course, we need to remember that when you hike down to the bottom of the falls, it means you need to hike back up. We stopped along the way for a few shots to catch our breath. One lesson we learned is that when the hiking trail fairies provide you with walking sticks, you should take them up on their offer. It might have lessened the burden.

On the way back up, Michelle pointed out the cool textures in these wooden waves.

Waves in the wood.

Waves in the wood.