Night Photography In The California Desert
Desert night photography is as unpredictable as any dark venture. As long as you do not mind the sticky vegetation, invasive insects and reptilian creatures hanging out with you in the California desert, you had better prepare for a few smiles in the evening process.
Often, it really does not take much more than a flimsy gown, a fringy shawl and a few desiccated trees and scrubby shrubs to turn the prickly atmosphere into euphoria. Add a willing model and the focus is switched – woman in nature, Viola! Twilight will take care of the sky and when that is over, swing those flashlights into high gear, or, low gear, which results in a more controllable paint job. But this stuff is not work. If the model is the lighthearted variety, expect uncontrollable laughter and effervescent giggles to battle the evening calm as she dances through the moonlight evening.
And, oh, it is so calm.
The stars, ever so bright, will bless your night masquerade with twinkles that city folks can only fantasize about.
For more on desert photography, see also:
California Drought – Mother Earth Is Cracking Up
California droughts do not always get folks excited but this one has people by the throats. Gasp! Sputter! Gag! It is dry out there.
Don’t you agree that droughts come at the peskiest of times. Just when global warming intersects the desiccated landscape with a creeping thud, the landscape splinters and opens up. At turtle speed, slow and steady, the skin of Mother Earth wrinkles up, first hairlines and then fissures. She is cracking up but this is not a laughing matter. When Mother Earth is not happy the consequences are not always nice and the longer this one crinkles on, the more severe the consequences. Palo Verde weep, Cholla Cacti choke, wildflowers wither, Smoke Trees take up the habit in despair.
A snail’s pace earthquake erupts into moisture depleted crevices across the landscape. Turn the sprinklers off and head for the shade. Extreme times are in the forecast and only the adapted are prepared.
For more on desertification and the California drought effects, see also:
…. the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together
look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox
you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me ….
It is Spring Equinox and the flowers are prime, if only in the grocery store for some folks. Enjoy the prickle and the bloom, where ever you are.
If you want more inspiration for late winter solstice:
Joshua Tree National Park Evening Sky Beckons
Joshua Tree National Park evening sky is a peculiar and atypical place.
Strange trees, geologic wonders, high desert, giant marbles, San Andreas Fault, cold nights, weathered granite, indigenous birds and mammals all await. A rock climber and scrambler mecca, and, for regular folks, just plain fascinating. Joshua Trees or Yucca brevifolia share the desert floor with lesser hardscrabble flora. Scrubby Cholla cacti endear with their teddy bear features, gripping their claws into the desert sand. Occatillos vacillate between dead and green throughout the seasons, depending on rainfall, their promiscuous tendrils wielding the desiccated air.
Merely an hour drive above the low Colorado Desert, Joshua Tree National Park can be easily accommodated from the Palm Springs resort area. A last minute decision to take in a stroll before evening light descends could still have you comfortably settled in for some night images. If you stop in any of the hearty cafes bordering the park entrance, you can waddle out with memories of that double chocolate brownie the size of a man’s fist, drowning in a snowball of vanilla ice cream, as you disembark into a surreal world of boulders, cacti and overreaching Joshua Trees. Hit the trails before the urge to snooze smothers your original intention to take in a cacti infested desert walk.
The otherworldly trip is worth it.
For more on the otherworldliness of cacti, see: