cacti

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This image was taken on my way out of the Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park at early morning just after sunrise. The sunrise was particularly colorful but unfortunately we weren’t able to capture it from the Cactus garden. The sky was starting to explode with color while we were on our way over there and ended up taking pictures somewhere along the side of the road to capture the Joshua Trees as foreground instead.

Its funny to me that all my recent trips and memories of Southern California has been in the winter time. I feel like it’s a totally different experience than if you visited in the summer. I bring that up because I was actually talking to Andrew this morning and we were trying to recall if California had a lot of mosquitos or not. To be honest, I don’t even remember seeing a lot of bugs in general. I’m sure if they did, there would be a lot in the summertime but because we have been there in the winter, I can’t even remember. Can anyone shine some light on this question?

Anyways, I got side tracked. Joshua Tree is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever planning a trip. I hope to go back sometime soon and see more of the park cuz it’s huge. Maybe in the summertime so I can see for myself about the bug situation? LOL. But I know the temperature difference is going to be extreme. While we were there it was super windy and so cold that at times it was difficult to be outside. I imagine it to be the same in the summer but with the heat.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm.

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One of the places I was looking forward to the most while visiting Joshua Tree National Park was the Cholla Cactus Garden. From the pictures, I could tell that they were like cacti that I’ve never seen before. What surprised me the most was that some of them were taller than me! Andrew is 6′ and it looked like some of them were almost as tall as him! That’s insane.

One of my favorite parts about the garden was that it was right in front of these beautiful mountains. They made for an amazingly beautiful background at sunrise. More of those images soon but while I was looking through my images, I was really drawn to this one. I really liked having the photographers in the middle capturing the scene but still being able to see the cacti in the foreground and mountains in the background. The depth of this image is really interesting and perfectly describes what it’s like being in the garden.

If you’ve never been, the garden is a little bit out there but worth the drive. Probably 15-20 minutes outside of the other trails and attractions but I liked it so much that I actually went twice on our trip. One time with just Andrew when we went out for a solo sunrise adventure. The second time was when our cousins joined us later on in the day and I wanted to show them what it was all about. The sunrise adventure was a little bit better. Andrew and I were the only ones there and I loved when the sun rose a little bit and you could see the sunlight poking through the spikes of the cacti.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/800th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Today on our road trip we’re driving from Oklahoma City, OK to Roswell, New Mexico. Over the weekend we zipped past the east coast and most of the central time zone with only a few stops. This was intentional because Sue and I wanted to spend most of the time in the south west. The temperatures will be hot but the pictures will be too, amiright? *high five* Really looking forward to the rest of this adventure. Follow along on my instagram stories to see what we’ve been getting up to in real-time.

The image above was taken just a few weeks ago in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. I loved seeing these little cacti along the walking trails. Every time I saw one, I’d squeal. They’re just so cute. I bet if you were just walking, you wouldn’t even notice them. They aren’t very big and there weren’t very many of them but it’s little details like this that I love photographing. Things other might have passed by but if you really take your time and look around, they’re so fun to see. The sunrise lighting was perfect. Perfectly describes the mood I felt while I was there, happy and warm.

I did not have a macro lens with me on this trip, so I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle. That was so I could make sure to get enough foreground and background in this shot. My camera settings for this image was f7.1 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 250. My favorite part is seeing the glow on all the plants in this image. Especially the tall purple flowers on the right hand side. Barely noticeable, but it’s there 🙂 And who knows who’s foot prints those are in the very front. They definietly were not mine.