Friday, September 17, 2010

Pic of the Day

Joshua Tree National Park, CA: The day was late. We had driven from San Luis Obispo to Loma Linda, California where my wife met-up with some of her former students who are now doctors. The reunion was lots of fun for Norma and her former students as they reminisced of day gone by. With many miles ahead of us we left Loma Linda and headed east. We were on our way to Madera Canyon south of Tucson, Arizona where I would photograph hummingbirds. It would take a couple of days to get there because we had a few stops to make on the way.
The first was Joshua Tree National Park. We had driven through mile after mile on wind generators as the sun fell toward the horizon. Finally, we came to the park entrance, and I hurriedly drove through the park looking for a spot to take an evening photo. Boulders of mammoth proportions surrounded by Joshua Trees were strewn throughout the desert, yet I could not find the right spot that screamed Joshua Tree.
The sky was cloudless and I knew all was for naught; there would be no clouds for the setting sun to illuminate. No dramatic image of the setting sun with golden rays of light striking Joshua Trees set against a colorful desert sky.
A bit disheartened I shot a few images as the sun set, with some success, and then lingered as darkness fell upon the desert knowing I had not taken a shot I was really happy with.
As the sun dropped further beyond the horizon and the sky began to turn various shades of blue, I saw how the Joshua Trees silhouetted against the modulating blue sky. Immediately I began searching for a single tree with braches that would make a good silhouette, a tree that did not look like a black blob against the darkening sky. Finally, and just in the nick-of-time, I stumbled upon this almost perfect silhouette. I shot the image with a wide-angle lens from a low angle to give the tree greater impact.
Often when taking photographs, things just don't always seem to move in the right direction. And then, as if by providence, my eyes are opened and an image appears to save the day. I like when that happens!
Nikon D3, Nikkor 24, Digital Capture ISO200

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