Thursday, June 23, 2016

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

You made it out in the desert to Joshua Tree National Park.  Here are the top things to remember about planning your trip, things to do, and photographing the park.

Planning your trip
There are some important things to keep in mind when visiting Joshua Tree.  First of all, this park unlike many other national parks has ready access to a town just outside of the park.  It is also relatively easy to access from the highway in Southern California.  This leads many to think they won't need essentials like water and food, but the park is very large if entering from the south, and water is always a necessity, especially if visiting during the hot, summer season.

Joshua Tree National Park

If you're looking to camp in the park, you are usually in luck.  This park is nowhere near as full as many other parks and especially during the summer Joshua Tree experiences a big drop off in traffic because of the heat.  This can be a good thing, however, as spots open up and last minute trips can go off without a hitch.

Things to do
The park is probably most famous for its night sky, and the opportunity it affords Californians to really see the Milky Way.  While this park is nowhere near the brightest place to see the stars, it is quite amazing how close it can be to everything and the hustle and bustle of Southern California, while still being far enough out to see the stars.

Joshua Tree National Park

Another of the big activities in the Park is bouldering, and there are plenty of boulders to choose from out in this expansive park.  It is home to nearly 8,000 bouldering paths, so come and find yours.

Other great activities include horseback riding, backpacking, and biking.  Just remember whatever your activity to stay hydrated with lots of water.

Photographing the Park
Joshua Tree can be one of the harder parks to photograph as the desert heat can quickly create a haze that covers the horizon or the lack of tall trees or mountains can turn your photos flat quickly.  In order to avoid these problems make sure to get to the park early on or later in the evening to get some interesting shadows and to help you avoid some of the haze.

Joshua Tree National Park

Additionally, the trees can start all look alike when you're shooting, so try to get creative when shooting them and look for the different views in patches to keep your interest up.  You don't want to shoot a few shots and decide you've had enough.  Trust me, you want a lot of photos of this awesome park, but you will probably start to get bored if you don't try to get creative.

Finally, see my guide for Astrophotography if you want to shoot the stars in the park.  This is much more challenging, but is well worth the effort if you have the time.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute click here to send me an email.  If you would like to sponsor my trip somewhere to showcase your business or to work with me please send me an email as well.

Additionally, follow me on InstagramFacebook, or check out my photography website at A River Runs Through It Photography.

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