Zenfolio | Leigh MILLER | Joshua Tree National Park | Road Trip

Joshua Tree National Park | Road Trip

June 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Sucker For Punishment...

I made the first trip to Joshua Tree National Park in 2009. I forget who's idea it was exactly but one of my photo friends came up with the idea to fly into San Francisco for some festival and then drive all the way down the coast and in-land to the park. I really died on that trip. I was told it was hot but that's like saying this or that "basketball player" is tall. You have no idea what tall really is until you stand right next to one.

For me hot weather is like slow-poured acid down my throat. Most of the time I can bear it if there is reasonable shade, the ocean or a nice pool. I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I once settled for a kiddie pool in the not too distant past. In Joshua Tree there is no shade, no cold pool. Lot's of rocks though...hot rocks and of course Joshua Trees. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how that trip turned out but let's just say it involved a hospital and some stitches.

Since then I've made the trip (incredibly) four (4) more times.

This trip was completely unplanned...I'm working on a project for a client in Arizona and one of the crew had to go home overnight to attend to some family emergency. So we decided to pack one of the SUV's and drive six hours north-west to drop him off and get a face-full of desert landscapes.

I have a few regrets about this place...besides the trip to the hospital on the first try.

Most of my shooting is done from the vehicle window. I really regret that but thankful for nice sharp telephoto zooms. To be fair to myself, not too many people venture off the road unless it's a designated look-out spot. The only other place I've felt that kind of heat was Marrakech a few years ago.

Second, drones weren't around on that first visit and as far as I can tell they are banned now. What I wouldn't give for my own aerial record of the flat plains and beautiful mountain range...sigh. Another life maybe.

This set was shot on a colleague's Canon system.

My Fujifilm gear was configured for video in a full cage-setup and we had less than an hour to get packed and on the road. So I left it all behind on location and used a buddie's backup kit. Regardless of Canon's slow crawl towards the mirrorless era I can always say that they have color-science down on lock. Still a little too hot on the reds but on point otherwise.

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