Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78: Special Spot Shots

The desert doesn’t care who you are, and neither does anyone or anything who lives in it.
Deanne Stillman, Joshua Tree: Desolation Tango

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78, I’m going to surprise you.  Many of you know that I am a city girl, who loves exploring and living in urban areas.  But for Ann-Christine’s Special Spot Shots challenge this week, I’m going rural.  Very rural.

One of my favorite places is Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, which stunned me with its natural, rugged beauty when we visited it two years ago.  Let me show you why.

First of all, it’s like no other place on earth.  It was formed at the intersection of 2 different desert ecosystems–the Mojave and the Colorado.   It’s home to a variety of plants and animals, and it features striking typography and wild weather, including torrential rains and strong winds.

It’s also the home of the famous Joshua Tree, (the Yucca brevifolia), which is a member of the Agave family.   It’s classified as a monocot, a subgroup of flowering plants including grasses and orchids.   I processed this image in black and white to highlight some new spiky shoots sprouting from the top of the tree.

I processed this next shot in black and white to highlight the rugged texture of the giant boulders which dot the landscape in haphazard piles.  In this shot, you can also see the dwarfed Joshua trees, which ring the base.

Rock climbers of ability levels love Joshua Tree because of the wide variety of rock formations and the degree of  challenge.  In the park there are 8,000 climbing routes and 2,000 boulder challenges to choose from.

When we visited the park, I went on a photo shoot with a professional photographer who took us to the most “photogenic” spots in the park around sunset.  Here you can see how the soft light at twilight colors the evening sky and the surface of the rocks.  It was a stunning site and an unforgettable experience.

Joshua at Sunset

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of one of my favorite spots, I hope you have a chance to visit it.   For more information on the park, click here.

Thank you, Ann-Christine for another inspiring theme this week.  I encourage you to visit Ann-Christine’s site to see her beautiful post, highlighting one of her favorite places–Diocletian’s Palace, which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in the historic city of Split, Croatia.  Be sure to link to Ann-Christine’s original post. (Links posted within the Reader are not working correctly.) Use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you.  Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to host challenge #79.  As always, Amy, Ann-Christine, Tina and I hope you will join us.

I’d also like to add a special note of thanks to those of you who shared your “Favorite Photos of 2019.”  I loved seeing the variety of your posts, your treasured images, and your thoughts on the year 2019.  It was a great “look back” at 2019 and time to pause before leaping into the new year.

As for me, the new year has begun with a road trip, so I may not reply to you as quickly as I’d like. Where’s our next destination? You’ll see next week!

Have an inspiring and joyful week, everyone!

60 replies »

  1. I know this is a favourite spot of yours, Patti – beautifully photographed and processed! City girl you may be, but your love for this area shines in all your images and words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A road trip? Take me with you, Patti 🙂 🙂 Or should I think about 8,000 opportunities? No, I’ll never live that long! But what a beautiful national park it is. You could take me there anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Magnificent shots of Joshua Tree National Park! Such a special place. I love the black and white rock shot, especially the angle you took. Thank you,Patti for taking us there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an awesome place Patti. Every shot is fabulous but I especially love the one of the man on the boulder. It gives us a feel for the scale of the place. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is awesome, Wendy….in the truest sense of the word. I was amazed at the people climbing with such skill and fearlessness. It’s something to admire and so is the place itself. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous Patti. Can’t believe I’ve not been there yet 😫. Don’t you love going out shooting w a pro who knows the best spot? You’ve definitely made the most of the opportunity. As for your next stop …. 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tina! I love going out with a pro who is a teacher and a tour guide! Sometimes you get one and not the other. 😦 But regardless, it was a fabulous place to be inspired. And yes….the next stop is coming soon–as you know! Stay tuned. 🙂


    • Thank you so much, Lisa! We’ll be heading to warmer weather, which will be nice, and exploring some places we’ve never seen before, which is always a lot of fun. Fingers crossed about the photos. Sometimes I’m lucky and other times I’m not!! I hope all’s well in your part of the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing place. “Shoot a Joshua tree” is a line in my bucket list, and your photos made me promote it up the list.

    I love that photo of the glowering sky over the rounded rocks, with that one person to set the scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad this place moved up on your bucket list, I.J.! It’s fabulous, as you can see. I like that–“glowering sky.” It was ominous, but it didn’t rain as I recall. I’m glad you enjoyed that one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Patti – you’re right that is a stunning spot. Thank you for sharing how you processed the photos and what you drew you into the scenes. Your composition magnified the beauty of the area!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Xenia. It is wonderful! I’m glad you like the sunset shot. I was fortunate to have a pro show me (us) where to take the best shots. I was really amazed how the rocks picked up the glow of the sunset. It was unforgettable! I’m glad you thought so, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susan. Now, it’s back on your list! That’s great. I was stunned by its beauty. I think you’re right to wait for a sunny day or a partly sunny day. I hope you get to see it soon. Thanks for your kind words, too.


    • Hi, Gaurav. Thank you for your kind words. I’ll take a look at your shots as well. I agree–in terms of getting inspired by the photos of others. I appreciate your thoughts!


  8. Thank you for letting us accompany you. I particularly like the black and white shot that showed the scale of the boulders to the trees. With the size of boulders I am used to, I would have taken those plants to be house-plant size! But reading what you said about the scale, I enjoyed looking at it and flipping the scales mentally. And then I saw the little building in the shot too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, TR. I’m delighted you liked that shot and my use of black and white to highlight the small trees at the base of the boulder. The “rocks” are enormous! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Patti, glad that you’re a city girl too …. most of the nice ladies here are all out in nature. Fantastic images … and I can hear the silence and feel the greatness through your images. I love the drama in the image with the man on the rock.


  10. These are really fantastic. A good friend of mine has hiked at Joshua Tree and just raves about it. After seeing your photos, I can understand why. The black & white versions are especially stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

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