Cloud And Day » Lifestyle Photography by Boston Photographer Joyelle West

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The California Desert

What happens when you have too many client photos to edit – it takes you over four months to edit your own vacation photos. :) This trip was from back in mid-October, we flew into the Las Vegas airport, drove immediately to Death Valley National Park for a few days (it’s only about two hours or so), then drove to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California for a few days, then rounded out the trip with Palm Springs and the area surrounding it. These are mostly scenic desert photos, because the landscape is so stunningly overwhelming, I just couldn’t stop shooting it. A few useful facts that I learned:

  • You’d figure the best landscape views are (of course) sunrise and sunset. But surprisingly, the most people are out in the parks in the middle of the day. So sunrise and sunset gave us the best light, but also the least crowds!
  • Since I’m an animal nut, when we were in Joshua Tree, I used Instagram to figure out where we could see wildlife. I’d check the tags of different hikes or park locations and see what other people had seen and where animals have been. As a result, we were able to spot a family of bighorn sheep on one hike, and a jack rabbit on another. (I feel like this would be especially useful in bigger parks.)
  • I saw my first tarantula in the wild! Yes, they are gigantic and hairy, but I read that they are harmless so I wasn’t freaking out (though I still didn’t want to get too close).

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