Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree

Before leaving for Los Angeles, I was trying to pre-visualize some of the shots I wanted out of the trip. Joshua Tree National Park was one of our planned destinations, so naturally U2's The Joshua Tree came to mind. The funny part is, I never actually looked at the album cover for inspiration. I just sort of assumed it looked something like the shot above. I came home, processed the image, and posted it on facebook and flickr. At some point it dawned on me that I still hadn't actually seen the album. Much to my surprise, it looked absolutely nothing like the shot above, nor did any of the other album art. Perhaps this is a technique I should try more often. Pick a song or album and shoot my vision of the cover, then compare the two afterward.

This next shot is one of my other favorites from the trip. I didn't quite pre-visualize this one as clearly as The Joshua Tree, but I did know that I wanted to try capturing the sheer open spaces and big sky out there. I had forgotten just how many planes fly over Joshua Tree though. Normally this would annoy me if I was trying to get a clean, natural landscape, but in this case, it worked out just right, adding an interesting contrast between the natural whispy clouds, and the distinct contrail lines. As usual, I had my ideal general purpose lens mounted, the 24-105/4 IS. Part of me wonders if 17mm would have been better, but shooting that wide may have made the distant landscape a little too, well, distant. Personally, this shot also reminds me of the classic game, Missile Command, after all the cities have been destroyed. I prefer not to think of Joshua Tree National Park as a post-apocalyptic wasteland though. It's quite the opposite, full of life and wonder.

Missile Command

Here's to another great trip!