Photojournalist Allen J. Schaben made a quick one-night trip out to Joshua Tree to make photos for this story: “What you need to know before going to Yosemite and other national parks in 2022″
Schaben came back with beautiful photos of the park, one of which was published on the cover of the Saturday section. Here we’ve compiled a selection of photos from this trip as well as others he’s made during his 28-year career with The Times. He says the park is “one of the most magical places on the West Coast to photograph.” Schaben looks back, giving us insight into his process.
I always jump at the opportunity to visit Joshua Tree, whether it be on assignment or with family and friends. My main goal is always to shoot when the light is magical. I love to roam around on foot or my motorcycle to find a vantage point to capture them among the dramatic landscape and sky, mainly during the golden hour. Joshua Tree is one of the most magical places on the West Coast to photograph, explore, relax and enjoy nature’s blessings.
It offers the soul a place to exhale, relax, meditate, pray and be alone with your thoughts. It’s the sounds of your boots trekking through the sand and across the rocks, birds singing, wind blowing, coyotes howling and campers reveling in the moment that create the trip’s soundtrack. Joshua trees themselves are quite magical, mysterious and picturesque, with arm-like branches reaching out across the boulder-scattered landscape.
I love to camp in my RV and sometimes tent to soak up as much of the desert experience as possible. When it gets dark, a new type of scenic beauty begins. Since there is little light pollution, the night sky show is captivating, thought-provoking and makes you feel so small when you look at all the stars in the heavens. It’s always fun, cold and a challenge to capture it with a thermos of hot chocolate, flashlight, tripod and long exposure.
There’s never enough time to see it all, so I will have to put these memories on slow burn until I can return and see what else I can discover in this picturesque and special desert oasis.
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