Joshua Tree, Again Part 1

Joshua Tree, Again Part 1

Seeing Differently in Black and White.

On our fourth trip to Joshua Tree National Park and I wanted to try something different, but wasn’t sure what. So I decided to let the Park show me the way. The challenge to every photographer is keeping inspired by a place you return to many times. Whether you photograph frequently in your own locale, or places you travel to regularly, it’s easy to get stuck, and possibly bored, photographing the same thing over and over again. The solution isn’t to constantly travel. Well, maybe that’s one solution, but not all of us have that luxury. A simpler solution is to expand your vision. Try to look at it in different ways and come up with new concepts and ideas. Try doing things you normally wouldn’t do and have some fun.

Black and White Series of the Tortured Landscape

One thing I can never get enough of are the surreal and almost alien rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park. When we arrived in the late afternoon, The highlights and shadows of the rocks stood out more than the colors. This series is the result of that impression.

Study In Tortured Rocks 1 by Richard Lewis 2017


Study In Tortured Rocks 2 by Richard Lewis 2017


Study In Tortured Rocks 3 by Richard Lewis 2017


Study in Tortured Rocks 4 by Richard Lewis 2017


Study In Tortured Rocks 5 by Richard Lewis 2017


Desert Twilight by Richard Lewis 2017


Joshua Tree Stone Henge by Richard Lewis 2017


Light Spreading by Richard Lewis 2017


It is always good for your growth as a landscape photographer to challenge yourself to do something different. Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t be a slave to dramatic sunrises and sunsets. Try different times of day to shoot.
  • Try doing a series of images that may be out of your comfort zone like night photography, macro work or simply playing with camera angles.
  • Explore. Don’t just photograph from the popular overlooks or vantage points. There are always new and interesting discoveries to make, especially in a National Park.

When planning this forth trip to Joshua Tree National Park, I wasn’t expecting much. Yet approaching what I usually do differently allowed me to exceed those expectations. My next post will have another little project I worked on.



2017-12-09T10:00:29+00:00December 9th, 2017|20 Comments


  1. Bonnie Rovere December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

    I usually don’t like many B&W landscapes but these are wonderful!

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Bonnie. Until I processed these images, I would have agreed with you.

  2. Wesley G Vandegrift December 9, 2017 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Thanks ! Skip V.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      You are very welcome Skip!

  3. denisebushphoto December 9, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Wonderful collection of images Rich. Seeing these formations in B&W makes them feel of another world … alien as you say. In B&W we are invited to see the textures and shapes more clearly. Excellent composition and tonal range in all. If I had to pick a favorite it would be ‘Study in Tortured Rock 3’ … the moon and its position add an extra-special element.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for your kind works Denise. I often feel like Joshua Tree is another planet, especially when out there alone. The Tortured Rock 3 is one of my favorites. I liked where the moon was, but didn’t think it would be that nice because of the lack of clouds. Another photographer whose blog I follow talked about not being a “Cloud Snob”, so there’s something else I need to learn.

  4. Richard Montemurro December 9, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    This is a beautiful series of Fine Art Photographs reminiscent of Ansel Adams images. You’ve shown here that color could not do for the photos what Black & White can in bringing out the texture and finer points of each photograph.
    Great work from a Master Photographer.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      Thank you Richard. This was a big step for me as I tend to always visualize my work in color. I appreciate that nice compliment. I have a lot of respect for your work and vision as a photographer so it means a lot to me.

  5. eajackson December 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I find myself looking for Dr. Smith and Will Robinson. On a more serious note these are really cool. The b & w works so well here. Desert twilight is my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Beth. I’m often out there in the early hours wondering if I’ll run into that Space Family Robinson robot out there. Thanks for picking your favorite. The light on that image was really unusual with a mix of dusk and moonlight.

  6. Rudi December 9, 2017 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Superb study. Shades of fine art. The landscapes are eerie, shapely, sensual and a visual retinal treat that delights my neurons.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rudi. One thing that keeps me going back to Joshua Tree is that eerie landscape. I like your additional reference to it being sensual. I’m glad your retinas and neurons were pleased with these photographs.

  7. larryalyons December 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Really nice perspectives not only being B&W but also the vertical images were terrific. Thanks.

    • Rich Lewis December 10, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Larry. I appreciate the compliment.

  8. GP Cox December 11, 2017 at 6:14 am - Reply

    The monochrome image I feel adds mystery and character to the scene.

    • Rich Lewis December 14, 2017 at 5:09 am - Reply

      Thanks for the comment. I don’t often do monochrome images, but agree with you that this particular landscape is enhanced by it.

  9. Peter B December 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I do like monochrome desert shots, and you have some good ones here. I’ve been hiking and photographing JTree for years now. Still learning (and hopefully improving) the more I shoot, and I can honestly say it never gets boring. Even hikes I’ve done multiple times are interesting… with the changing light, sky, and just seeing things you missed last time. Thanks for sharing your images. Peter at (visiting from Facebook’s JTNP Photographer’s page).

    • Rich Lewis December 14, 2017 at 5:07 am - Reply

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment Peter. I have to agree that Joshua Tree never gets boring. With the changing light, things always look so different. It also never ceases to amaze me how much there is in this park. Every time we go, we discover some new hike or interesting area. You are fortunate to be able to get there frequently.

  10. Rajiv December 13, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Super. I love B&W

    • Rich Lewis December 14, 2017 at 5:09 am - Reply

      Thanks Rajiv.

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