Alright, so in the Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that I really wanted to capture the rocks in Joshua Tree, and not so much the trees themselves.  Well, while I was out shooting one night this one particular tree caught my eye and I just had to capture it.  The picture above is the outcome of that.  I really loved the shape and structure of the tree, I think that’s what caught my eye with it.  BUT, this image tells a bigger story than just the tree, it’s also telling the story of light pollution.

Light pollution is probably something the average person doesn’t give a lot of thought to, but if you ever want to view the night sky, it’s an undeniable aspect of our expansion as humans across this planet.  Fewer and fewer places have truly dark skies, and the image above illustrates that.  Now, on this particular night there was a very thin cloud bank (hardly noticeable with the naked eye), which essentially amplifies the light pollution because it gives the light more moisture in the sky to interact with.  To boil it all down, light pollution kills our ability to see the night sky.  As our city lights get brighter and brighter, more of the night sky across our beautiful country looks more and more like the right side of this image, than the left.  As you can see from the beauty represented on the left… that’s an extremely sad thing!  I purposefully drove WAY out in the middle of nowhere for the first image so that I would have less light pollution, and on this one I stayed in the main part of Joshua Tree… which by the way, is itself, way out in the middle of nowhere… but not far enough to escape the lights of the Cochella Valley.  🙁

–Dan Thompson

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Direction

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