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Desert Sunrise | danandholly.com
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Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors
Downtown Knoxville in Fall Colors

Welcome back everyone!  We’re transitioning this week back stateside, but not home to East Tennessee, rather to one of my favorite regions of the US – the Southwest.  I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with the desert, but I absolutely love it.  I think it’s just so “other” from what I’m used to here in the foothills of the Smokies.

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to go out west to New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  I went for work, actually, but while I was there I had time to go do some exploring; it was fantastic.  One thing I wasn’t counting on, however, were storms!  It rained almost every day I was there!  Typically when I go out west I’m trying to time it with the new moon so that I can get some good night images (the skies are so much better out there), and so it was particularly frustrating to not be seeing stars.  I did my best to mentally rally, and came away with some images I’m excited about.

To start things off, I wanted to share this image I got of a sunrise in Joshua Tree.  I’ve always found these trees a challenge to photograph, mostly because my brain wants uniformity, and their whimsical shape does not comply.  On this particular morning I found some nice ones that I really liked, along with some of the rock formations the park is famous for, and of course it helped a LOT that the sky totally lit up.  As I was watching this gorgeous sunrise, I had to keep reminding myself that skies like this only happen when there are clouds, so despite my longing for clear night skies, this was a blessing also.

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

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