Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sunrise at Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park

Last Saturday we set the alarm for 5 AM. We've been to Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park before, but never at sunrise, and I was curious to see what it was like. A major bonus... we didn't see a single person at this early hour (we left 29 Palms @5:30 and got to Keys View by about 6:10 AM), and this spot can get very crowded. The entire park was pretty much empty, so going in really early is great. The morning was very cold, and up at the View (about 5,200' elevation) the wind was blowing my tripod all over the place! Ah, what we won't do for a good photo, right?
Couldn't resist stopping just before reaching the View to catch the full moon setting. One of my favorite shots.


Perhaps because of the high elevation and the constant wind, but Keys View has very few Joshua Trees... this is one of the few! I think the shadowy mountain in the background is Mt. San Jacinto.


The first hint of sunrise, with a bit of light hitting the road coming up to Keys View. I watched the jet making the vapor trail overhead as I was setting up my tripod.

What's wrong with this picture? The placard makes the point that the view is often hazy due to air pollution blowing in from LA and other factors. Regardless, it's an incredible view. You can see the Salton Sea, Indio, Palm Springs, and the San Andreas fault among other things.

Took this photo shortly after leaving Keys View at one of the first turn-outs. The light was still great, and I have quite a few more photos from this session that I'll save for future posts.  Linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out for great skies from all over the world. Have a wonderful weekend!

30 comments:

  1. I always thought the sunsets and sunrises were more beautiful when the smog or smoke from fires was in the air!

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  2. A very good choice for sunrise. If you don't catch the view early it hazes in. Ever take a Keys Ranch tour, very interesting.

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  3. Very beautiful photos for SWF!Thank you for sharing and have a nice weekend!

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  4. Wow, I love the moon shots and the colors are just gorgeous. Beautiful skies and photos. Happy skywatching!

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  5. Gorgeous skies! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  6. these are wonderful! thanks for braving the early morning winds!

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  7. Love this! Gorgeous shots and colors...shooting the moon has always been a challenge for me especially when trying to capture something in the foreground. I need to learn more about night photography. These give me some inspiration.

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  8. Wow, alarm clock at 5 AM for a sunrise, I am glad you did. These are absolutely stunning!! I love it that there is so much variety in colors, every photo is different from the other. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Delightful composition! Have a great weekend.

    Sunrise, please come and see when you get a chance.

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  10. Well worth getting up a silly o'clock for !

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  11. Your photos are always lovely to look at. Interesting area. I need visit. =) Happy weekend!

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  12. What a very gorgeous view. Awesome blue sky and the moon perfect!

    SWF

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  13. Was for your feeling the sky darker with these shoots then they in the end are on the screen or is it like it was. Beautiful to see by the way.

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  14. Early morning light makes these photos really gorgeous. I love the setting moon shots as well as the one of the Salton Sea, Indio, Palm Springs, and the San Andreas fault. I grew up in San Bernardino and Rialto, so I'm all too familiar with the San Andreas fault! We virtually never experience earthquakes where we live now (in El Dorado County, east of Sacramento). Thanks for sharing your fantastic Joshua Tree photos!

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  15. Well worth the early trip. I love the last shot. - Margy

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  16. That is beautiful, lovely shots. We spent a couple of days in Palm Springs a few weeks ago but I didn't make it to where you were. 5,200 feet is almost a half-mile lower than our house!

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  17. What a great series of shots. Thanks for getting up so early for them.
    The photographs are very dramatic. I love'em.

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  18. Wow.. beautiful sunrise! Wonderfully captured.

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  19. Fabulous collection of photos, the colors and lighiting is beautiful and well done in capturing the moon too.

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  20. SO gorgeous, I can imagine how beautiful to be standing there seeing the whole expanse of sky...

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  21. Thanks for braving the cold and getting up early for these shots -they are stunning!!

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  22. The second one is the best (moon setting)
    Nature is beautiful..... if only we have the time to pause and observe :-)

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  23. Spectacular shots. I guess it is worth getting up early some days.

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  24. Saturday's wind was blowing 30mph, and you brave the cold. Any photographer and lover of nature would do this, and the end result is very rewarding!

    Really nice photos!

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  25. Holy cow! Those shots are spectacular. The moon over the mountains, just awesome!
    karah

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