Thursday, May 25, 2017

Geology Tour Road (revisited)

I've posted about GTR in Joshua Tree National Park before, and probably will again, as it's one of my favorite areas in the Park and a great place for a Jeep ride. It's 18 miles of off-road dust and fun, with some great stops along the way! I was there with my cousin at the beginning of May and had fingers crossed that there would still be some good flower blooms. Last year I had driven GTR in early April and was really surprised to see some of the best blooms in the Park back in the Pinyon Well area.
Turns out, the flowers weren't bad, but not nearly as good as last year. I'm chalking up the difference to missing the "peak" by about a month, but who knows for sure? 
Above is cousin Scott exploring some of the ruins near the Pinyon Wells area. This was an active mining area back in the day and an interesting area to explore.

 Scott was driving, so a rare opportunity for me to ride shotgun and take some pics!!
That double mound up ahead is called Malapais Hill. On the drive back home (heading north), GTR will take us just to the right (east) of the hill. It's volcanic in nature and made up of rock that is darker than anything else in the area, so it kind of stands out.

I also took the opportunity for some TTV shots, which I hadn't done in a long time. If you're interested in the details, click here. Basically, I'm pointing my DSLR through a long box that blocks out the light, and focusing on the viewfinder of an old vintage camera (in this case, a Kodak Duaflex II).


Photo credit S. Wessel
I know, I look like a knucklehead walking around the desert taking photos like this! The resulting image is as good (or bad) as the optics of the viewfinder you are using, but you usually get some optical distortion, dust, grit, and maybe even a light leak. Ironic, since I pay good money to buy a camera and lenses with great optics!! But if you are looking for that old, vintage look, it's hard to beat!
Through the viewfinder shots of cousin Scott under a JTree (above) and posing in front of my jeep (below). We had a great time exploring the area!

Same area (April 2016)


Same area (April 2016)
Oh, the sacrifices I make for a decent photo! I always end up with a cactus thorn or two somewhere in my body after a productive photoshoot!!

But here's the payoff! This photo and the next were actually taken in a slightly different area of the Park on a different hike about a week before the GTR drive.
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!
Have a great (and safe) Memorial Day weekend!!

43 comments:

  1. Outstanding photos and you had a fun time to boot!

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  2. I, too, have found that the best way to get the best shots is to get down and dirty! I always enjoy your photos of the beautiful Desert Southwest. Thanks for the treat!

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  3. Always a pleasure to read your posts. I do miss the desert from time to time--- but not at this time of year.

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  4. What a beautiful day for a drive in the desert!

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  5. If I may, I could be the other knuckle head doing the same thing if I were there, doing mind spending hours there if I can take the heat. So much to be photographed!

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  6. Loved to read your post. Beautiful pics. Greetings.

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  7. Clever tip on the vintage look! must try!

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  8. Oh I looove wildflowers! Especially if they are that colorful, WOW!

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  9. Can't complain about what you saw in the desert and I do like the effect you get with the tube

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  10. Hello, sounds like a fun time at the park. I love the gorgeous flowers. Great collection of photos. Enjoy your day and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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  11. Nice shots. I worked in the geophysics department at UTEP in the late 70s...got paid to go into the field to help set up geophones with doctoral candidates...Loved their love of geology...the explanations they would share about every outcropping we crossed. Miss those days. It was a wondrous adventure.

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  12. Those vintage-looking photos are just great!

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  13. Hi! Your flower photos are very beautiful. I like the last two photos very much. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. What a joy seeing all the neat things you shared. You can find beauty in most areas if you look. You did a super job. Love your header.

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  15. I appreciate the sacrifices you make to get those perfect flower photos and the talent that shows through all your pics of beautiful JT!

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  16. Sure looks like things are blooming to me, what a wonderful adventure. I'm not so great about getting down like that and I'd be more concerned about dessert snakes, kind of hard to see and would hate to lie down on one! Interesting technique taking the shot through the box. Very cool stuff, makes me want to go somewhere today.

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  17. What a fun time and I like the idea of using the tube. You got some excellent vintage looking photos from the experiment. Great flowers and lovely skies. The desert offers many surprises and a different landscape every time you visit.
    Happy weekend to you!

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  18. LOVED your post! and images are gorgeous as always. very interesting result with that technique through the box. I haven't heard of it before.

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  19. what an interesting way to take shots. Never heard of that one before, I like the images produced :)
    Beautiful place :)

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  20. What an incredible place. I am so very tempted to see this part of the world.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  21. I've got to figure this TtV out. I've just spent the last few minutes reading about it. My husband had an old Brownie camera and I wonder if my son has it...something to investigate in my spare time, if I have time to look for it! And if not, I have more recent (1990's) cameras that belonged to my father in law.

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  22. One great photo after another Pete!
    There may not have been a lot of flowers, but you got beautiful photos of the ones you did see.
    Have a great weekend...

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  23. Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

    Jeep parts orlando

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  24. So lovely photos. I like the landscapes and flowers.

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  25. So lovely photos. I like the landscapes and flowers.

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  26. Thats a very nice trick with that old tlr. With those B&W photo's you really travel back in time. Also as always nice landscapes and beautiful flowers.

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  27. Looks a little like the Australian outback SPP, even the wildflowers! Loved the look of the vintage photos, I remember getting my hands on an old film and using it with a camera made in 1919, had similar results and was fun to do 😊

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  28. Your photos are wonderful, and I especially liked the vintage looking one. Thanks for providing commentary on the photos. :)

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  29. I love the beauty of your desert. That's an interesting old camera!

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  30. Gtreat serie of desert pictures ! I understand your reaction to my photo ;-)

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  31. I like the free filter you achieved with the old camera. The flowers are still stunning, even though you say they are not as prolific as last year. Thanks for taking me along on another great desert photo safari.

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  32. You're truly a very keen and capable photographer, I'm feeling so, so charmed by your stunning shots !

    Thanks most sincerely for the lovely comment you left on ~ My little old world ~, I sincerely appreciate it, indeed, now that I'm aware of your ability your words are even more precious to me :) !!!

    I'm following you with much joy
    and wishing you a most blessed Memorial Day

    XOXO Daniela

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  33. Sorry, am late! Love the flowers seen in their natural space. Since the drought is over, am so surprised they weren't as good as last year! Love the vintage shots:):) Thanks for coming by!

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  34. Great captures from Joshua Tree National Park ... really love the place, so please continue posting more captures :)

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  35. Thank you so much for your wonderful photos and texts! The vintage photo's are cool! I think my old dad loves them too :) No Memorial Day here in Holland but I wish you a blessed day.

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  36. In New Mexico the "high season" for blooming seemed often more related to the precipitation pattern than the calendar. Your camera project is very interesting-- I just threw out a long rectangular document shipping container which could have served the purpose. Have never visited JT National Monument. My cousin is a playwright (Charles Evered) affiliated with the Hi-Desert Cultural Center. He has started an artistic program there for returning war veterans. Maybe some day I will be able to get out that way.

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    1. That's very cool, Kenneth! We drive by the Hi-Desert Cultural Center all the time, but never been to a play there. You've just motivated me!!

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  37. I think the vintage shots were worth the 'dorkiness'. The beauty of the desert is stunning.

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