Terra Galleria Photography

Posts Tagged ‘deserts’

Hanford Reach National Monument: From the Bomb to Nature Refuge

Hanford Reach could the national monument with the most unusual history of all. Its lands, located in Eastern Washington, were initially set apart from development not for conservation, but as a security buffer zone for the top-secret Hanford Nuclear Reservation where the plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb – and many others during the Cold War […]

Starting Large Format Photography in Death Valley

By the fall of 1993, I still didn’t own a car. Back then, the same UC Berkeley student group that I joined for my first trip to Yosemite organized a yearly outing to Death Valley during the Thanksgiving school break. I didn’t know what the place was about, but I had known its name since […]

Two Peaks in San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is recent, been having designated by President Obama in October 2014. This, combined with its relatively large size (‎346,177 acres or 541 square miles), has made it a target for the Trump administration’s “review” of national monuments. However, the San Gabriel Mountains are long-established recreation grounds for the second largest […]

Palms to Snow in Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument

Instead of its utilitarian name, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument could also be have been called Sand to Snow National Monument because it spans a similar range of elevations, from the desert floor to the top of San Jacinto Peak, which culminates at 10,834 feet. Although San Jacinto Peak is lower than […]

Nature Preserves at the Edge of Wilderness in Sand To Snow National Monument

Sand to Snow National Monument owes its name to the striking elevation difference between the Sonoran Desert floor (about 1,000 feet) and 11,500-foot San Gorgonio Mountain, Southern California’s highest peak. That gradient makes Sand to Snow possibly the most botanically diverse national monument in America. Unlike Mojave Trails and Castle Mountains, no roads penetrate its […]

Undeveloped in California: Castle Mountains National Monument

If I was to sum up my impressions of Castle Mountains National Monument in one word, it would be “primitive”. See what I managed to discover and photograph in one day of exploring this beautiful desert area that manages to make the Mojave National Preserve appear civilized, without the benefit of any detailed information nor […]

Mojave Trails National Monument Highlights

Protecting a huge 2,500 square kilometers (1.6 million acres), Mojave Trails National Monument is the largest of the three California desert national monuments established by President Barack Obama in February 2016, and also the largest national monument in the contiguous U.S. In the heart of the California desert, Mojave Trails National Monument forms a connective […]

Three Unnamed Iconic Rocks, Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is well-known for the namesake Joshua trees and rounded boulders. The Jumbo Rocks area, home to the largest campground in the park (124 campsites), contains some of Joshua Tree National Park’s most whimsical rock formations. The most interesting are unnamed, and their locations passed from photographer to photographer. You’ve seen the […]

Four Death Valley midday images explained

Last week, I posted three images of the Death Valley landmarks, the salt flats, sand dunes, and playas. I invited you to think about how those images, which somehow defy the conventional landscape photography wisdom of not shooting at midday, could work. In this post, I am providing my answer to the question. Most images […]

Death at Midday

Beginners often shoot landscapes at all times of the day, and don’t realize why some come out better than others. The standard operating procedure of the “serious” landscape photographer is to concentrate on the so-called golden hour, half an hour around sunrise and sunset time. Early morning and late afternoon are the second best. Midday, […]