California

Our New Favourite Campsite: Alabama Hills

Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California

One of our last stops in last winter’s snowbird season was a place that has been recommended to us by a few fellow RVers: Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California. Some of the best places we’ve discovered have been from those kinds of recommendations, and this one sure didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s now our […]

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Roadside Attraction: California Poppies

California Poppy by Anne McKinnell

On our drive back home from our snowbird season, we stopped for a night of free parking at a Casino in Nice, California. As we pulled in, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, behind the dumpsters in the back, a small patch of California Poppies. When the wind died down, I went […]

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Cholla Cactus Garden

Cholla Cactus Garden by Anne McKinnell

One of the most interesting features of Joshua Tree National Park in California is the Cholla Cactus Garden. But, it is really hard to get a good composition here. At least that’s what I found. I was disappointed with the photos I made here last year, so this year I was determined not only to […]

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Joshua Tree Sunburst

Joshua Tree sunburst by Anne McKinnell

Do you process your photos in order? Just wondering… I usually process mine in order because I’m afraid if I skip over something I might never come back to it. But on the other hand, maybe you’re tired of seeing Joshua Trees by now and I should change it up a bit and save some […]

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Belle – The Most Beautiful Campground in California?

Belle Campground

This is one of the places I yearned to go back to this winter. Belle Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. We’ve been to some nice campgrounds. Lots of nice campgrounds. But I always prefer the ones where we can get away from people and enjoy nature. I particularly like ones where I can stumble […]

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Finding New Compositions in Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park, California by Anne McKinnell

A few months ago I wrote about how revisiting photo locations can help you grow as a photographer by forcing you to move beyond the obvious and find new compositions. Last year when I visited Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park I discovered, through my telephoto lens, an interesting rock formation. Here is last […]

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I Speak for the Trees

The Perfect Joshua Tree by Anne McKinnell

I don’t know if Dr. Suess was inspired by these particular trees in Joshua Tree National Park, California, but as I am driving along I often hear the voice of The Lorax — “I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues” – and I think about how this place became a National […]

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Just Three of the Many Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks by Anne McKinnell

I think I could spend days photographing in this location. The only problem with it is that the campground bearing it’s name is extremely popular so there are always lots of people at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park. Please click the image to view a larger version. Our RV is too big to […]

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Abandoned Car in the Desert (and some fun processing techniques)

Abandoned car in Joshua Tree National Park by Anne McKinnell

The desert has amazing powers of preservation! Joshua Tree National Park wasn’t always a park, there used to be a few ore processing mills here in the 30′s. One of those is the Wall Street Mill which is protected as a historic site because of it’s mechanical uniqueness. The machinery is still intact. Near the […]

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Best Sunset EVER at Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks Sunset by Anne McKinnell

On our first night at Joshua Tree National Park, in California, the clouds looked like they had a lot of potential, and so Ray and I went to one of our favourite locations from last year’s visit, Jumbo Rocks, where we were welcomed by the most glorious sunset. Standing on the rocks that night as […]

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Salton Sea Seagulls

Salton Sea Seagulls by Anne McKinnell

Ok, this is the last of the photos from the Salton Sea, at least for now. We were only there for two days and I got so many photos! But it’s time to move on before I get too far behind in my photo processing, so I’m going to save the rest of them to […]

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Salton Sea Egret at Twilight

Salton Sea Egret at twilight by Anne McKinnell

Internet Break! I’m going to be heading into a National Park for a few days and I wont have internet access. It’s Organ Pipe National Monument actually. One of the things that is best about the national parks and national monuments is that the lack of cell towers forces you to step away from daily […]

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Somethin’ Fishy: Salton Sea Tilapia

Salton Sea Tilapia by Anne McKinnell

This was our second trip to the Salton Sea in California, so all the dead fish lining the shore were no surprise. Since I’ve decided to only photograph beautiful things, I had to think about it twice before photographing the dead fish, but I do think they are beautiful in an odd kind of way. […]

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Bird in Flight Abstract

Bird in Flight Abstract by Anne McKinnell

I’m getting so far behind on processing my images! That’s why I decided to try to post one image per day so I would keep up on my procssing. But I’m still a month behind. I do love processing, but when we’re travelling and I’m seeing so many new things I feel like I could […]

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Flying in a Fiery Sky

Seagull In Flight at Sunset by Anne McKinnell

I made this photo on the same night as the Great Egret image. It was an incredible fiery sunset at Corvina Beach on the the Salton Sea, California. This image required virtually no processing! The sky really did look like this. ISO 1250, 270mm, f/5.6, 1/3200 sec. Please click the image to view a larger […]

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Salton Sea Sunset

Sunset on the Salton Sea, California, by Anne McKinnell

A Month of Boondocking Ray and I love boondocking. It’s wonderful to be out on our own in the desert where it is quiet, where we can appreciate nature, and be treated to amazing scenery for free. Well, almost free! If you’re interested in what is costs us to boondock versus staying in places with […]

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Great White Egret in Flight at Sunset

Great White Egret flying at sunset at the Salton Sea, California, by Anne McKinnell

The Salton Sea in California is a fascinating place for it’s history and it’s unique shore, but the thing I like most about it is seeing all the birds. It’s not Florida, but on the west coast it’s one of the best places I have found to photograph birds. In the morning they all seemed […]

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Somewhere near Yaqui Well Nature Trail

Somewhere near Yaqui Well Nature Trail, Anza Borrego State Park, California

Dental Update Teeth are just a bad design don’t you think? You may recall that last year I went to Mexico to get 8 crowns done. Well it turns out that half of them weren’t quite right and I just returned and got 4 of them done again. I wouldn’t necessarily call that bad though […]

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The Allure of Dried Mud

Dried Mud at Clark Dry Lake, Anza Borrego State Park, California by Anne McKinnell

I admit it. I’m fascinated by dried mud. Perhaps not so much that I will endure a two hour bumpy drive to get to the racetrack at Death Valley, where everyone except me has gone to photograph a rock on the dried mud. I know my back wouldn’t handle that kind of torture and why […]

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Sunrise at Clark Dry Lake, Anza Borrego

Clark Dry Lake, Anza Borrego State Park, California by Anne McKinnell

One of my favourite discoveries from last year’s snowbird trip is Anza Borrego State Park in California. It’s only about half an hour from Palm Springs and there are tons of excellent boondocking locations in the park. “Boondocking,” in case you don’t know, is where you camp off the grid for free. You wanna know […]

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Surprise Elephant for a Surprise Sunset

Elephant sculpture at sunset in Borrego Springs, California, by Anne McKinnell

All photographers love a beautiful sunset, but there is something disappointing that happens when there is a gorgeous sunset but you don’t have anything interesting to put in front of it. Usually I am prepared, it is just those occasions when I didn’t expect a good sunset that I am not prepared with an equally […]

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Ocotillo in California’s Colorado Desert

Ocotillo in the Colorado Desert, California, by Anne McKinnell

I love these Ocotillos that decorate California’s Colorado Desert. They have such strong shapes for photography, and when they flower they have beautiful red tips on their green stems. This is a pretty typical scene in the Colorado Desert, which encompasses about 7 million acres and is a low-elevation desert with warm winter temperatures, making […]

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Dried Palm Leaf Abstract

Dried palm leaves in Palm Springs, California, by Anne McKinnell

Diluting the quality of your portfolio I am always telling my students who are developing their portfolios not to dilute the quality of their portfolio by including mediocre images. It’s better to have fewer images that all have the “wow factor” to make a better overall impression. That sure is easier said than done though! […]

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Palm Springs Panorama

Panorama view of our RV park in Palm Springs, California.

One of the things I like most about my new Sony NEX6 is how easy it is to make panoramas. I’ll tell you more about it when I publish my full review of the camera. For now, here is a panorama I made at the RV park we stayed at over Christmas. I just love […]

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