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Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park

It was my birthday this past Monday (the big two-five) and to celebrate, I took a day off from work and went out to Joshua Tree National Park to off-road, enjoy the change of scenery and get some photos.

The weather was rough with lots of cloud cover, some rain, some hail and strong winds. So, the light wasn't exactly phenomenal, which made getting decent photos pretty much impossible. Gray skies over the desert just don't make for great shots. But I still managed to check out Keys View, which is a high point in the Little San Bernardino Mountains that overlooks the desert cities below.

The view was gorgeous, the temperature was just above freezing and the wind was biting. Here's what I got:

Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Due to the heavy cloud cover, the sunset was basically non-existent, so I didn't get any sunset photos. But the real fun came on the drive home along the 10 Freeway.

As I drove along the 10, the heavy rains turned in to snow right around Banning, CA. For those unfamiliar with the area, Banning is a desert city at only about 2400 feet above sea level. Snow is not a common occurrence here, to say the least.

I love me some snow...and I really love me some snow when it's coming down in areas with palm trees and cactus. So, I pulled off the freeway to get some video and photos of the unusual weather. Unfortunately, it was completely dark by this point and Banning isn't exactly...how do you say this...uh, scenic. I did the best I could with what I had, but the photos from Banning won't be anything I hang on my walls. Still, though, it was fun getting some pictures of palm tress covered in snow.

Snow on Palm Trees in Banning, CA

Snow on Palm Trees in Banning, CA

And here's a quick video of the snowfall taken from my iPhone.

[vimeo width="550" height="309"]http://vimeo.com/37772834[/vimeo]

All in all, the trip and the freak weather made for a fun, memorable b-day.

February Sunset in Crystal Cove

Sunset in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

For the field practical of my most recent winter session of my Landscape Photography Class in Irvine, I took the class out to Crystal Cove State Park to apply what we'd learned. We lucked out with a beautiful, cloudy sunset that served up some rich colors. It was also low-tide, so the rocks and reflections were out in full force.

In between helping the students, I got a few shots of my own...

Sunset in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

Sunset in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

Sunset in Crystal Cove State Park, CA

The next session of my Landscape Photography Class is now open for enrollment. Class starts May 24th and the field practical is June 7. More info here.

New Seminar in Irvine this Summer

I'm happy to announce a brand new seminar I'll be offering in Irvine on June 5, 2012! It's a single-evening class all about composition for landscape photography. And it's only $39!

Composition for Dramatic Landscapes

Composition for Dramatic Landscapes

Discover Nick Carver's secrets for creating dramatic landscape compositions so you, too, can make real works of art out of the landscape. From composition fundamentals to advanced tips, this class will open your eyes to what makes a composition unforgettable.

Get more information here

Only 25 total seats available!