Joshua Tree:  Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, and Painting Light, February 2011
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We continued wandering in the Valley behind Barker Dam, where fresh fallen snow from last night still remained on the trees and ground, in some places enough for a snowball fight.

Cactus and snow.

Due to California's woeful budget shortfalls, this guy is now one of the Park Rangers, pointing the way to the Coachella Valley below up at a windy and cold Keys View, above 5000 ft. in elevation.

The Coachella Valley, with me blocking your view.

Barrel cactus at sunset.

Back at the cottage, hangin' with the birds again as I walk around the five acres of land that the house sits on.

See above.

A cottontail, also on the cottage's premises.

After a second delicious home-cooked dinner from Lisa and hanging out in a nice warm jacuzzi for 45 minutes and admiring the stars of the night sky, she went to sleep, while I chose to laugh in the face of the freezing temperatures outside as it approached midnight.

Why?  Light painting!!!!

I opened the shutter for approximately two minutes, then "painted" the Joshua Tree and some of the surrounding cacti and bushes with my mag light.  I "painted" the tree from in back of the camera and then standing to the left of the tree.

The sky was well lit this evening because of a near full moon.  You can also see the stars, appearing as short streaks of light in the sky, a result of the earth's movement in the two minutes the shutter was open.

This is some more light painting of the Joshua Tree, again with the shutter open for approximately two minutes, "painting" the tree and the cacti and bush around it with my freezing cold metal mag light.

However, this time, I "painted" myself into the photo, standing by the tree for about 30 seconds, about a quarter of the time the shutter was open, which accounts for my ghostly appearance.  Further, since I was moving the flashlight with my right arm, my arm doesn't really appear in the way that my stationary left arm does!

The streaks of light to the left of me are when the actual bulb of the mag light pointed toward the camera lens.

The Joshua Tree "painted" only from the left side.

Information on the light-painted Joshua Tree photos: Nikon D90, 18-200mm Nikkor VR lens on my Dad's 1970s Sears metal tripod.  116 second exposure, f3.5, 200 ISO, both taken between 11:45pm and midnight during either a full moon or darn near it. Lisa does not appear in any of these Feb JT photos at the request of her agent.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Brazil and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

Buy Ken's art at

Joshua Tree: Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, and Painting Light, February 2011
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