Joshua Tree National Park (IR)

California USA, 3 October 2016

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are in Cottonwood Spring in Joshua Tree National Park.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We see the autumnal yellow of the leaves and sometimes white leaves protesting against environmental indignities.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Deep in the grove is a fiery furnace of localised volcanic activity.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You can tell the person at bottom left comes from Colorado because he is turning yellow in sympathy with the leaves of the trees.  This is due to long-term deciduous exposure.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The leaves become more orange as the day warms up.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

… then more yellow due to a sudden cool breeze.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We’re now in the desert with the ocotillos..

Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The ancient spirit of a sky snake hangs in the sky.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The local authorities have helpfully planted a sign showing which way is up.  This is puzzling for some.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You might have noticed it’s a desert and quite dry.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

One day many years ago, triffids rained down.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

But it was a desert and no good for them so they turned into teddybear chollas.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Because it’s so arid they usually don’t move much at all, except sometimes a little in the wind.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You might be tempted to cuddle up in bed with a nice teddybear cholla but beware, it might turn into a triffid.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are now approaching Jumbo Rocks.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

It’s much safer to cuddle up with a rock.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

And here we have a Joshua Tree in full autumn colours.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

in the foreground we have a Joshua Tree with an identity crisis, trying to be a palm.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The rocks are actually ancient fossilised Mojave Indian spirits.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are now in Hidden Valley and this may be the headquarters of the Mojave spirits.  They provide psychiatric assistance to Joshua Trees with identity crises

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The plants here are all Joshua Trees.  Some of them are very confused.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The spirit snakes are also very active in the sky in this area.

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OK, these are all infrared images.  So what does that mean?  Well, human eyes have a range of visible colours that can be expressed as combinations of red, green and blue.  Below that is infrared and above that is ultraviolet.  Many animals see outside our spectral range.  One of my cameras has a modified sensor that records infrared, red and green but not blue.  (You can also do this with most normal digital cameras but it requires using an R72 filter and a tripod).

The image out of the camera is basically orange but this hides the potential for other colours.  I then use software to hit the image with a virtual firehose to assign and modify colours.  My last infrared post I processed using complex processes in Photoshop and I processed each image quite differently.  Since the images in this post are more homogeneous, I decided to apply similar processing to them all.  I used a more simple process just in Lightroom, though using channel-swap profiles I had created in Photoshop.

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