A Glorious Joshua Tree Sunrise at Barker Dam

Blue Hour Sunrise at Barker dam

The weekend before the world turned upside down (mid-March, 2020) I was frolicking about Joshua Tree National Park with a few of my favorite people from my camera club. We spent five days taking photos, eating great food, and enjoying each other’s company…and then came home to lockdowns and a dystopian nightmare. While we were away, we had no idea what was ahead of us…and I’m so glad we had that pocket of time to just have fun before the crazy hit.

While we were in Joshua Tree, one of the locations we visited twice was Barker Dam. Once for sunset, once for sunrise. Although I’m not a morning person, I dragged my butt out of bed and was rewarded for the effort. I got some decent photos when we were there for sunset, but my sunrise and early morning photos are far better!

Below are some of my favorite photos from that beautiful morning. You can see how the light changed as the morning progressed.

A touch of pink in Joshua Tree
Brighter Pink sunrise in Joshua Tree
Barker Dam Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park
Reaching for the Light in Joshua Tree
Twisted Tree near Barker Dam
Greeting the day in Joshua Tree at Barker Dam

Visiting Barker Dam and Joshua Tree National park

Joshua Tree is a breathtaking place, but if you’re a pansy in the heat like me, I highly recommend going in the Winter or Spring. I stayed in a hotel in Twentynine Palms and drove into the park for the day.

Finding Barker Dam isn’t difficult. Grab a map at the park entrance and follow the signs. Once you’re there, parking is ample. The hike to the actual dam is fairly short, and barring mud from fresh rain, it is an easy walk.

Capture and Processing Notes

All of the photos in this series were captured with my tripod-mounted Canon 6D and 16-35 f/4L lens. Each image is an HDR comprised of at least 3 exposures (most are 5 exposure), merged in Aurora HDR and edited in Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Luminar AI.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments below! (Prints available)

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  1. Marcia Colucci on September 28, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    They are all beautifully done…

  2. ZAY REYNODS on September 28, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    My favorite is the 5th one down with the tree alone against a deep blue sky, with rock formations on the sides.

    • Angela Andrieux on September 29, 2021 at 9:31 am

      Thank you, Zay! That tree was fascinating. The trunk was so twisted and you could tell it had stood through some trying circusmstances.

  3. Rodger Cresswell on September 29, 2021 at 2:09 am

    All great but 4th one down is my favourite

  4. JF DAMON on September 29, 2021 at 9:49 am

    splendides clichés avec ces couleurs “pastel”

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