Kurt and I are currently in Joshua Tree National Park working as volunteers and in our down time Kurt is photographing for our Un Petit Monde project.
Joshua Tree NP is notorious for its climbing opportunities as well as its off-road driving, night skies and of course, Joshua Trees. It’s a good thing that the miniatures in Kurt’s bag are always ready for adventure and exploration.
While exploring a wash in the Southern end of the park, Kurt found a good spot for his 4x4 jeep convoy. The sand was smooth enough for their tires to be able to deal with it. Half hour earlier the sky had the most unique display of clouds, it would have been a perfect addition to the scene!
On a separate occasion, we scrambled up granite boulders so Kurt could document a miniature climber in action.
The temperature was cool enough that the smell from decomposing fish was bearable. The Hazmat crew were the only miniatures used at Salton Sea. Kurt found plenty scenes for the crew to investigate.
We spent time in Saguaro National Park to try and capture the saguaro cactus. Pairing the miniatures with saguaros was another one of Kurt's wish for this trip. To him (and to me) the idea of the American West was a mix of saguaros, Monument Valley and friendly road runners. We learned that 1. Road runners are mean 2. Saguaros grow only in the Sonoran Desert 3. Monument Valley is miles away from the Sonoran Desert.
For this project, Kurt was originally looking to capture an orange-sand-blue-sky desert look, similar to the look of the scenes he photographed in Utah back in March 2013. We were set and ready to go to Utah when the weather threw a wrench in our plans. In Moab, the daily temperature highs were in the 50s and the nights in the teens which would make the project very challenging.
So, we looked at our options further south within a 2-day drive from Minneapolis, with reasonable temperatures and striking desert looks. We remembered White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. White sands, blue sky, beautiful weather. We spent 8 days in the dunes so Kurt could capture the different times of day.
The result is a set of still images, including a few stop motion animations to illustrate a day on the dunes. Here are a few behind-the-scene images:
Kurt and I went to Marco Island to capture the beauty of its beaches with our miniatures.
We set out for South Beach on a Monday, mid-afternoon, it was warm and sunny. We were fortunate not to have to contend with a crowd. The sand looked almost white and right on the edge of the surf there was a multitude of shells and mollusks .
Kurt had to deal with the glare on his camera screen and the heat but we don't want to complain about the heat, it's below zero back home.
The shells and the mollusks added some visual interest to the photo shoot. Kurt had a bunch of scenarios going. The colors were in the pastels, milky-creamy, very soft looking.
Tigertail Beach photo shoot was late afternoon on a cloudy, windy, stormy looking day. Kurt decided very quickly to quit trying to photograph the little lady tanning herself and pulled out instead a woman and her umbrella struggling against the wind, how fitting!
That day we almost lost the woman with her umbrella to a wave. Fortunately this isn't Sunset Beach and the waves were gentle enough to release her back to us.