While in Joshua Tree I missed two important opportunities for shooting. The first was at sunset and I wanted to shoot the Cholla Cactus Garden with the sun just starting to dip below the horizon. I wanted to have a sun star that would backlight the cactus. Well I thought I was leaving plenty of time to get there. I planned on getting there about a half hour before sunset. The problem was that the cactus garden has a decently sized mountain right behind it. So when I got there the sun was just dipping below the horizon. I jumped out of the car grabbed my camera bag and tripod and took off running. As I ran I was getting my tripod legs extended. I ran for the the closest group of cacti and got my camera on the tripod. Just as I turned the camera to compose the shot the sun went completely down. I missed the shot I wanted.

The second shot I missed was at sunrise. I planned on getting up early enough that I would be in place about a half hour before sunrise. The place I planned on shooting was only a 5-10 minute walk from our campsite so I figured I would have plenty of time. Unfortunately when I opened the tent door I realized I should've already been in place. The sky was a brilliant orange with gorgeous clouds. I frantically put on my shoes, grabbed my gear and ran to where I planned on shooting. As I ran, the colors began to fade and by the time a found a somewhat decent composition they were all but gone. It only took a few minutes for it to change.

Please learn from my mistakes. Get to your shots early. For sunrise shots plan on getting there while it is still pretty dark. When possible scout your locations ahead of time so you can be prepared. I find that when I have to rush to get in place the time for the perfect shot has already passed.

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