Almost Walked Away…

During a recent photo shoot getaway at Joshua Tree National Park, my primary vision was a foreground filled with a Joshua tree and the background would consist of a large rock formation with star trails circling the scene.

While driving up to higher elevation searching for the perfect scene, it became evident that it had recently snowed and I spotted this snowman that a mother and her two young sons were just completing. I stopped for a while and enjoyed making a few images of the snowman and as I was walking back to my vehicle it dawned on me that this rare desert snowman would make a great subject for my star trail image.

I’d seen many star trail photos with interesting foreground subjects, but never one with a snowman, let alone a snowman in the desert. I set up my gear and stayed put for the next four hours while taking 50 5-minute long exposures, which I stacked in Photoshop to produce this image.

Looking at the snowman brings back fond memories of being a young boy growing up in New Jersey. However,
as I absorb the entirety of this magical image I think to myself, wow, I almost walked away from such an amazing photo opportunity.
—Pete Jacovino
San Diego, CA

Technical Info: Photo taken with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon 10-22mm lens at 11mm. Exposure was f/3.5 at ISO 160.
© Pete Jacovino

Please Read This
The premise of “Talking Pictures” is that every picture has a story. We invite you to send quality prints (only) and a short narrative on why you took the picture or how, in retrospect, it brings up thoughts and feelings about the subject.

We do not return submissions. By sending us an image and text you grant us permission to publish it in this magazine and on our website. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at:

Send submissions to: Talking Pictures, Shutterbug, 1415 Chaffee Dr., Suite #10, Titusville, FL 32780.

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It's a good thing that you did not walk away from the scene immediately because you would have lost a shot of a lifetime. There's a brilliant story being set off by your photo and that is something I could appreciate so much. You also made the most out of your equipment and it is very stunning too.

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I’d seen many star trail photos with interesting foreground subjects, but never one with a snowman, let alone a snowman in the desert. I set up my gear and stayed put for the next four hours while taking 50 5-minute long exposures, which I stacked in Photoshop to produce this image.