Coachella Valley Photo

Ron Niebrugge California, Photos, Travel 24 Comments

The Palm Springs area in the Coachella Valley, California.

The Palm Springs area in the Coachella Valley, California.

I was excited to share some more sunset images from Joshua Tree National Park, that was until last night’s sunset – without a doubt, one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen in the desert!  I photographed like mad in every direction, the light was absolutely fantastic.  This is pretty much straight out of the camera with a 3 stop graduated neutral density filter.

Now I must confess, I tend to be an easy going person who doesn’t handle confrontation well.  Truthfully, I usually do what I can to avoid confrontation, probably to a fault.

I say that to help set the stage for what happened next.  As I photographed from this amazing location, a women with a small child pulled up in her large, black SUV and began changing her child’s  diaper.  Somehow I knew what was going to happen next.  I watched her walk across the parking lot with her child and diaper – by the way, the LCD screen on the back of the camera makes a great rear view mirror, I use it all the time.  Anyway, she appears to look for a trash can, and then tosses the diaper over the decorative wall that surrounded the parking area!

I think she may have known I saw her because she stalled for a long time before returning to her vehicle, at which time I asked if she intended to leave that diaper behind.  She said, “what diaper?”, I said “the one you dropped over the wall”.  She claimed to not know what I was talking about.  I then as nicely as possible told her that I couldn’t believe anyone could do such a thing in such a beautiful place, that I found it very disappointing.  She looked at me but didn’t respond, so I turned back to the sunset, all the while watching her in my “rear view mirror”.

Well, she put her child in the vehicle, walked across the parking lot, climbed over the wall and picked up the trash and put it in her vehicle.  I thanked her, and told her I really appreciated it – and sure felt a lot better about speaking up.

Comments 24

  1. A great sunset pic Ron…the sky has really come alive. I wish I can master using the ND filters.. you make the whole process of image capture look so easy 🙂

    Great job of speaking to the woman without letting the situation get out of hand. To the woman’s credit, at least she had some conscience of going back and picking up the trash.

  2. Truly as spectacular as it gets, Ron!

    Thank you for shaming the lady into cleaning up after herself. Another reason I hate shooting around other people, however, even in remote Alaska you can still come across people’s trash.

  3. Oh man, Ron! Would I have loved to be out there with you. Late afternoon, I looked to the east, saw the beautiful clouds, and knew there would be something going on at sunset!

    Good on you for confronting that woman, Ron. You made a difference and got through to her! It was undoubtedly your pleasant manner 🙂

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    Thanks a lot everyone!

    I agree Jon – I prefer to shoot away from people. Last night we were going to hike up in Indian Canyon, but the Park closes at 5:00, right at sunset, so it sent us scrambling.

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    Thanks MG!

    Yeah, in ever direction I could see – down towards the Salton Sea, up toward Joshua Tree, there were amazing clouds, it was such a cool sight, it is too bad you weren’t out this way!

  6. Amazing sunset, Ron! I’m glad you confronted the woman about the diaper, too. I’ve toted around several dirty diapers in the Man Van until a trash can presents itself. It’s disgusting, but not as disgusting as carelessly tossing it into the landscape. Thanks for being a good citizen!

  7. Hey, I know you don’t like confrontation…way to go! More people need to speak up about stuff like that. Don’t get me going…you know I am your crazy, save-the-world sister and I am proud of you!! 🙂

  8. Way to go big guy, awesome photo and even more awesome guts! More people need to speak up when stupid people do stupid things. Hugs, Mom

  9. Good on you for saying something to her! I see used diapers everywhere from beaches to mall parking lots. What kind of person would do that? I guess to mothers who have several kids one more dirty diaper won’t change the planet! 🙂

    This is an awesome sunset Ron, wow! You’ve got me inspired to actually used those graduated filters that I lug around so often and are so expensive I often leave them in their cases to protect them–how sick is that?

    Beautiful shot. I’d love to hear more about Palm Springs. The Joshua shot at sunset was great too and I rarely see good photos of those trees published–yours was the best I’ve seen in a long time.

    Now I have to go back and look at your “aerial” shot of the Strip and see if you’ve revealed where you shot it from 🙂


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    Thanks a lot everyone!

    Bret – good on you for picking those things up! I remember a Gary Crabbe post where he talking about the same – I couldn’t help but think of that when I saw this lady.

    Jeff – You need to start abusing those filters! The Vegas photo was actually taken from hot air like balloon.

    Thanks again.

  11. Absolutely beautiful shot of the sunset! Do you know if it was affected by smoke from any wildfires? Here in the west, sunsets like that one are often more spectacular because of fire. We had one somewhat like it — but a lot less spectacular — here in Sedona last night and it was due in large part to what I believe was prescribed burn on the south side of Mingus Mountain.

    Way to go in your confrontation of the woman with the dirty diaper!!! Excellent time to be courageous! Wish I could speak up when I need to. I’ll try to remember your good example.

  12. Good for you, Ron! Glad she did the right thing and may now go on to influence others.
    Absolutely brilliant photograph!

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    Thanks Noella!

    Thanks Joni! I agree, fires can enhance the look of a sunset, but that wasn’t the case here – there was very little haze. This was just the perfect combination of great clouds, with a nice gap on the western horizon.

  14. Another good thing Ron is that she will probably think twice the next time because someone didn’t just turn a blind eye. Good for you.

    As far as this image – if I may use my street slang – that is one wicked sky!!

  15. Good for you Ron! I’m constantly amazed at the lack of respect and common sense people have. Very much a hero move to call her out on her behavior. As to your photograph it is incredibly beautiful. The lighting certainly was a gift (and not the diaper kind).

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