I recently returned from a three week trip to the desert southwest and the pacific northwest. It sounds like I could have come home loaded with photographs, but it was a family vacation, and instead I came home loaded with wonderful memories of time spent with my wife and daughter.Being with my family didn't mean we couldn't cover a lot of ground. We put well over 2000 miles on our rental cars during the trip, and we stopped in both Joshua Tree NP and Grand Canyon NP. Unfortunately we were unprepared for the heat in JTNP, and managed less than a half hour out of the car. But somehow, I managed to come away with a photo that I'm quite excited about.The reflected light from the surrounding desert sand under brilliant sunlight not only illuminates details in the backlit image, it provides gorgeous warmth and color. I tried one idea with one "tree" during my time in the park, but I stuck with it in the heat just long enough to make it work.