Everything was yellow, and the photographer looks trapped inside the tinted sunglasses. The vast expanse of the desert lay behind his image—shallow hills, rocks, bare trees and all, bathed in golden hues. His reflection is distorted: his head is large, almost bloated, with eyes the size of saucers. His sun-tanned face looks sallow, the same hue of yellow as the sand around it. His arms are longer than his legs and his feet seem to disappear into the dirt in the reflection. His large hat, now transformed into the color of honey, flaps in the desert wind. In his hands he grips a Nikon D40. Not a point-and-shoot, the photographer will correct you, but a “DSLR” thank-you-very-much.
“Huh, that’s pretty cool,” the photographer said. His image shifted, the amber desert behind it rocking violently in unison.
“Dude, what’re you doing?!” his friend asked, jerking his face away from the photographer’s own. They were sitting atop one of the rock formations the park—Joshua Tree National Park—is known for, but the two of them came out here to sight-see, damn it. He glares at the photographer.
The photographer gave a small pleading smile and wordlessly raised the camera to eye level. The image mirrored his actions, the diminutive camera in its hands now ballooning in size. His friend considers the scene before him, staring at the photographer with the camera in his ill-fitting white hat next to him. He sighed—he’s used to the photographer’s antics. He lifts his chin, his signature pose; his yellow sunglasses catching the light of a dying sun. Only the percussive sound of shutter rapidly opening and closing breaks the stillness around them.