Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • SubGenre:Subjects & Themes / Landscapes
  • Language:English
  • Pages:31
  • eBook ISBN:9781483521602

Mojave Moonlight

A Series of Nightscapes

by Tom Lowe

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

Tom Lowe lives in Los Angeles and is a successful TV commercial producer. His work has taken him to six continents and when on assignment he avoids the tourist havens. “I take the road less traveled— eat and reside with those who call a particular locale home, and when the opportunity to become an artist in residence for the Mojave National Preserve I found another opportunity for a road less traveled.” Lowe found that his years of location scouting was invaluable for this project. He discovered his image locations by driving deep into the Mojave on one of the many access roads and then parking his car at sunset, often hiked in three miles to reach specific cactus, rocks and dune formations that presented compositions that spoke to the stillness of the night. “I rediscovered the light show in the Milky Way blanket— shooting stars mixed with the countless satellites that then introduced the moon as it moved on to its western horizon. Night in Mojave Preserve is an astronomical wonder.”


I’ve been lucky to visit six continents and work in over fifteen countries during the last twenty-five years in the film industry. From the heat and humidity of India, to the barren landscapes of central China, to the serene calm of an Italian summer and the lapping waves of the Caribbean, I’ve endeavored to take the road less traveled, eat at the cafés frequented only by locals and walked the streets without a map. I continue to believe that getting lost in a city is the best way to discover it. A regular tourist I am not, if nothing else, my adventures have shown me the world outside the pages of the popular travel guides. I grew up in the wide-open spaces of the American west where during family camping trips, I fell in love with the night sky. As the rest of the family retired to the security and warmth of the trailer my father towed behind our car, I’d take my sleeping bag and lie down next to the glowing embers of the campfire. Under the stars the cool night air would whisper through the pines and I’d count the satellites as they streaked across the sky. To me, I was connecting with nature, living like the cowboys I watched on TV, shredding my urban confines and enjoying the moment - mosquito bites and all. Now in my 50’s, I live in the large metropolitan city of Los Angeles where I often find myself seeking links to the boy sleeping next to the campfire with my sense of wonder and my relationship to nature, often hard to find. As a marathoner, I get momentary glimpses in the stillness that pervades the streets in my neighborhood during early morning runs, sometimes my only place of solace in a hectic world. These moments I’ve come to believe are for me – at least until a large delivery truck barrels down the road interrupting my reverie and stagnating the air with diesel fumes. When the opportunity to work as an artist in residence for Mojave National Preserve presented itself I jumped at the chance. I knew immediately what I wanted to do. With my affinity for the night and the outdoors it had to be “Mojave Moonlight.” The desert can be a lonely yet tranquil place. Some of these captures are from well off the beaten path. Over the course of fifteen nights I would often drive off the pavement, down a dirt road – some not so passable – and park the car just before sunset. Then walk up to three miles into the desert, usually with a mission; cactus or rock formations or dunes or sometimes seeking inspiration in the stillness. I rediscovered the light show in the blanket of the Milky Way - shooting stars and countless satellites accenting all the familiar constellations. As my sole light source, the moon trekked across the vastness of the night sky while a soundtrack of fluttering bats and howling coyotes played masterfully in the diverse landscape. Some mornings as the cold dipped below freezing I felt the Mojave wrap me in its arms and my urban life fade into the background. The crisp air filling my lungs with fresh oxygen, Los Angeles’ traffic and stress literally and figuratively miles away. On several occasions, in the pre-dawn hours, I’d get lost making my way back to the car. My equipment somehow heavier than it was ten hours earlier. I’d pause under the stars, listen to the wind, slow my breath, calm my nerves, and ask, ‘was it a right turn at the sagebrush or was it the Joshua tree?’ then continue stumbling around in the dark until I’d find my car. Always right where I’d left it – not far from the trailer where that kid used to lie looking at the night sky.

About the author

Tom lives and works in Los Angeles with his wife and runs a marathon a year.  His skills in photography go back to the age of 11 when his mother gave him a Nikon FM to ‘play’ with.  From those small beginnings he went on to be an award winning sports photographer and honed his ability to think on his feet.  While traveling and photographing in sixteen countries on six continents through his twenty-five year career as a TV commercial producer, he has continued to fine tune his photographic skills.

Recent accomplishments: Mojave Artist in Residence at Mojave National Preserve where his theme entitled, “Mojave Moonlight” is on display at the Desert Light Gallery, Kelso Depot, March 8 – June 14, 2014.  He is also in the midst of creating another fine art project entitled, “50 filmmakers@50, a series of intimate portraits from behind the scenes of Hollywood” that will be completed in summer 2014.

Tom loves an adventure as long as he can take his camera.