Archive for the 'Arizona' Category



Spines and Light: what I see in the desert

One of the things that fascinates me most about the desert and cacti is the things the light does to the spines and convolutions of the plants. I was at the Desert Botanical Gardens early on my last visit (I am there early on every visit…a necessity any season but winter, due to Phoenix heat…and preferable even in winter), and the light was still oblique enough to provide interesting effects. This cluster of Organ Pipe cacti is a case in point.

I moved in close at about 75mm equivalent to crop just this section of the tall plants, because it is the light effects, not the cacti themselves, or the desert landscape that contains them, that I am interested in.

Sony DSC H50 at about 75mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Punch and Sharpen Landscape presets in Lightroom. >> Clarity and > Vibrance.

From Desert Botanical Gardens 09.



Cacti Filling Frames

Okay, so this is maybe cheating a little bit because this is not a pic of the day, it is three pics of the day rolled into one. Sort of. I took these images seconds apart, without moving more than a step and a half turn. There is is a display of native cacti just below the Terrace Restaurant at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The sun had gone behind a momentary cloud…just enough, and just long enough, to provide some filtration for these shots…a softening of the light that brought out the patterns. The first two were shot at about 180mm equivalent for framing. The third was taken from the same spot, but I zoomed up to almost 300mm equivalent to frame a slightly more distant clump. They form a kind of triptych study of the way light interacts with these spiny shapes.

Sony DSC H50 at 180mm and 300mm equivalents. F4, F3.5, F4 @ 1/125th, 1/60th, 1/40th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Punch and Sharpen Landscape presets in Lightroom. >> Clarity and > Vibrance.

And here they are, actually arranged as a classical triptych panel.




Coronodo National Monument, AZ

Coronodo National Monument, AZ

Travel day today and no time to upload pics from yesterday’s short visit to Otawa NWR in Ohio, so we will visit Arizona: Coronodo National Monument to be precise. This amazing piece of landscape sits right on the border with Mexico and contains some of the wildest accessible landscape I have encounted. A road runs up and over the mountain pass and good trails shadow it on the south side. Wonderful views. This is looking north across the valley to a storm capping the southern ramparts of the Hauchuas.

Sony DSC H9 at 31mm equivalent. Added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel. Sharpened.

From Cochise Co. Arizona.