Thursday, April 1, 2010

Saguaro Close-ups

I usually take pictures with a 24-105mm zoom lens, which gives me a comfortable distance from my subject. It's a head thing - I don't really like being too close. But, of course, it's much better to bring variety to a portfolio, so I try to remember to employ as many different perspectives as possible. Here are a couple of close (not macro) shots of Saguaro cactus, taken in sunrise light in Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ.

The first shot was taken on the shade side of the cactus. I got close enough so I saw three saguaros with no space between them. The texture and patterns were so interesting, I almost forgot how prickly the things are! Love the bluish light and the way the furrows in each cactus are similar but different.

The second shot was taken a bit further away. The lens was pointed directly toward the sun, using the Saguaro to block the glare. This produced rim-lighting, where the spines of the cactus were sunlit and the body of the cactus was in shadow. To use this technique successfully, I bracketed +2/3 and +4/3 ev. The background is all blown out, isolating the cactus against a rosy glow.

I can't decide which image I like better, but I do like the variety I got by trying to think a little differently.


  1. I like the light and airiness of the bottom photo. I could learn a lot from you Susan.

    I didn't know you had a blog!


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