Photographing Cacti and Desert Succulents

Saguaro Silhouette.   Nce idea, but this particular shot failed because of wind movement.
Saguaro Silhouette. Nice idea, but this particular shot wasn't a "keeper" because of wind movement. Pity!

(In my three-part introduction to photographing Death Valley (part 2, part 3), I noted that I wanted to spend some time talking about techniques for photographing cactus, my apologies for the delay in getting that finished for you.  I hope it was worth the wait!)

Cacti astonish me. The desert air can be dessicating, a sponge pulling every drop of water out of everything around it, and yet many of these plants have evolved to survive and even thrive in these harsh environments.

For the photographer, cacti offer interesting forms, patterns and texture from their spines, and color from the occasional desert bloom. (more…)

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Introduction to Death Valley: Part 3, “And the rest…”

Shafts, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California
Shafts, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. Usually I think of Zabriskie as a morning shot, but afternoon works here.

In this last installment of my introduction to Death Valley, I’ll touch on a few more locations for first-time visitors to Death Valley.

(If you haven’t seen them yet, check out part one and part two.)

Zabriskie Point

One of the classic photographic locations of Death Valley is Zabriskie Point, located just up the road from Furnace Creek. Erosion has carved up these layered, multicolored hills into strangely folded patterns. The main viewpoint overlooks this folded landscape and marks the beginning of trails which descend down into it. I’ve most often photographed Zabriskie in the early morning, the area does not get first light until a half-hour or more after nominal sunrise, but there are things to shoot here all day. (more…)

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