Cacti comingle

While waiting in the Lake Pleasant boat launch parking lot, I took the opportunity to shoot some cactuses - I like this little grouping with the mesquite trees as well. It may be the same group of them as in Diane’s shot, but maybe not. At least from a different angle. I liked the smaller cactuses as well - like munchkins or hobbits - they seem on the move to me.

Specific Feedback Requested

So I used a different sharpening technique than usual just to try it out. How does it look?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No


Lr for all RAW adjustments including a wb adjustment & crop to 4:5. Photoshop for some Unsharp mask combined with an Edge mask. Also improved the lighter tonal range with some masking and curves.


Wonderful!! (Same group I shot but you found a better angle!) You composed a great diagonal leading up to the Saguaro and the colors look spot-on from what I recall. I shot from the left of this position – the view right from where we were parked, when I first saw it. (How adventurous of me…) I did move around some but never got this far toward the lake. Good for you!

The trees are Palo Verde, with the unique green bark. We saw a lot of Mesquite up close when we hiked in The Dells – it has little feathery leaves similar to a locust. The cute little cacti are Cholla – not to be messed with.

Thanks for the correction about the trees and the little Chollas. I know practically nothing about desert plants. Things with pointy things = cactuses, everything else, who knows!? :rofl:

I did wander down to the lake a little and shot up from there - the diagonals made for a nice organizing element.

Nice little scene Kris. I’ve tried to photograph cacti and was never happy with the results. This one is terrific.

I think the sharpening looks fine and natural. Nice work.

I too like the diagonal effect. I grew up around these guys, and wish I had been into photography then; they make such interesting subjects. Might be worth cropping a little tighter to lose the foreground rock and some of the sky?

It is interesting to me that a fairly ordinary desert scene in midday light can turn into an engaging image. Your vantage point gave you some good texture on the saguaro. Before reading other’ comments, I, like @John_Williams , also wanted to crop out some sides and sky, and really wanted to zap the roadside embankment. I tried to history-brush/multiply to burn the darker areas in the hillside vegetation and soil.

Thanks @David_Bostock, @John_Williams & @Dick_Knudson - I thought about cropping tighter, but didn’t want it to look cramped. I guess it doesn’t! The rework looks kinda good, so thanks for taking the time.