Saguaro - KOFA, NWR

I was scouting in KOFA to find some nice spots for another day. On this day there were a lot of dark clouds and I did not expect to take any images, therefore I did not have my tripod with me. Of course I had my camera with me, because nature is just unpredictable.

I was just checking out this Saguaro when suddenly the light came on. And what a beautiful light it was. I tried my best to photograph it. But as with music, you can’t beat live.

There is an issues with the composition, as far as I can see it. The merging lines of the left and right part of the Saguaro. I did not go further to the right to prevent my own shadow to appear. And there was just not enough time. I think if I would have had my tripod with me, I would have missed the photo.

But I am still happy with the photo because it reminds me of this day.

Specific Feedback Requested

Every comment and critique is greatly appreciated.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D810 24-120mm F4, handhold.

Wow, what light and conditions you had! What a wonderful moment you’ve captured!

Regarding luminosity, I really like the darkness of the distant hills/mountains as that creates a clear horizon that the cactus pierces through. This is a heavily contrasted scene and I like it this strong as it suggests the power of the conditions.

As for the color, the orange/gold are a striking contrast with the blue and even purplish looking sky on my monitor. The colors of the warm light on the cactus and ground are pleasing to my eye. The cyan cast of the darker cloud margins is a strong color that to my eye is too strong, but this is clearly in the realm of artistic expression, so do as you feel is best. I will say also that the upper aspect of the shadows in the cloud have less of a cyan cast and more magenta? Again, in the thumbnail, it looks like it may be two different colors.

Finally, for texture/sharpness, I like how the image appears, nicely in focus and not overly sharpened.

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Wow, what drams in this image. The colors are bold, but as @Jim_McGovern said certainly in the bounds of artistic expression. I think the strong color adds to the sense of “storm light”.

Yes the merger is not ideal, but it’s not completely distracting either. And its a two edge sword, moving to thh right would have likely lost the cactus shadows, which is one of the nice small touches in the image. One way you might have been able to get around putting your own shadow in the image is to have backed off and shot it tighter with a telephoto, and shown less of the ground in front of the cactus. Maybe you needed that tripod after all :grin:

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