Prickly Can Be Picturesque — 5* Pix

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Total Shots taken 207
Number Acceptable for Future activity 6
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 9 (1.2%)


While on my recent trip to Arizona, our group took a trip to the Catalina State Park – the goal of the outing was practice composing images. We focused on varying aspects, and were accompanied by experienced, prize-winning photographers offering us advice on getting better images. On my own, left to my own devices, I don’t think I would have been looking in the desert area of the park for images – flowers, birds, other wildlife, yes – but prickly cactus, the famed saguaro of Arizona, no.

After careful tutelage, though, I began to see the beauty. I have now joined the legions of aspiring and accomplished photographers who have tried to capture this desert beauty, and I share it with you. Hope you enjoy these 5* selections.

  • Alone in the Presence – Saguaros can grow as tall as 70 feet high, and when they are about 50 year’s old, they start to grow arms. This lone saguaro sits in a field flanked by the mountainside. The interesting thing is that the light shows up the sky, as well as the glow of the mountain.
  • Eye in the Saguaro – This hole, most likely serving as a home of a bird, makes an interesting focal point in the fore ground, with the brightly light mountains in the background.
  • Saguaro Grove – I didn’t even realize I had this one! I SO wanted to have an image where you could see a multitude of the saguaros. So not only did I get grove, seeing the glow around the edges of the saguaros from the sunlight in the background made it even more wonderful.
  • Looking Up – A classic saguaro shot is one where the photographer is looking up the spine, towards the sky. In this one, it almost looks as if there are two arms and a head – yes, this saguaro reminds me of a person, so while I am looking up at it, he is looking down at me!
  • The Nub – This saguaro is starting to grow an arm, which at this point is a nub. But I love the lighting that makes it seem as if the needles are glowing
  • Prickly Up Close – The cholla cactus tree is a more spindly cactus, looking more like a tree or bush, rather than what I would normally think of as a cactus. That, until you look at it up close, as in this image, focusing on the tiny buds and the spines that stick out – then unmistakably cactus.

From such up close and personal exposure, I began to enjoy the unusual beauty of these cacti, and I hope you enjoy these 5* images from my trip.

5 thoughts on “Prickly Can Be Picturesque — 5* Pix

  1. Nice pics. Like them all, but particularly like, the view from the bottom of the stem (or whatever one calls the prickly body of a a cactus).

    • Thanx so much for the feedback! In the case of this particular cactus, i think you just call the body the saguaro — it is ALL saguaro (cactus) from top to bottom — no stems.. I think i have a few more sets form Arizona, so stay tuned. Thanx again for the feedback!

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