Tarantula!

What, where is the tarantula??

Okay, nowhere…but sometimes I have a hard time coming up with titles and this one especially. But to show you how my mind works, when I looked at this image…and saw the kind of miniature looking saguaro cactus, it made me first and foremost think of an old movie backdrop or set in the 1950s, which then reminded me of the movie Tarantula that I saw at some point in my childhood. More than likely because of my dad…I mean, when you’re 9-years old, who else but your dad is going to make you watch a film that came out 20 years before you were born?

So in reality, it has nothing to do with this photo. I actually named it “Saguaro Valley”, but ugh, it’s just boring and my mind isn’t working well today.

I took this image back in late December when we had the ice cold weather and snow in the high desert elevations. Because of the distance to these snowy peaks, I decided to use my tack-sharp 50mm 1.4 to shoot some of the hills instead of my wide angle.

This photo is kind of an experiment in a way. You’ll notice the blurred tilt-shift effect going on, which I never and have never done before on a landscape shot. But while the normal image was fine and okay, I felt like it was just another picture of a desert mountain with snow. So I whipped out Focal Point from onOne Software and played around.

I liked the effect of making these saguaros stand out a bit more. You’d think the mountain with snow on it would be the main interest here, but I kind of dug how the cactus got framed and the clump of them on the left, so making the mountain a secondary feature worked for me. I linked the image to the larger version, because I think it shows off this image a bit better than this scaled down one.

  • http://www.stevebeal.com Steve Beal

    Mike, nice shot, even better title! I like the blur effect, it does create that miniature set feel.

  • http://dudewithcamera.com Jesse

    The select focus really makes this different than other shots like this. I dig it.

  • http://www.chriskenison.com Chris Kenison

    Before reading the description… and just looking at the photo, I thought it looked erie, like it was out of an old horror movie. Very nice! I love it!

  • http://www.lightasmagic.com Justin

    Cool stuff. Focal point is a much cheaper alternative to a TS lens. The only reason to really get a TS lens is to correct some architectural key-stoning as well as increasing your DOF. That is something software can’t do so well.

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  • http://ramblings.chriswray.net Chris Wray

    Great tones and the tilt shift effect you achieved with Focal Point is very cool. I like the subject matter–your photo has an Ansel Adams feel.

  • http://www.markblundellphoto.com Mark Blundell

    That works really well in mona and the TS highlights the foreground nicely, just as you would expect and want. Top work

  • Mike

    Thanks so much guys, I’m pumped that the title kind of hit home with you all, plus the blur.

    Focal Point is pretty awesome…the simplicity plus the power of it is unbelievable.

  • http://www.edesertmountain.com Desert Mountain

    Mike, that is a great photo and resembles an area I am familiar with in Arizona. Its kind of funny, people don’t associate mountain snow with Arizona, but the biggest snow storm I have ever been in was in Arizona in 2009. We get 57 inches of snow in 3 days in Sunrise!!!

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