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The winding road

(clickity click on the image for a biggity big version)

I know, a road shot right?

This is yet another shot from my trip to Nelson/El Dorado Canyon southeast of Las Vegas back in mid-March. The clouds, the light, the winding road…were almost too much fro me to handle. I saw too many shots I loved and had to reel myself in thinking “Do you really need 25 more road shots Mike??

My real, unabashed answer to that from deep inside me is YES…but in reality, certain road shots are special, most aren’t and you gotta know when it’s worth it.

This photo was actually unplanned…I had parked on the other side of the road and was shooting some Cholla cactus on a hillside that were amazing looking with the sunlight (you may remember this shot). But as I turned to walk back to the car, I just stopped and saw the road.

A quick pause here. I love being a photographer. I love looking at something and seeing beauty in it that perhaps another person would never notice. It’s something to embrace.

The image above, for me, was full of unique elements that made it worth shooting. First off the light shining further up the road. The second was the way the elevation slopes upwards instead of down. The way it winds right to left and then back right. The way it rises on the bends. The clouds. The hills.

Sometimes scenes like this one speak only to us, not others. Not everyone else is going to appreciate it, or love it the way I do. But that’s okay. Be proud of what you see and what you compose. Own it, grow it, get better at it.

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/2.8, iso 100)

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.