A gnarled old hand

(click the image to see it fit your screen, or even larger, with a nice, dark background)

I took this shot on one of the very first stormchasing days of the year, which didn’t amount to much. There was some puffy clouds, maybe some spotty rain, but it was really just the slow start to the monsoon season.

This was the day I discovered this tree for the first time. I had my daughter with me and we just pulled off into the desert off Riggs and I-10, and ended up driving out a bit to find this little guy struggling for life in the dry, arid landscape. I’ve posted at least 1-2 pictures of this tree already, but I can’t help it. I love the way it looks. That curving branch that looks like some kind of hand with wicked long fingers just waiting to grasp some unsuspecting passerby. The bit of life left that results in a some greenery not easily seen at first.

Despite there not being much weather, the clouds and sun rays were still amazing, so I tried to frame this tree against the sky so the rays looked like they were almost emanating from the fingers themselves.

I hope this tree stands for years…I’d hate to drive by it someday and see it gone.

(canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, iso 100, f/14, 1/125)



  • http://hdrexposedphotography.com Dave DiCello

    I love the composition here Mike, that low POV is outstanding, The light rays coming out from behind the clouds are just icing on the cake!

  • http://www.chrisnitz.com Chris Nitz

    Awesome POV and an even sweeter subject. So amazing to see how life can still happen in things we would otherwise consider dead.

  • http://www.brianfurbush.com/blog Brian Furbush

    Nice shot Mike – love the wispy cloud in the upper left, adds to the drama of the shot.

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    A little different processing look from you. Crazy looking tree.

  • http://goldenhourstudios.com Jesse

    Love how you always manage to find an interesting foreground for shots like these. Boss.

  • http://www.lensaltiel.com/ Len Saltiel

    Terrific perspective Mike. Love the silhouette against the clouds.

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    You’re not the only one. Something just really captivating about the way trees like this twist and turn in their growth. Really cool.

  • http://www.myblueheaven.com Scott Wood

    I thought that tree looked familiar. 🙂

    I love the toned down processing you did for this one.

  • http://none aalevy

    I love the shot. The composition is fabulous. You capture the tree in a desperate reaching out for nurturance and yet, clinging to hope and life in a dry and arid desert.