Tag Archives: cactus

The Saguaro And The Deep Blue Sky

The Saguaro And The Deep Blue Sky is a color photograph of a red rock outcropping and a Saguaro cactus. The setting is Tortilla Flats located east of Phoenix, Arizona in the Superstition Mountains. The day was obviously a clear day, but more importantly to capture a shot like this, the direction you are taking the picture has to be lined up in such a way (referencing the sun) for the sky to resonate with this deep color. I did a series of shots that day, this one being the perfectly framed capture with that deep blue sky as a back drop.

The Saguaro And The Deep Sky

Thoughts?

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Saguaro Cactus in Subtle Abstract – Featured Art Prints

I just completed adding some new art prints to my Abstract Subtle Gallery and wanted to share two of them. Both are of the Saguaro Cactus found here in the Sonoran Desert. I used a subtle watercolor technique creating an abstract look to both of the prints. I like an abstract approach to some subject matters, whether it’s big and bold like my last post or subtle like these. It allows the eye to absorb the color and suggestive shapes. This particular approach creates a subdued look to complement a look and not dominate it.

Desert Saguaro In Subtle Abstract

Desert Saguaro In Subtle Abstract

Lone Saguaro Cactus

Lone Saguaro Cactus

Thoughts?


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Cactus Blooms – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

It’s that time of year again, when the cactus are starting to bloom….I am re-posting this blog from two years ago as the vibrant purple blooms are back….

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A couple of weeks ago, I noticed driving into our community that the cactus planted in the common areas were starting to bloom. We are literally just a couple of blocks from open desert, so I thought it’s hiking time for a photo shoot to see what I can find. I have attached four of the shots from that expedition of the cactus I found in bloom. The color is incredible!

Cactus Bloom 1 Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 2 Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 3 Cactus Bloom 3

On Cactus Bloom 3 – notice the faint hint of a cobweb between two of the plants and then again in the lower left hand corner.

Cactus Bloom 4 Cactus Bloom 4

I’ll share some of my other finds from that hike in a later post. Thanks!

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Red Rock Cactus – Featured Art Print

The final featured art print for the week from my Landscape Watercolor Collection is “Red Rock Cactus”. It jumps right out there with a bold colorful look. The setting is near Phoenix with the many red rock outcroppings prominent in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. A prominent saguaro cactus and two smaller ones frame the scene. The print has a typical American Southwest look, but I wanted a little more of a punch. The technique I used is more of an abstract approach creating a bold modern look. I started by outlining the detail of the scene and then filled in using abstract shapes of color. This technique keeps the intricate detail of the foreground, cactus and rocks, but adds simple bold shapes of blue to create a sky effect. The simplicity and colors of the blue creates drama in the print and accents the strong red of the rock outcropping. Your eye is drawn to the red rock which has more detail than the sky, but less than the cactus and foreground. Moving into those elements, the detail and softer colors of green finish the framing of the central subject, the red rocks. If you really drilled down into the color pattern of the cactus and foreground, you would actually see the same color shapes, but the drawing of detail keeps the shapes confined within distinct borders. I loved the setting of the scene and wanted to present something that had a bolder more contemporary look to it. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the collection in Landscape Watercolor.

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Three Hour Desert Hike – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, my son-in-law and myself headed out to the desert early in the morning for an extensive hike up some surrounding hills. I’m not sure what the elevation gain was, but we certainly had a great panorama of the surrounding valley floor. The trails are well-marked and well-groomed. What we initially thought was that we would go out an hour and then back an hour. The day was going to get into the high 90’s so we didn’t want to be out too long. At the hour mark, we saw an abandoned mine that was fenced off on top of another hill from us. Of course being guys, we just had to hike over to that hill to see it. So, that little venture was another 30 minutes. Fascinating to us, but I couldn’t get any pictures that made sense to share as the location was surrounded by a chain link fence. We could see on the side of the hill tailings from the mine and a steel gate entry. On the top where we hiked it was a huge hole that opened clear down to the bottom of the mine…yes we threw rocks to see how long before they hit the bottom. Such a guy thing 🙂 So, an hour and a half out, an hour and a half back.

What we did see along the way was the Saguaro Cactus was blooming. It looks so weird to see the buds pop out almost overnight and then bloom.

I have attached shots from our three hours…

Desert Hike 1

Desert Hike 1

Half way up the hill, you can see some the lower end of our trail in the background….Desert Hike 2

Desert Hike 2

More buds and blooms…

Desert Hike 3

Desert Hike 3

Near the top…

Desert Hike 4

Desert Hike 4

…and at the top. You can see the Sierra Estella Mountain Range in the background. We are facing east and behind the Estrella’s is the city of Phoenix. We are located at the extreme western edge of the metropolitan area (half way to California as the people from the eastern area of Phoenix refer to it).

Desert Hike: The Top

Desert Hike: The Top

It was very windy on this particular day, thus the haze in the air from desert sand and dust.

So, three hours in the desert on marked trails…no snakes, an abandoned mine, blooming saguaro and we made it back mid-morning before the heat got too intense…all in all a good hike!! I’m continually surprise on how much there is in the desert to see. Not the lifeless place I had always thought!

 

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Cactus Blooms – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed driving into our community that the cactus planted in the common areas were starting to bloom. We are literally just a couple of blocks from open desert, so I thought it’s hiking time for a photo shoot to see what I can find. I have attached four of the shots from that expedition of the cactus I found in bloom. The color is incredible!

Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 1

Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 2

Cactus Bloom 3

Cactus Bloom 3

On Cactus Bloom 3 – notice the faint hint of a cobweb between two of the plants and then again in the lower left hand corner.

Cactus Bloom 4

Cactus Bloom 4

I’ll share some of my other finds from that hike in a later post. Thanks!

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

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“Desert Botanical Garden” Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

My wife and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix last week to check out the Chihuly  Exhibit. We have seen the Chihuly Exhibit at the Seattle Center, but wanted to see what his work would look like scattered amongst desert plantings. The first shot is in the garden giving you a feel for the surrounding environment. The garden is situated in such a way, you forget you are in a metropolitan area of over 4 million people.  Within the garden, I included two shots of Chihuly glass work amongst the desert flora and fauna. The contrast between his bright-colored displays and the plants were amazing. The displays are also lit up at night which we have seen pictures of and that creates an entirely different experience. The work is stunning both day and night. Enjoy!!

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 3

Desert Botanical Garden 3

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“Saguaro Cactus” Excerpts From A Photo Shoot

As a follow-up to my “A Walk in the Desert” last week, I am attaching two pictures from that hike. The first one I call Saguaro Group….I have no idea if this cluster grew naturally or is a left over from a previous land owner…none the less, it stands out very distinctly in the desert. The second one is an up shot of a saguaro. I got as close as I thought I could, bent down and held the camera upward. I’m sure I looked ridiculous doing it, but what we don’t do for the right shot! The saguaro is a national icon for cactus and specifically Arizona. They are native to Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. Having lived in San Diego for so many years, whenever we would drive to Phoenix from California, the minute you crossed the border there they were. It’s as if they knew the state line and yet the border between the states is in the middle of the desert. Go figure. Enjoy!!

Saguaro Cluster

Saguaro Cluster

Saguaro Upshot

Saguaro Upshot

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