katherineplessner PRO

Dessert Sunset

A beautiful sunset in the Arizona dessert with the perfect cactus!

A beautiful sunset in the Arizona dessert with the perfect cactus!
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Peer Choice Award
People's Choice in Saguaro's Only Photo Challenge
Peer Award
StewPhotography NewZealander2020 ElizePrinsloo allanvenables AnnHopta rushewallace Forrest_Imagery +6
Magnificent Capture
Steve-n-Ning Vash01Photo doubleplay terrymccollum
Superb Composition
AllanSeppa markcote coxcraig ClintJohnsonPhotos
Outstanding Creativity
Vyatkin JPART7 BearMesaPhoto traceymcdonald
Superior Skill
jdmarks64 Byronfairphotography Rangerness-PV
Absolute Masterpiece
tinawiley Shutterbug_14 kdgardiner
Top Choice
Hprue AW_Images21 Baumhaus

Top ClassTM

ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 30 class week 1
The Golden Hour Photo ContestTop 10 class


5 Comments | Report
november Premium
november May 31, 2017
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
november Premium
november May 31, 2017
Wonderful! Congrats!
Shutterbug_14 September 05, 2017
I love the sun rays!!
Byronfairphotography PRO+
Byronfairphotography October 29, 2017
Very nicely done / Voted
Vash01Photo Ultimate
Vash01Photo May 08
I live in Arizona. I have waited for years to get such a beautiful shot of a Saguaro at sunset. Still waiting. Congratulations on your win.
katherineplessner PRO
thank you Vash. I had been in AZ for about 10 days and kept looking for the perfect cactus, found this on the last evening there...made me cry after I got the shot!

Behind The Lens

I had been visiting a friend in Scottsdale, AZ the first part of March, and we had headed out to the dessert near her home to try for an evening sunset photo. The whole time I kept saying I wanted to find the "perfect" saguaro for a picture, and this last night--there it was!
I had been in Arizona for 2 weeks and out almost every evening for the sunset shots. This was my last night there and definitely turned out to be my favorite!
I love taking photo with sunbursts in them. On this evening there was just enough clods in the sky to make it beautiful, but yet the sun was shining through strong enough to be able to get the sunburst and give everything a beautiful glow.
I was using a Sony A99 with a Tamron 28-300 lens. My focal length was 28mm, f/22 [for the sunburst effect] 1/25 exposure and ISO 500. I did not take my tripod along that night, so was shooting hand held. I was using a split neutral density filter to darken the sky, but not the foreground.
Scenery photos are my favorites and sunrise and sunset my favorite time of day. As I have said I love sunbursts and try for one of them in my photos whenever possible and just got lucky this evening and all the conditions were right.
I just shoot in jpeg and use picassa for my editing. For this image I maybe worked the contrast a bit and darkened the sky some
In my camera bag
I like to travel light and because of that love my zoom 28-300 zoom lens that will cover most situations. Also usually have a wider 2.8 lens along too for inside of buildings and night time photography. I keep a polarizer on for daytime shooting and had recently bought the split neutral density filter for using for morning and evening shooting.
I learned how to get the sunburst effect from and article in a photography magazine and few years ago and have taught a number of traveling companions how to do it. The trick is to have your camera set at f/22 and have the sun partially covered by your foreground focal point. The full sun is too much, so you have to move around a bit and see how much of it needs to be covered to get the effect you are trying for. I always feel like if I turn around or look at something and the sun is hitting me in the eyes there might be a chance for a sunburst photo!

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