Now what would the desert be without cactus? Sure enough, a wide angle lens used for this shot, but it’s not really all that much of an exaggeration, these things are generally pretty massive…and obviously not something soft that you’d want to hug!
There are a good handful of these giants around Goldfield Ghost Town, and as you can see from the WS picture, it’s not a good idea to park too close to one. That picture was taken from Google Images, and is actually a very common postcard found just about anywhere in Arizona. Just thought I’d throw it in for fun.
This was actually a difficult shot to compose. I had to stand on a small, but somewhat steep slope to obtain an angle good enough to show all of the cactus “arms”, while also managing to include the building in the background without it being completely obstructed. If that wasn’t enough of an issue, the slant made for quite a harsh angle on the landscape itself. This was about the best balance I could pull together.
If anyone is familiar with Shaquille O’Neal who played in the NBA, he spent a couple of years with the Phoenix Suns and was well known for giving himself multiple nicknames. While here, he was the self dubbed “Big Shaqtus”…and was about the same size in real life as what you see here O.K., that actually is an exaggeration, but he is a big guy none the less.
Thanks for stopping by.
Critiques | Translate
ikeharel (78317) 2013-09-14 0:48
An impressive Giant cactus, Jason.
I remember being impressed when saw many alike while crossed Arizone from north(Grand-canyon) to Phonix and Tucson bak in 7/1978.
Fine green tone collected under the bright daylight.
Enjoy your weekend,
limielski (0) 2013-09-14 1:03
What a huge cactus! I like the foreshortening. You have chosen excellent POV - from the bottom. The sky is a amazing BG for the cactus. Super shot!
Have a nice weekend!
jhm (160023) 2013-09-14 1:28
This is large version of the cactus made against a nice light blue sky.
Your picture is fantastic, in high quality made
You chose a wonderful angle this cares for depth and perspective.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
Noel_Byrne (33634) 2013-09-14 2:17
That is one big cactus, and the wide angle lens works great on it, especially as it allowed you to get the building in the lower fit corner, putting it completely into context. I like these big spiky plants, and have a few in my house, but of course none get to this kind of size. One thing I have always wondered is why these things look so fuzzy and soft from a distance? It seems the fuzzier they look, the nastier they stab too, more fuzz equals more tiny spines. Great shot of this big desert dweller, and your workshop made me laugh and feel sorry for the owner of the car.
Tree falls on car, at least you can try and move it off by heaving it, but what do you do with a cactus? Hmmm, business idea, cactus roadside rescue...... Must buy some good strong gloves.
Have a great Saturday, and thanks for teaching me how to spell ruhr roh too!
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-09-14 2:22
WOW,what should I say my friend-for me the scene is like a quintessence of my imagination about Arizona.Exactly how I always imagined it.
That´s for first!
Second thing is your vision of the scene and the way you composed and framed it.Really love the combination of this low perspective with so excellent close-up of the cactus!
And the last thing-so delightful,warm light and these amazing looking sky formations giving here very good dynamic feeling.
This one goes immediately to my favourites!
Wish You a nice weekend
GiovanniG (3637) 2013-09-14 2:27
Very familiar with these prickly critters. Great capture in the late day of the Saguaro and the ghost town behind. Thanks for capturing my little prickly friends.
timecapturer (49288) 2013-09-14 3:28
a fine specimen this ;-) - and I love your POV it is so full of the elements and character of the wild west. On my one trip to Phoenix I remember visiting a cactus park and was amazed at the size of some of the cacti there, this one looks magnificent, especially against the wonderfully complex sky. Love the workshop shot too!
Better not make any jokes about pricks here :-).
Enjoy your weekend - Brian.
carlo62 (54986) 2013-09-14 3:42
qui c'è l'essenza dell'Arizona, uno splendido cactus su un terreno semi deserto che si protende verso il cielo infinito.
Mi sembra che manchi solo Kit Carson e i suoi amici.
yquem46 (38752) 2013-09-14 4:25
I like this one with the cactus filling all the the frame
Also a gorgeous sky that goes with it
have a nice WE, best regards
saxo042 (37966) 2013-09-14 4:39
A quite remarkable combination of a cactus and the clouds above. It almost seems as the clouds radiate from all the branches of this impressive cactus. You had indeed chosen a very good position to take this photo!
dta (82386) 2013-09-14 6:42
Hello Jason ,
You have very well chosen an attractive low POV tp present us this cactus , with a superb sky as a backdrop .
Well done .
ourania (51079) 2013-09-14 6:48
a marvellous picture, elegantly composed and iconic. Your point of view and composition are most effective and there's irresistible dynamism both on the cactus and in the sky. The ruined house and the softly lit ground balance this dynamism, the house is very intriguing and superbly placed in the frame. The textures are amazing, the light and the colours bestow an alluring "western" mood. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great weekend,
CLODO (35754) 2013-09-14 7:18
As a 3D picture, it takes a big part of the picture; good use of the wide angle with a low POV to enhance the height of this catus. The wooden hut and the dotted sky fills the remaining of the .
But where as the cow boys?
subhendu_bagchi (26089) 2013-09-14 9:21
hello, another frame from 70's. The cactus is placed nicely in the frame and showed from an angle to generate the atmosphere of this place. Superb tonal quality and nice depth. That beautiful sky on top nicely helped your composition to appears as a great shot. Tfs.
dkmurphys (64573) 2013-09-14 11:13
Genuine desert scene. I like the composition and your idea, perfect result.
Have a good weekend.
npecanhuk (78549) 2013-09-14 11:20
Very interesting and attractive picture with special regards to the chosen pov, vertical format, composition and colors!
TFS - congrats,
Enjoy your week-end,
fabbs99 (17179) 2013-09-14 20:26
Superb close up shot of the cactus plant.Fantastic sharpness and brightness. Very good management of light and sharpness.Keep sharing.
serp2000 (45858) 2013-09-14 20:27
Great! So interesting note and good illustration of this story about "Big Shaqtus". It reminds me our tennis player Kafelnikov when the reporters gave him a new nickname Kalashnikov, hinting at his rate of fire.
Excellent colors combination and fine details of that old farm on the background. TFS!
jjcordier (79297) 2013-09-14 23:31
Très bonne photo. Cadrage et composition excellents, belle lumière et superbe ciel. Très original!
marabu61 (11279) 2013-09-15 3:30
The wild wild west as one pictures it indeed, one expects John Wayne coming around the corner any minute now.
This specimen of a cactus is really impressive and dwarfes the old building behind.
have a great sunday
macondo (19806) 2013-09-15 6:11
Just read your terrific note. Actually, your acrobatics in getting this viewing angle make the cactus look much taller even than the Big Shaqtus. One barely notices the slanting horizon. I love that ancient building on the right, and of course the cotton wool sky is superb. The cactus itself, benefiting, like the sky, the earth, the old house, is judiciously saturated, and I like very much the striated highlight/shadow aspect as it reaches for the sky. An excellent picture, well explained.
jemaflor (103133) 2013-09-15 8:51
Superb ! Good angle and nice light, good effect also with the sky in the BG, interesting presentation to show this big cactus.
macjake (72555) 2013-09-15 9:39
this is my favorite photo of the bunch!
and it all has to do with the perspectives and the POV.
I know some people may not like the way the building in the bg is so twisted, but who cares! the ugly but yet somewhat cool looking cacti steals the show with its octopus-like arms wailing out as if calling for help or trying to hail a taxi! :)
love this sort of visual impact, it makes for a tremendous scene and immediately draws attention to itself.
Its for shots like this that make wide angle photography so cool!
see you around
worldcitizen (9382) 2013-09-15 9:47
Beautiful cactus "portrait". :-) The POV and warm lighting are great. The sky also has amazing cloud patterns. The whole scene is so typically western; all we need is a cowboy to pass by in the background. ;-) Very nice!
mirosu (16273) 2013-09-16 3:10
This is one I'd like to see through my camera lens. I was in Arizona-Nevada, but never met such beauty. You are lucky fellow. You have capture it from excellent perspective, great use of wide angle lens, and in superb warm light (late afternoon??). The contrast against blue (white) sky is outstanding.
I think this one of reasons to come back to your great country.
Wish you a very nice weekend.
gildasjan (43824) 2013-09-17 3:53
Très belle image de cactus pris de ce point de vue la cadre est harmonieusement rempli et c'est bien mis en valeur sous ce beau ciel.
cornejo (46782) 2013-09-17 11:52
Hi Jason, I really like this close-up of the symbol of the Wild West. Very good shot, good sharpness, nice color and light. Excellent and interesting job perfectly done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good day and happy week.
Best wishes from southern Spain.
daddo (27926) 2013-09-18 17:54
Hi Jason. A great combination of the two iconic symbols of the wild west.Superb light and a very successful composition notwithstanding or possibly because of the angle. Love the colours. Regards. Klaudio.
gervaso (16703) 2013-09-18 19:50
Beautiful picture, with wonderful colors and a very nice low POV, giving the impression that this cactus is about to touch the sky! Excellent job!
SnapRJW (31629) 2013-09-20 2:35
Hello Jason - This is a super shot. Bold and punchy with excellent movement created by the upward push of the cactus and clouds. The inclusion of the wild-west building completes a very attractive composition and adds to the "cowboy" feel. Warm regards rosemary
EstudioChispa (2178) 2013-09-20 9:12
Let me just compliment the composition, however difficult -- this is perfect!
PaulVDV (32641) 2013-09-21 0:47
Living in a northern country where it rains a bit too often, I've always been fascinated by cacti :)
This one seems gigantic.
I like your view upwards with that wonderful sky as a great backdrop.
The wooden house of the Old West is positioned well on the picture.
Best regards, Paul
Cricri (125878) 2013-09-26 5:08
Tout bon la prise en contre bas qui rend ce cactus immense, le ciel est superbe, tout comme la réalisation
Royaldevon (43407) 2013-09-27 11:54
I loved reading your notes, they put a smile on my face, from the humour of your difficult photo shoot, to the comparison with NBA player. The w/s was pretty good, too.
The cactus is so well captured, in aspect, in details and light/shadow control. It is almost impossible not to follow its uplifted arms and appreciate the lovely, cloud speckled sky.
Although the slanted horizon is not that noticeable, that wonderful old building looks like something from a cartoon.
delpeoples (59774) 2013-09-30 8:59
Just back from my European Vacation, Chevy Chase would have been proud. Excellent shot, one of your best. The colours are lovely and rich, as are the textures. I lie the "up close and personal" POV, together with the vertical frame.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day
emka (106772) 2013-10-01 23:25
Hi Jason, Amazing view of this giant Saguarao symbol of Arizona. Wonderful picture, looks very dramatic, and nice old house behind it. I have read that Serghei met you. Lucky guys! Superb shot.
I was in Saguaro national Park and later in Organ Pipe , so I saw many of these wonderful cacti.
Periko (6214) 2013-10-06 22:54
Everything here is impressive. The sky, the saguaro cactus, the old house and the colors.
kwekwekan (1078) 2013-10-12 9:54
Great angle & unique composition. You've done a fantastic job capturing the atmosphere of this dusty old ghost town.
Have a great weekend,
claudeD (41582) 2013-10-15 11:05
Very fine picture very well composed with a fine light managment and excellent sharpness. I like your pov and the wonderful clarity of the shot.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
adores (46363) 2013-10-15 16:44
Seems you got a nice series there! This is a well thought composition, with the cactus in foreground and the old western building in background. Hope you haven't taken a too big risk to take it. I really like the light and the beautiful sky.
seb1lopez (187) 2013-12-03 9:29
I would tend to say it s a classic, but a majestic one;)great pov that gives life to the cactus
phildar77360 (328) 2013-12-25 16:06
Une superbe photo.
Le grand angle rend vraiment bien ici.Il lui donne une impression de grandeur et un coté majestueux.
La lumière est très belle également ce qui renforce encore ta photo.
fritzi007 (12430) 2014-05-20 12:49
perfect shot, I am thrilled to congratulate you!
COSTANTINO (69660) 2015-04-26 11:02
Hello dear friend Jason
and have a nice new week
original version with the desert
and the cactus dynamic sky
and the wild west