Sonoran Desert National Monument, Part One

My parents now have a winter home in the Phoenix area, so last January we stayed with them for a week or so and loved it. The pleasant temperatures, sunshine, and lack of wind made it easy to understand the annual migration of the “snowbirds.”

In addition to tennis, while there I wanted to do some desert landscape photography, so my mother and I drove down to the Sonoran Desert National Monument just south of Phoenix. Below is one of the first shots from that evening’s hike.

Cacti in Saguaro Forest in Sonoran Desert National Monument, Arizona, 2011
Saguaro Forest in Sonoran Desert National Monument, 2011 • Nikkor 16-35mm @ 16mm

Because of the immense dynamic range of this scene, I opened the 16-bit raw file in Photoshop and used the HDR Toning command to reveal detail in the shadow areas. I also made numerous other minor adjustments, including removing some jet contrails with the Healing Brush tool.

Fortunately we were there on a weeknight so there weren’t other people around. My only real concern was inadvertently aggravating a scorpion or rattlesnake. That and finding ourselves a mile away from the vehicle when night fell. Hiking back to the car in the dark desert didn’t sound too wise.

More to come!

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One Response to “Sonoran Desert National Monument, Part One”

  1. Marly

    Wish I could have been there too. Beautiful scenery…and great company too!


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