The Southern part of Arizona is home to the Sonoran desert and the famous Saguaro cactus. These huge grandfathers of the desert are quite impressive, some of them standing more than 10 meters tall age more than 100 years. For me these are a symbol of the southwest USA, something burned into my memory as a child watching countless Western movies. In Arizona the Saguaros are protected by state law, it is actually illegal to harm them in any way.

The real trick for me as with the Joshua Trees is finding a few that I can isolate in a composition with a nice background. Nature is messy. Takes a lot of walking, fortunately I enjoy hiking. Just be very careful not to walk into these things, them needles are sharp! I walked into a low one as I was looking at clouds. Aw! And it is a cliché shot to shoot them silhouetted against the sunset, but it looks good! Here’s one from a sunset in the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. This impressive cactus is at least 8 meters tall.

saguaro arizona - blog 

There is not much to shooting an image like this. Took hours to find the composition though. Then I sat down with a book and enjoyed the tranquility waiting for Mother Nature to turn on the light show. That she did! Your only worry is blowing out the red channel, be careful and underexpose about 2 stops. And don’t walk into these things!

I am presently in New Mexico, state of the Wide Open Spaces and on my way to White Sands desert. More to come.


13 thoughts on “Saguaros of Arizona

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Tony Middleton 11 years ago

    Another great read Flemming – It would be an amazing landscape to experience and photograph (nicely done BTW).

    Happy traveling 🙂

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 11 years ago

      Thanks very much Tone! I am quite taken aback by how beautiful the landscape is here in the Southwest US.

  2. kseverny 11 years ago

    i really like the way this shot is set up.
    nicely done

  3. truenorthmark 11 years ago

    Sweetg shot mate…worth the time to hunt down the composition fro sure!

  4. MatthewSaul 11 years ago

    Cool shot. I like it how you can see the other cacti in the background and the curves of the mounds. Worth the treck for sure!
    Cheers Matt

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 11 years ago

      glad you appreciate that Matthew, that's why it took so long to hunt down that composition with the rocks and the other cacti in the background etc.

  5. trvljunky 11 years ago

    Glad to see your trip is going well and yielding you some nice pics! Have a great time in NM. I am heading there for the balloon festival this fall and cant wait! Travel well and be safe.

  6. Markus 11 years ago

    I second everybody :o). Great shot! Once again you're at the right place at the right time and captured what must have been a great moment. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Andrew Brown 11 years ago

    Looks like a busted old hand pointing up to the sky……or E.T….beautiful siloette though.

  8. Stephen Williams 11 years ago

    looks like your kinda place man. well worth the wait as it's paid off big time- cliche image or not! 🙂

    thanks for the image of you walking into one… made me chuckle 😛