The saguaro cactus is the iconic cactus of the Sonoran Desert. Locals are saying that with the mild warm winter in the American Southwest the saguaro is blooming early. Yesterday I saw thousands of saguaro flowering in Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, Arizona.
These cactus can grow over 40 feet tall and live more than 200 years. Most visitors view the cactus from ground level. I used a special wireless camera rig that allowed me to look down on the saguaro from above. I've discovered there's always a unique perpective with aerials.
I usually don't get excited about new gear unless it's the latest new camera, but I just ordered another new packraft from Alpacka, I have two now. I plan to pick it up at the Alpacka shop in Mancos, Colorado and I'll have it just as the temps start warming up for boating in Australia. The new boat is yellow and has yet to be named. Any ideas for a name that doesn't include the word banana or lemon cream puff?
This is packrafting in yellow boats on the Picton River this past year.
Click the link below or (here) to view images I made for a story feature Broken Hill: After the Rains published this month in Australia Geographic magazine. The Australian outback around Western New South Wales and the Darling River Basin look very different now following months of local heavy rains and flood waters flowing from Queensland. The best part about this assignment was the chance to witness a once in a lifetime phenomenon and a desert transformed. When shooting the aerial photos for this story I discovered every dry lake bed filled with water, the rivers over their banks and the red desert turned green. And it appears the continued flooding in Queensland will bring even more water to the desert.
This is a photo I took on a USAir flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix. We had just leveled out at 30,000 feet over the Mojave Desert in Nevada. The light was luminous with a deep blue sky contrasting with the desert below a stark graphic of broad valleys and dry barren mountains receeding into a haze. Since the flight was uncrowded I checked several windows to find the clearest window. Then it was just a matter of composing the frame as we cruised along at 600 mph.
When I fly on commercial flights I usually book a window seat. Sometimes I even check Google Earth to figure out which side of the plane will have the best views. I find most mid-day flights offer a photographer bland flat light, but this was not the case on this uncrowded evening flight. Nikon D-300s with a 35mm 1.8 lens. camera settings were 1000 sec f7 iso 200