Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More Saguaros from the southwest

Saguaro National Park
DF/IQ160 55mm LS , f/5.6 1/320 ISO 50
We shared a couple of images already of the "Old Man" which is a saguaro on its way to checking out.  A "typical" saguaro can take up to 75-years before it develops a side arm and for those who are wondering, a saguaro without arms is called a spear.  People who know saguaros say that they can live to be as old as 150-years.
Near San Manuuel, Arizona
1DsIII 70mm f/11 1/125 ISO 100

We decided to take the effort and photograph as many saguaros as we can this year with plans to do such at least once per month travel schedule permitting.
An old grove near San Manuel Arizona
DF/IQ160 Maniya 120mm f/4 1/100 ISO 50
Near San Manuel, Arizona
DF/IQ160 Mamiya 120mm f/8 1/100 ISO50
The saguaro is as much a part of the southwest as old black & white cowboy movies.  We are fortunate to live in the Tucson area where we have a large concentration of saguaros.  There's actually a national park for saguaros in 2-places in Tucson, Saguaro National Park East and West with the western portion within an hours drive of us.
Near San Manuel, Arizona
DF/IQ160 Mamiya 120mm  f/4 1/100 ISO 50
We found this scene as we were driving back onto hard pavement near San Manuel close to sunset.  This image has been printed and will very shortly be offered for sale in our web gallery.
"Saguaro Forest"
18x36 printed on canvas
DF/IQ160 Mamiya 120mm f/4 1/60 ISO 50
We live approximately 30-minutes north of Tucson near the small communities of Catalina and Oracle  and enjoy see saguaros in the area.  A little further north of us is an old mining town called San Manuel which Don likes to say has land that should be called Saguaro National Park West however no one has asked him and we get to keep the area to ourselves.
Saguaro National Park - West
1DsIII 24mm f/6.3 1/125 ISO 100

Typical vegetation we need to go through to capture an image.
1DsIII 70mm f/8 1/125 ISO 100
While this may look like a fish net or hair net it's really a decaying saguaro.
1DsIII 70mm f/8 1/125 ISO 100
"Frame work"
1DsIII 70mm f/8 1/125 ISO 100
"Inside a decaying saguaro"
DF/IQ160 Mamiya 120mm f/8 1/80 ISO 200
Image processing: 
First we need to speak about the equipment used.  Sandy used her Canon 1DsIII and the newer Canon EF24-70 lens.  She just replaced her lens with the newer "improved" lens and so far everything looks good, except.  Except we're noticing a little bit of vignetting when set at 24mm and the lens hood is attached.  We'll be watching that in the coming days.
Saguaro National Park West
1DsIII 70mm f/11 1/125 ISO 100
Don used his Phase One DF attached to the Phase One IQ160 digital back and a combination of a 55mm leaf shutter and Mamiya 120 macro (manual focus) lenses.  While there's no surprises with the 55mm the 120 has turned out to be a great landscape lens as well as one for macro work.
Saguaro National Park West
DF/IQ160 Mamiya 120mm f/5.6 1/160 ISO 200
The images shown here where all processed first using Capture One 7.02 before opening in Photoshop CS6 where further processing was done before saving to jpeg.
 Saguaro National Park West
1DsIII 47mm f/6.3 1/125 ISO 100
And finally, a close up of a live, very healthy saguaro.

DF/IQ160 120mm f/5.6 1/80 ISO 100
And a note on shooting conditions.  The images posted were taken over a span of 2-separate days.  We experienced heavy overcast, chilly days with periods of heavy rain and light drizzle.  Both camera system worked flawlessly.

One of the things we enjoy is seeing who spots the first saguaro on our way home from a trip.

As always thank you for allowing us to share with you and remember your thoughts, comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Sandy & Don




Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Old Man

Cambo WRS/IQ160 Schneider 35mm
f/11 1/180 ISO 50

For those who don't know what a Saguaro is let us offer the following brief description....

A Saguaro is "a large, tree-sized cactus species in the monotypic gens Carnegegiea, which can grow to be over 20 meter (~70 ft) tall." ( click here for more information.) 

Canon 1DsIII EF24-70 II, 53mm
f/14 1/125 ISO 50
Saguaros are native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and are abundant in the Tucson area where we live.  They can also be found in Sonora, Mexico as well as in the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County of California.

Canon 1DsIII EF24-70 II, 24mm
f/13 1/125 ISO 50

The "Old Man" was found south of Tucson and while dead or dying still stands well over 8-ft tall.

One of the many things we love about looking at Saguaros is that like snowflakes no two look the same.   We've also learned that even in death they can take on a presence all their own.  Don likes to call the Saguaro "Cactus People".  We plan to add more Saguaros as the year goes so stay tuned.

Sandy & Don

Saturday, January 5, 2013

News for 2013

The IT Department (Don) of Iron Creek Photography™ has been busy this year with revamping our web gallery from the slower flash-based to a much faster html-based.  The new site not only looks better, it loads faster and will offer more, such as the ability to place an order directly from the site.  We're close to switching over so stay tuned for more developments.

Iron Creek Photography™ is also in the process of being registered and will shortly change from ™ to ®.

We wish everyone the very best in the coming year.

Don & Sandy