Sajuaro National Park is a very cool place to photograph! A very diverse plant population, Native American petroglyphs, and beautiful desert light.
I passed through a few weeks ago and had about 2 afternoons to explore and photograph. The light was perfect and then it wasn’t. You know how it works: you want overcast and the sky is clear. You want clear skies and it’s overcast. No worries, there is no such thing as bad light, right!
In Sajuaro West, I was driving the road and hoping for blooming cactus but I was to early. I believe, at least this year, that mid_April to May will be the best time for blooming cactus. At least that is my guess.
The Ocotillo were doing well however, so I looked hard at those and I did find one blooming Hedgehog Cactus. As you can see it was overcast skies and I worked within the limits of that light. This image still has directional light or that back-lit feel and the image benefits from the softer contrast.
This is the Hedgehog Cactus that I found blooming, the only one. I was very happy to find this one blooming, anything blooming, but I have since found hillsides of them blooming (mtk). I shot it and was happy at the time, but in hindsight I am not that fond of all the clutter; the grasses and such.
This next image shows where the cactus was sitting: at the base of a Cholla that was not exciting either.
To make this a bit more interesting I processed it to make the overall image darker then lightened the cactus some in hopes it pops out a bit more.
The point is that you don’t always get perfect conditions so you make do with what you get and then process the image in a manner that hopefully results in a pleasing result.