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Thread: Giant Saguaro

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
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    Giant Saguaro

    The giant saguaro is a cactus that takes about 75 years to grow its first branch (also called an arm). Some live about 150 years.

    I captured these images on color slide film in Arizona in 2001 and recently converted them. These first attempts at photographing them are reasonably straightforward, as I had little time to be creative. I'll be returning in six months to the same area and will have more time, so I appreciate any helpful C&C that you can provide.


    Giant Saguaro



    Giant Saguaro



    Giant Saguaro



    Giant Saguaro

  2. #2

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    Oct 2011
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Helen Wood

    Re: Giant Saguaro

    I really like these in B&W. It seems to emphasize the harshness of the environment. Really like the lighting on the second one, the way the tops of the arms and the 'armpits' are highlighted but I do find the truncation of the main stalk abit distracting though. Not sure what you could do about it - maybe crop even more from the top so that some other stalks are also go at least to the top of the frame? Just a thought - no idea if it would work

  3. #3

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    Re: Giant Saguaro

    I understand your issue about the second one, Helen. I think the only reasonable choice is to look for similar lighting and better compositions when I return next year.

  4. #4

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    Jul 2012
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    Rollin E. Drew

    Re: Giant Saguaro

    Converting color to B&W in the digital medium (even with a lot of button pushing in Photoshop) is always difficult and to me never seems quite as contrasty[sic] as film. You have achieved a beautiful example of how B & W photography should look. I particularly like the composition of the third image. What scanning equipment were you using? I may run out and buy some film, which I have not done in years.

  5. #5

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    Re: Giant Saguaro

    Glad you like them, Rollin! I'm also partial to the third one.

    All of my scans were done by ScanCafe.com at 3000 dpi using Nikon Coolscan scanners saved to JPEG. I think it was the Coolscan 9000 but I could be wrong about the exact model.

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