Firey Cactus

Firey Cactus

While in Paso Robles for a big birthday mini-vacation for my roommate I woke up early to take photos of the lunar eclipse that was occurring Saturday morning on December 10th, 2011. Unfortunately for us clouds had rolled in and blocked the eclipse just as it was getting good (just as the moon was about to go red). Luckily that cloud coverage meant that Id get a colorful sunrise Boy was a I right

The sun started to rise just above the finger of the lake in the left part of this photo. Originally I put my D700 on the tripod and decided to pull out the Lee Big Stopper and see if I could get some neat cloud movement with a composition focused mostly on the lake and hills behind it. Although there was some nice color I noticed the wonderful shape of the clouds over the taller hills to the right. I had hoped that as the sun rose it would light up the clouds on the right as well. They lit up just at the beginning of my 5 minute exposure of the other composition while the 5 minute exposure was clicking away I decided to explore a little more and found this cactus that I knew would be a perfect shot not that all the clouds were lit up. Sadly, by the time the 5 minute exposure ended and I ran over to my new spot the color started to die down ;( I managed to capture this just before the color disappeared and was replaced with a normal bluefish sky.

Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S
22mm, f/13, sec, ISO 320, Tripod
Lee Filter Holder 0.9 HiTech soft grad ND 0.9 HiTech reverse ND

Aaron M Written by:

Aaron Meyers is a landscape and wedding photographer living in Silicon Valley, CA. His love of the outdoors makes for frequent forays into the Californian wilds, where he delights in the stunning vistas of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and the Pacific Coast.