For tonight’s post I’ve returned to South Mountain and the great outdoors. When we visited there last Sunday just after the storm front moved through, I was expecting it to be totally overcast, but in true Arizona fashion, the sun began to burn through the clouds by early afternoon.
I used my 14-24mm wide angle zoom to capture this shot of the saguaro in seven brackets for HDR processing. It was pretty windy that day, but fortunately on this side of the hill there was only a slight breeze, so I got just a faint amount of ghosting from the ocotillo branches on the right.
Interesting story on this shot: When we got out of the car with the camera and tripod and started to hike up the hill, we suddenly heard gunshots. There were multiple shots, and they were very close by. If you know anything about Arizona, you know that (1) we have very liberal gun laws, and (2) we have a lot of people who carry guns openly. Andy and I just froze in place for a moment or two until we heard laughter close by. We decided to hike on up the hill, and then the shots started again. Call us crazy, but we kept walking but kept our heads down. Finally we got to where we could see three people at the bottom of the hill doing some kind of target shooting with a handgun. The kid that was shooting the gun didn’t look all that old, and his two companions appeared to be possibly his parents.
We tried to avoid eye contact from our position up on the hill. I certainly didn’t want to point the camera in that direction and have them misinterpret our intentions. They finally packed up and left about the same time that we did, after firing off at least 40-50 rounds while we were there. I don’t know what the regulations are in South Mountain Park, but I can’t imagine this is legal. In fact, I tweeted about it that afternoon, and I included the hashtag #guns in my tweet. And wouldn’t you know it, now I’m getting all these new followers (from bots, I’m sure), all telling me about the fantastic guns they’ve bought/sold/discovered. I’m blocking them all.
Oh, well, I’m really enjoying having more brackets to play with on these HDR’s. My Nikon D5000 would only shoot three brackets (auto-bracketed) at a time, but my D700 will shoot up to nine brackets. Not sure I need that many, but it’s nice to have options. Only problem is that the additional shots eat up space on my memory card as well as my hard drive. I’ll have to be much more disciplined about deleting those shots that I know I’m never going to use.
Looks like there’s another weather front moving this way for the weekend, so there’s a distinct possibility I’ll be out shooting clouds again. I love this time of the year here in Arizona!
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Breathtaking capture, Zann. Beautifully processed.
I really love all those small details. It is amazing what a great HDR process can do.
Beautiful capture Suzanne. Agreed: the gun laws here, and those who exploit them, can be both frustrating and dangerous. I feel sure that shooting in a municipal park is illegal.
Nice job Suzanne!
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