Dean M. Chriss
Desert Bloom, Sunset, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
(Click image to enlarge)
Each spring the deserts of southern Arizona burst into bloom, and the bloom was exceptional when this photograph was taken in the spring of 2005. This image shows yellow brittlebrush and blue desert lupine blooming among cholla and saguaro cactus under a blazing desert sunset. An attempt to get this photograph the previous day using split neutral density filters failed miserably. The brightness difference between foreground and sky was extreme and the straight line transition zone of such a dark split filter ruined ruined the image no matter how it was positioned. The image above is the result of taking one photograph that properly exposes the sky, immediately taking another that properly exposes the foreground, and then blending the two exposures for a final image.