Brittlebush & Slot Canyon Wall, Anza Borrego

Brittlebush & Slot Canyon Wall, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. February 2013.
Brittlebush & Slot Canyon Wall, Calcite Mine area, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. February 2013. Prints available.

A rather minimal, “still life” image from the desert. I like the quiet and contemplative nature of this photo. In one of the countless photography books (about composition, design, the photographic eye, and whatnot) I’ve read that our eyes/brain somehow likes making connections, and a triangle shape seems to be among the most favorable. The bush itself has an almost triangular shape, and when it’s connected with the two granite rocks that are half-buried in the sand, it forms another triangle. It also seems that the diagonal pattern in the background, as a “positive rise” (from left to right, like the way we read) is a design feature that pleases our eye and perception. The question remains whether all this is natural, or the result of reading too many photography books. :)

This is a “relatively” straight forward digital black & white conversion. The most important part of this particular appearance is the application of a blue filter emulation, which rendered the ochre colored canyon wall very dark. Increasing the luminance of the green and cyan channel gave the Brittlebush this almost white, infrared-like appearance. Finishing steps included a little bit of classic dodge and burn to address hot bright spots and areas that were too dark.

I won the Anza Borrego Foundation’s 2014 Desert Photo Contest with this image, in the Black & White category. Here’s what judge Donna Cosentino had to say: “This elegant image has its own unique power. The luminescent tones are reminiscent of a darkroom print… lush and rich. It has wonderful emphasis on texture and composition. The fact that such a simple subject could capture Alexander and make us, the viewers, bring our attention to this little bit of life against a canyon wall is a strong statement of vision.”

PRINTS: open edition fine art prints of Brittlebush & Slot Canyon Wall, Anza Borrego are available directly in my print-on-demand store (together with canvas prints, metal prints, acrylic prints, and greeting cards).

LICENSING: please contact me referencing photo ID "Desert-Brittlebush-bw-3117" to discuss your intended usage. More information is on my photo licensing information page.

Prints and licensed images are not watermarked.

4 thoughts on “Brittlebush & Slot Canyon Wall, Anza Borrego”

  1. Congratulations, Alexander! It IS elegant. I really like the two whitish rocks(?) left of lower center. That’s another element of interest for me.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Jeff. Yes, they’re rocks. Granite pebbles, to be precise. The bedrock is a conglomerate of sandstone with granite inclusions. Erosion washes away the soft sandstone and releases the granite, which then gets washed down the canyons and rounded by flash floods. Probably a process that takes more time than we humans can possibly fathom…

      Reply

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