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.”