Sometimes I think the Sonoran Desert must be one of the most difficult places in the world to put together an effective landscape photo composition. When I’m out there exploring and looking for compelling subjects, I’m often faced with a chaotic environment of multiple objects that interfere with my view (your view). Some areas are surprisingly thick with vegetation—branches reaching every which way—creating distractions from my intended subject. Many times the cactus can be less than photogenic. Birds can damage the Giant Saguaro to the point where entire segments can weaken enough to fall off. After a heavy rain, Barrel cactus can absorb so much water that they can topple over onto their sides. They soon take on a deflated, blackened appearance.
The scene above was probably the easiest composition I’ve ever put together. I was exploring a new area and trying to get close to those mountains in the distance. As I made my way down the trail, I rounded a bend and saw this picturesque stand of healthy Giant Saguaro with almost nothing obstructing the view. It’s almost a caricature of what most people picture when they think of the desert!