07-18-13 Prickly Pear

2013 07-18 Prickly Pear by Scott Shephard

Anyone driving along the forest service road I used to get to this photo location would have wondered why a man was lying prone near an old, dead tree at 5:45 am this morning. But nobody else was likely to do that. In fact I could lie prone for the whole day and not be seen.

My mission this morning was to photograph rocks and trees in an area I hadn’t photographed before. But in my quest for the perfect shot, I discovered a small colony of prickly pear cactus growing by a weathered tree. And so my mission changed.

Fortunately, I had my 100mm macro with me and I was able to get up close and personal with a plant you wouldn’t think would thrive in the Black Hills National Forest. What I liked about the subjects in this photo were the rich, monotone textures of the weathered wood and the spiny, crisp edges and lines of the cactus. I also liked the vibrant green of the cactus juxtaposed against the dull, gray tree branch.

Canon 5DIII 1/6s f/18.0 ISO250 100mm

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