Anza Borrego Barrel Cactus Sunrise 1Posted on
This is my favorite image from my recent 10 day trip to California. I spent the first half of my trip in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The wildflowers were not blooming as I had hoped, but I still put in a few days effort scouting, hiking, & patiently waiting for something interesting to happen at sunrise. On my third day, I awoke to my ideal lighting conditions. In the pre-dawn light I could see stars over the desert to the east and the faint glow of the approaching sunrise. To the west, clouds hovered patiently over the mountains eagerly anticipating the first golden rays of sunlight. I drove up to the park visitor center, grabbed my gear, and headed straight towards the base of the hills. I spent about 20 minutes searching for the perfect foreground for the wide-angle shot that I envisioned that included the mountain & cloud background. Once I found this group of 4 barrel cactus, I had my total composition. All I had to do was wait a few more minutes for the clouds to light up, which gave me enough time to refine my tripod placement, test my depth of field, and perfectly place my Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer & 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density Filter.