Cholla Skeleton – Avra Valley, Arizona, USA
Nikon D3 DSLR (employing Live View mode for accurate focus), AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D, Nikon MC-20 remote cable electronic shutter release, exposure: f/18.0, 1/60 sec., ISO 200, exposure index: 0, exposure mode: Manual, tripod: Manfrotto 3221, with Manfrotto 3047 studio head.
lighting: 2 Elinchrom EL-500 studio flash units, one with a ten degree grid on camera right, and one with a 20 degree grid on camera left. Both flash units were positioned at a 80 degree angle to the subject to bring out the texture of the wood. A flag was used for each flash to avoid light spilling onto the backgound (black seamless paper).
There are many possibilities as to what this image might portend so let your imagination run wild. Here’s my story (without revealing its significance for me): I was hiking up a wash in the Arizona desert with my immediate family. The purpose of the hike was to scatter my father’s ashes at the base of the same saguaro cactus where we scattered my mother’s ashes years ago. The location is near one of their favorite picnic spots. On the way back I noticed this piece of sun bleached cholla skeleton lying in the sand at the edge of the wash. Immediately taken with it, I decided to bring it home with me and it finally ended up on the product table in my Downtown Los Angeles studio. Being an ardent environmentalist, I will return it to its original resting ground the next time I visit that spot.