The property just outside our residential development in Buckeye is “unimproved” desert. I love the term “unimproved”… how can you improve upon the natural Sonoran Desert? Less than two miles from our house, it’s but a few minutes to get there if the clouds look promising for a dramatic sunset.
Last week, Friday night was just such a night. The clouds looked promising to deliver a full on flaming sky. I was out there with both my Nikon D7000 and my ever-present Samsung S6. As it turned out, the huge fiery sky was not to be. Instead, the distant mountains did their best to shield an eerie glow. Most of the sky, retained its normal, but relatively uninspiring, dusk blue. Normally, I shoot my sunset pics at full wide-angle on my D7000, or at the normal full view on my S6. In this case, however, I used the zoom on both cameras to focus on the fiery sky. I picked one of the “zoom” shots from the S6 to feature for Cellpic Sunday. After a short editing session on my iPad, darkening the shadows under the clouds and brightening the exposure on the foreground brought out the drama that was buried in the camera’s default exposure setting.
When I first loaded the image into my iPad for editing, I realized that the horizon appears to be tilted. I couldn’t believe I held the camera so far out of whack with the horizon. When I attempted to rotate the image in the editor, however, I realized that the horizon isn’t tilted. The landscape here slopes uphill to the right. How do I know? When I leveled the terrain, the cactus in the foreground leaned heavily to the right. My original level was dead on, as can be seen by the vertical saguaro.
By way of comparison, I posted below a shot taken a few yards to the right, but at full wide-angle. I could have probably cropped this image in processing and produced similar results, but the large cactus in the foreground of the photo at the top I feel adds a better foreground element than the brittlebush in the image below, especially since most of the foreground plant would disappear in the crop.
The rule for Cellpic Sunday is simple. The image must be captured and edited with a mobile device.