Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Nature Photograhy at Organ Pipe–A Waiting Game

©Bert Gildart: There is a sign at the Organ Pipe Visitor Center entitled “Always Waiting.” Though their sign referred to the various flora and fauna that inhabit the desert, the message is also germane to photographers.


Sunrises through column of organ pipes again reminding us of the "Waiting Game."

For the past few days, that’s what Janie and I have been doing, waiting; waiting for a tiny layer of haze to mute the sun so that it won’t wash out cacti. Waiting as well, for a hummingbird to buzz the red chuparosa on which I had focused.

As the sign says, it’s a waiting game, and yesterday everything came together. To render the sunrise through the clump of organ pipe I got down low so the mountains in the distance (actually in Mexico) would not dominate the bottom portion of the photograph. Then, I exposed for the sun, allowing the cacti to be silhouetted.


For the hummingbird photograph, Janie and I set the camera on a tripod and then I hand focused on the eye of the hummingbird. If I used auto focus, it might very well have selected the birds “bib” or some other portion of hummingbird.

We’re almost sure this is a Costa’s hummingbird, but have had several comments saying it could be an Anna’s. If there are any hummingbird experts, please let us know. Because the bird was flitting around so quickly from one flower to the next, we simply had to find a blossom that looked promising and then hope the bird would visit it. Simply more of the waiting game.


At long last the "Waiting Game" paid off.

At long last the bird did, and Janie and I got our photo using two SB-800 Nikon strobes. I set the on-camera strobe as the “Master” and the one Janie was hand holding as the “Remote.” These are cordless strobes and they have proven themselves over and over.

Sadly, we’re leaving Organ Pipe, moving on Tucson where happily, we’ll be rendezvousing with good friends with whom we’ve previously traveled. We’ve had mail forwarded so we’ll be spending several days simply catching up on business.



*Compassionate Water Tanks


One Response to “Nature Photograhy at Organ Pipe–A Waiting Game”

  1. Rich Charpentier Says:


    Nature photography is a waiting game. I finally saw my Big Horn Sheep, although it made my photo taking difficult. :)

    Have fun in Tucson. I’ll be heading back to Prescott tomorrow.


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