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Pictures of the Desert: A Photography How To Guide

Updated on September 1, 2011
Tucson landscape
Tucson landscape | Source

Taking pictures in the desert can get boring. If you live in a desert like Arizona or have visited often, you may grow tired of the common cactus shot and wonder what else there is to work with in the desert. Actually, taking photos in the desert is a wonderful way to train your photographer's eye and learn to see beauty in the most rugged and barren terrain.

Flowers? Really?

Yes, really. There actually are flowers in the desert! They may only bloom for a brief period, but this makes those photos you get of them even more of a treasure.

A nice close-up of flowers can help emphasize the occasional splash of color we see in this otherwise monochrome locale. Or, a wider shot with some background can give a nice contrast and make those colors really pop.

Birds of paradise blooms
Birds of paradise blooms | Source

It's all about the details

I love focusing on the details! Desert plants have otherworldly shapes and colors to them that can be interesting studies in form. Getting up close and personal with your subject provides a new perspective and possibly a deeper connection to the beauty of the desert.

Cactus fruit
Cactus fruit | Source

What's your point of view?

As with any kind of photography, sometimes changing how you actually view a thing can inspire some fantastic pictures. Look at a cactus from above and see how its arms grow seemingly at random. Getting down at ground level may reveal some beautiful shapes in the contour of the rocks and pebbles that make up the desert floor.

Palms in the desert
Palms in the desert | Source

Whatever you do, just try to be open to a new way of looking at things. The desert is nothing if not a challenge, both to live in and to understand. With some flexibility and creativity you can communicate that, along with the striking beauty that exists in the desert.


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    • amazingchild profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ


    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      These are beautiful!!!

    • amazingchild profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Thanks! I appreciate it! :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I don't live near a desert, but have enjoyed your tips on taking close up pictures, great photos!

      Many thanks for sharing, and welcome to HubPages.


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