Cottontop Cactus in Death Valley

Most people do not realize how beautiful Death Valley can be. The colors and textures can be phenomenal.

While there is not alot that grows there, at certain times of year or in certain locations in the park, awesome subjects can present themselves to be photographed.

This is a Cottontop Cactus and my wife Linda and I found it along the dirt road that leads to the Racetrack. That area seems to be one of the few locations in the park where they grow (we also saw some on the way to Ryiolite, in the Eastern part of the park). Along this road we found quite a few of these cacti and their forms and pink colors just begged to be shot. As you can see, the ground is littered with rocks, which actually adds to the whole scene and provides some additional color.

This is of course an HDR and the process tends to accentuate the colors and textures, but that is exactly the effect I was going for. To get this shot, I used my 17-40 mm lens and got real close and low. I love how the wide angle lets me do this and on a full frame camera (Canon 5D Mark 3), the wide angle is truly “wide”.



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This entry was posted in California, Death Valley, National Park, Sierra Nevada, Travel.


  1. kceuppens April 12, 2013 at 7:15 am #


  2. Sorin Mutu April 12, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    beautiful work! love it !

  3. latentsifier April 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Wonderful Picture, Group Award, Seen In :

    Thank You For Posting
    This Is An Excellent Photo!

    HDR Dreams Group
    We Have A New Five Or More Thread

    Seen in the group"HDR Dreams – Textured & HDR Photo’s Welcome (Post-1, Award-2)" ( ?² )

  4. Daniel Mennerich April 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    A wonderful hdr work! I like it!!

    This fantastic Image
    Deserves A

    HDR Lucky 7 Bronze Award


    Post 1, award 3

  5. PT Photo April 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Nice looking HDR, like all the colors!

  6. ♀Tropicaliente ♥~ April 17, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Across of the World
    Please Remember to Award 5 or more for each photo posted .

  7. Kodyak Eyeland April 18, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    ………..Spectacular image!………..
    Across of the World

  8. altzo April 20, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Wonderful Picture, Group Award, Seen In :

    Thank You For Posting
    This Is An Excellent Photo!

    HDR Dreams Group
    We Have A New Five Or More Thread

    <- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Stop At This Line – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  9. HDR-newaddict April 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    seen On ‘Naturalistic HDR’, great image, love it!

  10. Kyle Tomson June 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Hello. My name is Kyle Tomson and I’m the president of Mobile-Education Store. We develop iPad educational apps for special needs children. We are currently working on a series of apps about habitats, and are interested in using your cottontop cactus photo in our book about deserts.

    Would you have any interest in giving me permission to use your photo? It is for commercial purposes. I would give you a credit in the book in two places – right where the image appears and then again on the credits page.

    If you are interested, please email me at I’m happy to answer any questions. You can also read about us and our existing apps on our website,

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Kyle Tomson

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