Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 28, 2009

Hot Enough for Lizards

Filed under: composition, favorite places, light, Non Birds, technique — richditch @ 2:33 pm
Desert Spiny Lizard

Desert Spiny Lizard

While we watch TV reports of snow in the midwest we also are watching our own thermometers push towards 90 degrees here in Phoenix. We’ve already had a couple days this month in the mid 80’s, and there’s a chance we’ll break 90 tomorrow on March 1. And once that happens the weather reporters will focus on the next milestone of triple digits.

As a person whose roots are in northwestern Pennsylvania, with equal time on the mid Atlantic coast of New Jersey, my 15 years here in Phoenix still haven’t acclimated me to these absurd temperatures, and certainly not this early in the year. It will mean my time out looking at and photographing the birds that are my main subject material will diminish greatly, along with bird activity. And even early in the morning I’ll be about as likely to find lizards as I will birds when I do head out to shoot. We’ve already seen a couple in our yard, so the season of the lizards is starting.

This Desert Spiny Lizard was photographed along the trails at the Desert Botanical Gardens on July 2, 2006, with the D200, 300/2.8 and TC20E 2x converter, at ISO 200, 1/60th at f/5.6, with fill flash to soften the desert light. It was early enough that the lizard was more interested in catching the heat of the morning sun than of hiding from me as I fumbled with the tripod and attaching the flash.

If this was a bird photo I’d likely be criticized for not leaving enough room on the bottom left for the unseen portion of the lizard’s body, but I feel this is a better balanced composition with the lizard’s head near the “power point” at the top left. Keeping the lens wide open at f/5.6 has helped blur the details in the background to simplify the composition while still retaining the natural desert colors.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: