Wild Cactus under Mt. Whitney at Sunrise, CA
I stopped at Lone Pine during my road trip from California to Texas and didn't miss out visiting the Alabama Hills first in the evening and then next morning. The evening visit helped me scout locations and also find how the reach the famed 'arches' in the Alabama Hills. I also spotted wild cactus flowering and envisioned the image of cactus under the lit Sierra range at Sunrise.
Next morning, I reached the Whitney's Arch at 4:50 am only to find 3 more photographers there. I was the last one to claim some space there and people who came after me just left disappointed. With the Sun hitting Mt. Whitney, I shot the classic shot of Alpenglow framed by the arch (post for another day) and then quickly found my 'cactus'. The light was changing rapidly and I quickly composed the scene, used a Singh-Ray 3 stop soft neutral grad filter to hold the bright mountains against the cactus and made this photo.
Post processing involved normal raw file processing, minor dodging and burning the filter transitions followed by mild sharpening and conversion to jpeg.