Thursday, January 06, 2011

"Blue Agave"

Blue Agave

"Blue Agave"
©David A. Ziser

Boy…. do I wish it was truly a Blue Agave cactus.  I made this image a few years ago while visiting Sedona, AZ.  We had taken one of the Pink Jeep tours into the mountains and at one of the stops I grabbed this quick photo of the agave plant.

This image has quite a history.  I have had it featured at Imagekind for a few years now.  About two years ago we got a call for an Ad agency about using it as wall décor in a pub.  The deal went through and now this image is displayed at some pub over in England – trouble is I don’t know what pub.  Maybe some of our Great Britain DPT readers have seen it ;~)

A few months ago we received a call from another ad agency that had seen the image.  They wanted to use it for a new Tequila that was going to hit the market this year and wanted complete rights to the image. OK, are you ready for the rest of the story – We asked their budget, them hem-hawed a bit said it was rather small but they could go $10,000 for the image.  You heard it right $10 GRAND!!!

I was blown away.  They said there was just one issue – it wasn’t a Blue Agave cactus so they would have to retouch in the real thing.  Did I care? Heck no!  Just send the cash! We went back and forth for about two weeks just trying to stay in touch.  The rest of the story, alas, they found a different image with a real Blue Agave cactus.  So near, yet so far – it was fun while it lasted ;~)

This image is still one of my favorite black and white images.  The Sigma wide angle really makes the composition work significantly dramatizing the cactus in the foreground.  I tweaked the tonal range in Photoshop and removed a few tourists on the hillside to get the final result.  Who ever thought a vacation image could be so valuable….. well, almost.

Camera specs: Canon 5D fitted with Sigma 12-24mm lens at 12mm, F8.0 @ 1/100 second, ISO 400. Enjoy!  -David


  1. I just recieved your book "Captured By The Light" the other day and when my wife was thumbing through she stopped, put the book down, and said: "the wedding photographs are some of the best I've ever seen... but I think he should make photographs for food". I looked at her funny and asked why. Her response was simple: "the cake photographs make me really want a piece of cake." Who knows David, maybe you have a calling you never knew about? Always a pleasure to read your posts.

  2. Hi David! Where did you have the image of the cactus so it could be seen by the ad agency? Just curious. Thanks! Larry

  3. Cool shot Ziser:) Very nice ..

  4. Hello, David. Love your site (first time to post, though), and love your book and videos on Kelby Training. I am sure you are a very busy man, but I was hoping you could answer a question for me. I see lots of shots on your site taken with the Sigma 12-24. All the shots look great, and they look sharp, too. How are the full-sized images? Are they sharp? I have heard a lot on the Internet about how this lens is very wide, but not too sharp. What do you think about it? I shoot a D700 and am torn between this lens, the 14-24, and the 16-35VR.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this overly long post.