Varieties of the cholla cactus are common in the southern Utah desert.
While I don't usually consider them spectacular subjects for
photography, there is one condition where they shine and take over the
spotlight. And that is in late afternoon when the plant is backlit by
the sun and highlights the needles or spines. As a bonus, positioning
my camera in just the right place will create some beautiful bokeh and
sunflare, highlighting the cactus even more. I use these techniques
with many varieties of cactus to help turn what would otherwise be a
drab and ordinary scene into something more interesting.