Heavenly

Simple shot of a small church taken at Apache Junction, AZ near Superstition Mountain.

Church

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The Valley of the Sun

Shot at the same time and from the same place as the previous post; Dobbins Point on South Mountain overlooking Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly after I shot this and left the mountain, rain and hail started coming down in sheets. It doesn’t rain here in AZ very often, but when it does, it doesn’t play around. Traffic on the interstate I take home slowed from 70 mph to about 10 mph, with visibility limited to about 5 feet in front of your vehicle. It was pretty awesome!

Valley of the Sun

Until next time, God bless and good shooting!

Rainy Day

Today has been a rainy day, but I simply couldn’t just sit around the house all day and do nothing. So, I grabbed my four year old boy and headed up to South Mountain again to see if maybe I could get some shots of the city down below, the dramatic cloudy skies up above, and some interesting play between shadows and light. While I was there, I happened to notice this tree. Well, in Arizona we call this a “tree.” In other places like Oregon where my brother lives this would probably only qualify as a “weed.” It’s only about a foot and a half taller than I am, not very big at all. Still, for some reason I thought it looked pretty cool. I also thought I would try practicing a little focus stacking. The reason for this is simply that my lens (the Sigma 70mm) is at its most sharp at about f8 / f9, which doesn’t get the entire scene into focus. So I took several different shots at different focal lengths and blended them in Photoshop. It didn’t work out as well as I had hoped, mostly because of the difficulty in masking out around the tree and bushes. I actually have a capture with the city in focus, but I didn’t have the patience to paint in a mask around every little leaf and branch.

Tree

Until next time, God bless and good shooting!

Fail

This is another shot taken on South Mountain, and I have to say I am very disappointed with the results. This is a great example of what happens when you don’t listen to your instincts. In this case, I was feeling a bit rushed to try and find a shot on a new trail that I hadn’t hiked before when I came across another of these stone structures on a relatively high peak. With the sun quickly setting, I hurried to hike up to this spot, then hurried to get the camera set up, then hurried the lighting. The end result is a shot that truly suffers from poor composition. I think I either should have included less by focusing closer on the stone structure, or included more by doing a panorama to showcase more city lights off to camera right. I also should have taken more time to get better lighting on the ground all around, to really bring the scene to life rather than having so much black negative space. So there you go, kiddos; let this be a lesson to you to take your time whenever possible.

Whoops

Until next time, God bless and good shooting!

Pastel Shell

After a too-long bout with illness, I finally felt up to shooting again today. Nothing fancy, I didn’t even go outdoors. Just grabbed a shell that was laying around doing absolutely nothing and put it to good use.

Pastel Ridges

Reach

Slope

Lots of pastel goodness! Well, until next time, God bless and good shooting!

Splash of Color

The previous post in monochrome made me long for some vibrant colors, so I dug out some “old” photos to see what I could find. Viola! Flowers are always good for dramatic color!

Orange

Pink/Purple

Until next time, God bless and good shooting!

Snow!

A new post, at long last! Took this photo about a week ago, and while it may not seem like much, to a desert dweller this is nothing short of amazing. Snow! Living here in the valley, this is about the second time I’ve ever seen snow this close to home. Alas, I could not get any closer to get a better shot, as this area is one of the largest drug corridors in the country, and the sheriff’s department patrols here in full body armor and automatic weapons, trying to catch the bad guys while chasing off hikers and photographers alike. It’s too bad, really, because how many chances will I have to shoot snow in a year? This was most likely my only opportunity. Oh well. It may not be an Ansel Adams, but it is kind of a small miracle.

Snow on Tabletop

 

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