Just another Arizona sunset

At first glance I would expect most people to see this photo and NOT choose Phoenix, Arizona as the location it was taken. You have some farm fields, tall trees, wildflowers and some hay protected by the sun. Definitely not something people naturally picture when it comes to Arizona and our deserts. Ah, but it is.

I photographed this last night about 1.5 miles from my house down in Chandler, which is basically on the southeastern corner of the metropolitan Phoenix area. We’re moving soon to downtown Phoenix and I’m going to miss sights like these on a few miles away. But out here, amidst the new home developments, shopping areas and industrial construction, you still have pockets of farms and agriculture thriving and hanging around. I love it.

The monsoon season hasn’t really nailed Phoenix yet, but the debris clouds have been spectacular and last night’s sunset was full of rays shining through clouds, stretching across the sky. The sunset photo I posted a few days ago ironically also had sunflowers in them, but they are really all over the place right now. I saw them here earlier in the week and knew I wanted to head back for a sunset shot whenever I got the chance.

Technically, this is a hand-held, 3-bracket HDR from Photomatix, CS5, Imagenomic and some Topaz. I Actually processed two HDRs for this, one to get the sky right, one to get the flowers and foreground a little more colorful, and then masked them together in CS5.

I also used a new lens that I purchased off Craigslist…a simple Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 Di LP SD. The price was cheap and I’ve been wanting to get a nice wide angle for portrait shooting, and one with a decently wide aperture. All the reviews of this lens, plus the sample shots, were fantastic. If anything, it’s an amazing upgrade from my 18-55mm Canon kit lens. I loved the way this shot turned out.

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  • http://www.trevordayley.com Trevor Dayley

    These pictures are amazing Mike!

  • http://www.jaytaylorphotography.com Jay Taylor

    That’s a beautiful shot Mike!
    Great vantage point, timing and the processing is spot on. Very nice work my friend.


  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/nu_husky_91/ John Tammaro

    Love the shot mike. Especially like how the rays of light lead you into the photo

  • jina

    I do love that one mile from our house there are cows and horses and orchards and desert… I will miss that.

  • http://365-moments.com Danyael Rako

    The sky it´s great! Amazing vision

  • Mike

    Thank you all for your incredibly kind comments and tweets!

  • Ali

    I just ran into your blog on accident, but that is a great photo. I’m also an AZ photographer and I totally agree with you, most people don’t realize how amazing the sunsets in Phoenix are. They’re all missing out!

  • http://www.jonasginter.de/ Jonas Ginter

    Congrats for making EC on HDRspotting. Great picture, and thank you for the description of how you processed this. Awsome work!

  • http://www.mauriceguerrieri.com Maurice


  • http://azaphotography.blogspot.com/ Ahmed Azleem

    Nice work…I love the colors very much.

  • http://www.stewartbaird.com Stewart Baird

    Wonderful shot, creative with lots of feeling.

  • http://SignatureImagery.com Chad Delany

    What an amazing shot. When you look at the larger image, it really is amazing. Congrats on making Editor’s Pick on HDR Spotting.