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Into the Wild

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40 f/4 l, exposure blend // buy print)

I’ve had a couple of friends lately tell me they miss Movie Title Wednesdays on my blog, and it kind of made me realize I do too. I haven’t done one in a few months now, but we’re back and better than ever!

If you haven’t heard about the story of Christopher McCandless, than I suggest you rent the film Into the Wild, starring Emile Hirsch. The movie is based off the book of the same title written by Jon Krakauer. I would highly recommend the book too, maybe even before you see the movie. It’s an amazing tale of a guy who sells everything, gives all his money to charity and hitchhikes his way to Alaska to live in the wilderness.

It’s a true story and one that will grip you until the end. He made such an impact on people along the way, that author Krakauer was able to piece together his journey from interviews with those people, plus friends and family. Check it out!

So my wife picked out the title today because the one I had before was horrible. She brought up a good point though about my struggle to find a good one: I shoot so many road shots, at some point, movie titles aren’t going to work as I don’t like to repeat them and never have before.

But for today…Into the Wild kind of fits here. This is a stretch of the Beeline Highway headed towards Payson. This long, downward straightaway into this valley has always been a favorite of mine as long as I can remember. It’s just kind of suddenly THERE when you aren’t expecting it.

I’ve always wanted to do it justice and this day back on March 19th was perfect. We’d just had some winter storms blow through (in fact, there is snow falling on some of the distant mountains), the clouds were astounding and the fading sunlight mesmerizing.

It took some time to get this though…it’s a busy highway and finding a time with no one behind or ahead of me wasn’t easy. Luckily I had about 1/4 – 1/2 mile warning of oncoming vehicles, although when they are going 75-80mph, that’s not a ton of distance!

Sunset out at Four Peaks

(please click to view larger on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40 f4 l, 17mm, iso 100, f/22, blended brackets // buy print)

Before heading out last Monday to try for a sunset out on Four Peaks after a big winter storm blew through, I hadn’t shot anything “landscapey” for over a month. Was a long drought and it felt good to be out there again.

So like I said, a huge storm hit Arizona this past Sunday and Monday, leaving the high country blanketed in snow. Everyone in the world knew Four Peaks would be included in that, and I believe everyone in the world was out there on Monday evening. Not only a few photographers I know, but a whole herd of others. Never seen it quite like that before.

I tried to separate myself from all of them by driving further than I ever had before, to get someplace new and different. My main objective was to find a spot where a cactus would still be catching that last bit of sunlight while at the same time capturing some color in the sky.

The sunset we all wanted didn’t exactly show up, but the clouds here were worth the trip for me. And there was still a bit of color in them as well.