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A random dirt road near the San Tans

Dead corn stalks, weeds, brown dirt, powerlines, contrails caused by airplanes overhead, mid-day sun…nothing beautiful here right?

Ah, trick question…of course it’s beautiful! This is my old stomping grounds…Gilbert Road, the San Tan Mountains in the distance…I’d sit here and look for sunsets, lightning, clouds, whatever.

I shot this back in December of last year but never really processed it until a few weeks ago. I went out that day because I had recently discovered how much the HDR process can reveal in a daytime sky filled with airplane contrails. When you stand out there with the glaring sun…it’s hard to make out the clouds. A single snap of the frame gives you the mountains and road…but the sky is obliterated. HDR allows you to pull in those awesome lines and let them interact with your foreground.

Hope you guys enjoy this one…it’s special to me for some reason. I just love the lines…the road disappearing along with the powerlines…the clouds zig-zagging…so glad I went back and found this guy.

Field of Dreams

You know those kinds movies right? You are lazying around on a Saturday or Sunday, you flip the channels, you see THAT movie, the movie that you’ll now start watching, no matter how long it’s been on, and you get sucked in each and every time.

Field of Dreams is one of those for me. There are so many cool moments in the film that build off each other, it’s easy to get pulled right into the plot. Plus, unless you are a brick-wall-of-emotions, it kinds of gets you choked up right?

“Hey dad…you wanna have  a catch?”

Oh man, gets to me every time 🙂

So it’s another Movie Title Wednesday on the MO blog and this is a picture snapped back in Ontario, Canada last December. I think I processed this once, back then, and didn’t like it, so I forgot about it. But my skills with doing HDR have drastically improved since then and this second go-round was much more fun. It’s hard to dislike the gorgeous light coming from the just rising sun that is behind me. The field is made up of dead, harvested corn stalks, which is what made me think of this movie in the first place. The water in the field, if I remember correctly, was partially ice.

The sky was okay in the shot, but a smidge boring for this weather nut who likes high drama, so I mixed in a texture I shot in Bruges, Belgium a few months back. Good tip for you travelers: If you love textures, try to pull your eyes away from the wide angle shots of the city or town you are in, and look closer at the cobblestone, or doors or windows…and find yourself a “memento” that you can take back and use with other photographs. While it’s all done digitally, there was something very cool to me with combining a photograph of a barn in Ontario with a wood texture from Bruges.

Desert Cornfields

One of the stranger things you see when you roam the Arizona desert is the occasional summer cornfield. You just don’t EXPECT a dry, arid climate to be a place you’d want to grow corn…but of course, that’s why I’m not a farmer and mostly keep cool inside my air conditioned house.

Back towards the end of August, we had a few days with fast-moving, severe storms blow through the state and this is a capture of one of them. These are the San Tan Mountains, a subject in many of my photographs. On the right horizon you can already see a dust storm blowing somewhere.

I’ve discovered my 17-35mm Tamron glass definitely “squashes” things a bit, as I remember these monsoon storm towers being a lot taller in person than they ended up being in this picture.

Tonight/tomorrow appears to be a last gasp for some good monsoon weather, so praying for lightning, rain, clouds and good storm structure!