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Flowers and Storms on Deer Park Lake

You may be wondering where the heck the lake is, but I’m kind of standing in it. At least, that’s where it should be. Sometimes there is water and sometimes not. I think the snow melt earlier in the year floods this place, forms the lake, and then once summer hits…you get fields of gold just like this.

We were driving to Williams for my real job and noticed more and more flowers on the way up…and when we passed this wide open area…I knew we’d come back to it on the way home.

What made it even more awesome of course was the thunderstorms going nuts up there. You know me…something as beautiful as a field of flowers only gets better if you throw in some wicked monsoon clouds!

While this spot may look beautiful…I was getting attacked by mosquitoes and who knows WHAT else. But most of the time when you see a shot you just have to have…the environment doesn’t matter. You’d lay in field of cactus to get that PERFECT shot.

Technical crap: 6-brackets using my Tamron 17.35mm 2.8, Photomatix 4 Beta, CS5 and some masking.

Northern Arizona stormy fenceline

This is another one of those shots from my northern Arizona trip that I didn’t process for a long time. I normally like my skies less rain-cloudy and more fluffy cumulus, but I dug the backdrop and corner fence posts in the foreground.

Definitely was a fruitful trip in the way of photography for me, despite being there for work. Got very lucky with the stormy weather up north, got to see Grand Falls, amazing parts of the northern Arizona high deserts and came away with a ton of quality stuff. Amazing how a little trip like that, with almost no planning, can lead to such beneficial and memorable results!

Revisiting the Grand Falls in northern Arizona

Some of you may remember a photo or two I posted from my trip to Grand Falls in May…I posted a few shots of it…one here and one here.  I think I processed this one as a black and white first and posted it in a few  random places, like Flickr and JPG Mag. But I was looking back through my photos the other day and realized I’d always wanted to see this one as an HDR and just forgot about it.

I love the scope and details that you can see in the shot. Clicking on the photos for the larger version takes away some of the sharpness, but the details are still there.

What’s interesting about the falls is all the junk that is collected in the lower left portion of the photo. Most of what you can see are from trees and dead foliage captured along the way, but there are definitely some “man-made” objects down there as well.

This is definitely a place I plan on revisiting next March, hopefully after a nice, snowy season for the high country. The flow over the Falls when it’s peak is pretty amazing from what I’ve seen in photos. I need to see that in person.

An old barn in northern Arizona

Another shot from my trip to Grand Falls last month…this was an old barn in the town of Williams, Arizona, which was where I actually was working earlier in the day before heading to the falls.

Lots of barbed wire around this thing or I may have tried to get closer to it, but I definitely loved the color of wood on the outside, the rusty looking roof and the trees around it. Not to mention there were a few clouds in the sky to add a little fun to the shot.

Another scene from stormy northern Arizona

I continue to dig a little here and there into the pictures I took in the middle of May when I went up to northern Arizona on a work trip. I made a detour on the way home to visit Grand Falls and stopped to snap many photos along the way. The weather was gorgeous, storms were plentiful and something I had not expected.

This was along Indian Route 6910. I loved the giant rock formation in the middle of the generally rocky terrain, but also the cool part of this shot is the San Francisco peaks that you can see on the left horizon. These are north of Flagstaff and constitute one of our state’s two big ski areas.

Stormy skies in northern Arizona

This photo is from a few weeks ago on my trip to see the Grand Falls in northern Arizona. The clouds were stormy, but not really dropping a ton of rain…like these in the shot. Mostly virga, but still awesome to see. The skies were amazing that day and I had to stop every few minutes to snap another photo. Helped that I was on a 10-mile dirt road going only 25 mph.

This is panoramic made up of two, 3-bracket HDR photos stitched together in Photoshop. The clouds were so tall and spreading, I almost needed a third shot to get the tops.

Completely enjoyed my time up there that day…the weather was superb, the skies were amazing…the country was so interesting and new to me…hope to visit there sometime again!

Storms over northern Arizona

Yet another shot from my trip up to Northern Arizona and the Grand Falls. This was along the dirt road leading to the Falls. The skies…such amazing sunlight streaming through the clouds, it was hard not to stop every 100 feet to snap another photo.

Along the the clouds, I liked the bushes in the foreground that had some tall little reed-like brushes at the top. It may be hard to see in the photo, but they were kind of ablaze from the sunlight and a great contrast with the dark skies.

An old water trough

Just another random find along the way to Grand Falls. This appeared to be a makeshift water trough for cattle I believe, but it was awesomely rusted and decorated with some great graffiti. Loved the look of it against the stormy skies.

The mattress

This was another spectacle on my drive to Grand Falls that caused me to flip the car around and head back to the side of the road.

Where did it come from? Did someone toss it to the side of the road whilst moving at 80 mph? Did it just blow in from the land to the left of the road, where nothing existed?

How long has it been there and no one taken it down? You’d think a police officer or national forest ranger would make it a point to remove this unsightly obstruction. I’m glad they didn’t.

I thought it was amazing. I love the randomness of things, those out of place (if you can find them and notice them) objects or scenes that speak to you. Here’s a beautiful, northern Arizona landscape, with low hills, gorgeous clouds…and stuck to a long barbed wire fence is an old, trashed mattress  trying to entice you into taking a second look.

Well it worked.

A blessed little tree

I’m not sure how to describe or talk about this photo. I was driving to Grand Falls and the sunlight was really streaming down through the clouds like some archangel was descending in a rage of glory. I saw only two trees on the 10 mile dirt road and this was one of them (if you can call that thing a tree…but it was the closest thing to one anywhere around). I was eying it from about a quarter mile away because it clearly visible sitting atop this little hill.

As I got closer, it was just magic that somehow these rays of sunlight seemed to be casting all their power on this little tree. At least, that’s how I saw it in my mind.

I think as far as my photography goes with landscapes and HDR and all that jazz, this is more abstract and a little bit religious for me? I am not sure why…but that’s what I feel when I look at it.