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First Friday is tonight!

(Canon Rebel XSi, 17-35mm, 17mm, ISO100, F10, six exposure HDR, Photomatix, CS5, Topaz Adjust)

The First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix happens tonight and for the first time I’ll be showing my work in a collaborative gallery for a month. I’m beyond excited and cannot wait for 6pm! My wonderful mom and step-dad are babysitting for us so that my wife and I can get out of the house and just enjoy a lovely evening meeting people, talking to people and enjoying our time spent together.

If you are interested in coming, click right here for the flyer. Myself along with five other photographers will have their work shown at Day Twelve, which is a church plant in downtown Phoenix, one we’re helping to get going. Their goal is to become a part of the city and aid it in anyway possible, and right now that includes embracing the artists in Phoenix and helping to showcase their work. If you’ve never heard of a church doing something like that before…join the club. It’s amazing. The “gallery” is where they house the Day Twelve office, but it’s more of a collaborative gallery/workspace for those who need it.

Like I said…this isn’t just about me. There is another HDR guy down there in Rick Young who is amazing, my buddy Dee who specializes in beautiful landscapes, Chereth who tells stories from Africa with her portraits, Tiffany the vintage fashion photographer and Steve who just “sees” things worth shooting anywhere he goes. While I was down there on Wednesday helping to hang these images with a few of the other photogs…it was so awesome to see how different we all were but how much we loved each other’s work and were inspired by that.

Today’s photo was taken at the same time as the one in the flyer…at a pedestrian overpass crossing Interstate 10. I was trying so hard to find a place to get a stormy sunset photo with the freeway and city skyline integrated into one and it’s a difficult task down here. There aren’t many spots at all, the freeway doesn’t run through the areas with tall buildings, so you kind of have to take what you can get.

Hope to see some of you tonight! And from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who have supported me since I started doing this…it’s been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Reach for the Sky

The Chase Tower in downtown Phoenix

“Reach for the skyyyyyyy.”

Ah, a favorite line from one of my daughter’s favorite things to watch…Toy Story. I should note…I also love those movies. I find that I can still laugh at them over and over despite the amazing number of times we’ve watched it in our house!

This is Chase Tower in downtown Phoenix, a monolithic structure that immediately caught my eye on one of my first real exploratory drives down there. We’ve now lived down here for a few weeks now and I’m finding more opportunities to explore here and there and in the process of doing that, discovering all kinds of things I want to photograph. This particular skyscraper I believe is the tallest building in Arizona, or at least it was a few years ago. I haven’t see anything that could surpass it as I’ve driven around.

I have several angles of this building, from about 20 feet away looking straight up, to this shot from across the street in a parking garage (a ‘parkade’ for our Canadian friends). I intend to post the others someday, but what struck me the most with this one is the kind of “flaring” clouds behind it.

Six brackets make up this shot, processed in Photomatix and CS5, with a finishing touch using Topaz Adjust. I don’t use Adjust as much anymore, but I do have to say the Exposure Color Stretch is my favorite filter in that entire tool. The image above was done with that filter, and while it gives is a sort of “halo” about it…this was intentional and not an indication of sloppy HDR work *grin*