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The Tempe Center for the Arts

Back in early January when we had some amazing storms blow through Arizona, I was out going nuts with trying to capture it all. I posted a shot of the Salt River Dam all deflated (You can see it here), which you see from the walkway between the Tempe Center for the Arts and the river itself.

I drove to this spot just to capture the river, but after I had snapped all the photos I wanted, I turned around and realized what a fantastic piece of architecture the Tempe Center for the Arts actually was. Amazing angle and lines, lots of glass, a very cool negative edge pool…just brilliant to look at.

So of course, my focus left the weather for a bit and I took a bunch of bracketed shots to make some HDRs out of this fantastic work of art.

I’ve never posted them until now. I didn’t even process them until this weekend..they sort of went forgotten in a way, but someone was ordering prints from me of Tempe and was curious if I had anything else, so I remembered these.

This last one shows the awesomeness of a negative edge pool…it looks like this is the lake itself, extending all the way to the bridge, but if you look at the above photo, you can see where it ends.

Howl: Some full moon photography

One of the things that drives me when it comes to photography is trying new things. I may be especially good at something, but I definitely would love to give it a shot. Doing that gives me an opportunity to expand my skills, learn a different way of doing something and enhancing my abilities to provide quality work.

For example, I’ve never been able to really photograph the moon very well. Mostly because I didn’t have a really good zoom lens to get up close and personal with it, which are the kind of moon photos I tend to enjoy. So I borrowed my friend Tyler’s 55-250mm lens and watched the moon rise last night.

I definitely learned a few things. The first was to never leave home without my main tripod. The snaky one I have in my bag just couldn’t handle the weight of the zoom lens, so this first picture below didn’t get as crystal clear as I wanted.

The second thing I learned is that my old lens CAN actually take some shots of the moon with detail, I obviously didn’t realize how to do it correctly. So all in all, a good night of work.

The first shot below is from the moon rising over the San Tan Mountains.  The second shot I took around 11pm last night on a drive down Highway 87 looking for something interesting to shoot.

This full moon shot DID earn me an Approver’s Choice over on Wunderground last night, so that’s cool!

This church above is called St. Ana’s and is on the way to Coolidge. I’ve seen it during the day and have always wanted to take a picture of it. The moon casting an amazing glow down affording me the chance to just snap it at night instead.

It’s not exactly my style of photography…but it was fun to do it. The moon cast some shadows under the tree and buildings, which made it almost look like it was day out. There were a few lights on in the back of the church grounds.

The Spring Wildflowers of the Arizona Desert

A good friend of ours named Ryann had been traveling along the US 60 through Superior in the last week and made sure to point out to me all the wildflowers blooming along the highways and mountains. Plus I’d been keeping up with DesertUSA.com and all their reader wildflower reports.

They mentioned how the flowers had been going nuts on Silver King Mine road just west of Superior, so I packed the wife and kid in the car Sunday afternoon and we took off.

The first thing we noticed was the highway. From when you leave the Apache Junction area until you get to Superior, the sides of the road, some of the hilltops…were just blooming flowers everywhere. Yellow, purple, orange, pink…it was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve been on in Arizona.

Now sadly…the Silver King Mine road was not made for Passat station wagons and we were only able to go about a mile. We didn’t get too close to the flowers up there, but this first shot shows the hill off in the distance and the layers of orange, yellow and purple flowers that cover the hillside. Wish I had a truck!

The rest of the shots below were taken on the way back…we stopped off the side of the road a few times.

This one above goes with the one below…the foreground is clear in the top photo, while the background is clear in the photo below.

This one above is my favorite…I love the placement of the dead tree and the field of yellow poppies surrounding it.

An obligatory shot of the road as I ran back to the car. You can’t see the flowers great here, but both sides have some yellow on them. Love the cliffs in the waaay background, I may have to get out there again one day.

Saguaro Sunset in the San Tan Mountains

A shot of a tall Saguaro cactus with the sun setting behind it. I drove out to the southeast side of the San Tan Mountains on Friday afternoon, hoping to find some flowers to photography at sunset. I didn’t find much, but I did like this shot.

Beautiful, stunning mountains on that side of those mountains.

Weekend storms in Arizona

We had some nice storms roll through town this past weekend and I was lucky enough to get out and shoot a bit on Sunday. Here’s a couple of my favorites from that day.

This one above is a two-shot panoramic stitched together. I enhanced the contrast and colors a bit to make it more vivid and exciting.

Shots of the falling rain.

Murky and ominous clouds approach.

A black and white…rain falling on one end, low hanging clouds on the other…

Just a creepy shot at the airport. A monstrous, low hanging storm.

Love this shot…it’s gotten me an AC on Wunderground, a spotlight on JPG Magazine and has been pretty well-received. My daughter and I watch the incoming storm move towards us. It’s developing from left to right, but moving towards the camera.

Memory of the Old West

I love the train tracks south of Hunt Highway, which is only a few miles from my house. I’ve taken a few pictures there, but this latest I really wanted to try and do something different with it.

It’s made to look old, obviously, but the texture on it comes from a nearby desert park. I found an old rock that had some cool colors, swirls and textures to it. It’s overlayed on this photos to really give it an old look…maybe like faded parchment?

Definitely reminds me of something from an old western photos.

You can buy this print right now from my photo gallery. If you don’t have Pay Pal or would rather just contact me directly, please email me.

If you’d like to see this in black and white, please let me know!

The Green Arizona Desert

My buddy Jon who was in town with his family this past weekend joined me for a hike of the San Tan Mountains just southeast of the Chandler-Gilbert area. It’s a neat little regional park that I never really paid much attention to until I started getting into photography.

The views were great, but one of the main reason I went out there was to capture the greenery that is now covering much of the desert floor here in Arizona. The incredible amount of rainfall has created greenish tints to all the mountains around town and when you examine them closely, you’ll find newly growing grass, weeds and other vegetation.

Some of these vertical photos might look cool together in a side-by-side display…maybe three frames together, or one wide frame with three spots. I may try to do that myself.

This last photo is just a wide landscape shot of these cliffs on the south area of the San Tan Mountain range. It was too far for us to hike that day, but I plan to get closer eventually.

Storms and Clouds over the Arizona Skies

Monday was eventful in terms of capturing some cool shots of storms, clouds and falling rain around the Phoenix area. I drove out to Apache Junction and snapped some shots of the incoming storm, plus a few other cloud pictures.

Mmmm, I love clouds.

After the rain…the sunlight streams through a hole in the clouds.

Impending storm heads to the east Valley.

Shot from Idaho Road and Lost Dutchman looking West.

Winter Storm Photos: Part 1

Some storm photos from the weekend. These below all were shot south of town along State Route 87. We went off the road for a bit onto a side road and ended up spotting some amazing stuff, like this old bridge below adorned with graffiti. We actually found TONS of graffiti, but that’s another post for another day.