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Sunflower sunset

I’ve never noticed all the wild sunflowers that seem to grow around this desert before…it took this sudden love for photography to make me notice the beauty in the things around me that I take for granted.

This was shot the other night, the same night and in the same area as the sunset in the previous photo. You can see the setting sun in the background. I just wanted to snap a few up close shots of the flowers frames against the fading light.

Processed using a sweet action from Coffee Shop.

Just another Arizona sunset

At first glance I would expect most people to see this photo and NOT choose Phoenix, Arizona as the location it was taken. You have some farm fields, tall trees, wildflowers and some hay protected by the sun. Definitely not something people naturally picture when it comes to Arizona and our deserts. Ah, but it is.

I photographed this last night about 1.5 miles from my house down in Chandler, which is basically on the southeastern corner of the metropolitan Phoenix area. We’re moving soon to downtown Phoenix and I’m going to miss sights like these on a few miles away. But out here, amidst the new home developments, shopping areas and industrial construction, you still have pockets of farms and agriculture thriving and hanging around. I love it.

The monsoon season hasn’t really nailed Phoenix yet, but the debris clouds have been spectacular and last night’s sunset was full of rays shining through clouds, stretching across the sky. The sunset photo I posted a few days ago ironically also had sunflowers in them, but they are really all over the place right now. I saw them here earlier in the week and knew I wanted to head back for a sunset shot whenever I got the chance.

Technically, this is a hand-held, 3-bracket HDR from Photomatix, CS5, Imagenomic and some Topaz. I Actually processed two HDRs for this, one to get the sky right, one to get the flowers and foreground a little more colorful, and then masked them together in CS5.

I also used a new lens that I purchased off Craigslist…a simple Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 Di LP SD. The price was cheap and I’ve been wanting to get a nice wide angle for portrait shooting, and one with a decently wide aperture. All the reviews of this lens, plus the sample shots, were fantastic. If anything, it’s an amazing upgrade from my 18-55mm Canon kit lens. I loved the way this shot turned out.

Chandler Park Sunset

The same park I took some other shots at in a previous blog post also provided some amazing sunsets the day before.

The park is high, around three stories, so you get an amazing view.

Some more cement pipes that have been turned into art. This is one that set up perfectly for a setting sun.

I’ve gotten a lot of good feed back on this one. I call it “Ocotillo Sunset” because of the ocotillo cactus in the foreground. Got me an AC on Wunderground (Approver’s Choice)!