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Sunrise at Sunset

Sunrise from Sunset
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, f/8, 1/500th, iso 100, graduated filter // buy print)

On the first day of our road trip up north a few weeks ago, we stopped at Sunset Point to wander out in the golden fields that are all over up there on the plateau. It was dark and serene, other than the passing cars on Interstate 17. We found some spots in the dark, like with this cactus…almost out of place with all the tall grass around it.

Sunrise was perfect…the light just peeking over the horizon lit up all the grass and the tippy points of the cactus…it was stunning.

A great omen for our trip…more to come, including a time-lapse film, a documentary by Jay Worsley and more images from yours truly!

Signs

Well, it’s another Movie Title Wednesday and this time it may be more subtle than most, but there is a quick story behind it. Super quick.

“Hey wife, what do you think of this photo?”

“I like the signs.”

“There are signs? Oh yeah…wait a second…”

And thus we now have a title for the picture.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Signs was one of my more favorite M. Night films, and it was probably one of his last good ones. It had some great music, spooky moments and a cool ending where everything tied up nice and neat.

“Swing away Merrill…swing away.”

Nothing beats Sixth Sense and Unbreakable though in my eyes when it comes to M. Night movies.

So linking this image to Signs isn’t exactly obvious, but I like it anyways. It definitely has that dark, scary thing going on. And you can’t argue with my wife…it does indeed have signs in it. I shot this up at Sunset Point last week during the tornado insanity here in Arizona. I had driven north at 8am hoping to catch my first shot of a twister, but ended up sitting here for a bit before heading back to work. Pulled off on the right side of Interstate 17 and walked out into the scrub a bit. I’m sure I’m going to get a ticket one of these days for parking on the edge of a major highway.

On the way back home I did get a photo of a small funnel cloud though and will post those later this week more than likely.

Floating

I can’t explain it. I try to, but people tend to just look at me like I’m weird. Unless you are a weather junkie like me. But there is something majestic, mysterious and powerful about giant cumulus clouds that have an imminent chance of turning nasty, dropping rain and sending lightning streaking to the earth. I could stare at them all day.

So as we’re heading home from Williams last week, I keep seeing this cloud in my rear view mirror, craning my neck and it’s killing me not to stop and photograph it. Lucky for me, the guy I was driving with smokes and the promise of multiple smoke breaks on the way back to Phoenix was a nice way to fulfill my desire to stop every 20 miles.

I took this at the Sunset Point rest area, a popular spot for drivers on I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix. It was crowded, lots of trucks and people, so I walked aways to get to this little frontage road. I had no way of getting a shot without a road in it (which is not a bad thing at all), so I took advantage of the lines and rested my tripod low to the ground.

I commented on Twitter last week about how sometimes you get the first look at a new, merged HDR photo and just smile because you know it’s awesome. Well, this was that photo. Obviously, that opinion is subjective and it may have a lot to do with my love of clouds. The Arizona sky was just gorgeous that day, this cloud was just floating there like a giant island in the sky and I love the road running off into the distance creating some depth to the shot.

Six brackets, Photomatix 4 Beta, CS5, etc.