The Lewis family

I’ve been horrible at getting up blog posts from family shoots I’ve done recently and even late last year, so here’s the Lewis family, one of my favorites from the 2016 fall season!

Maddie & Alex’s engagement in Tempe

So much joy and laughter in these photos. Maddie and Alex were a blast to hang with, and we even ended up a bit of a stormy sunset!

Sunset over Tempe Town Lake

Sunset over Tempe Town Lake
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 35mm f/1.4 l, f/5.0, iso 800, 1/160th // buy print)

Life is so busy right now that I rarely get out to take photos unless it’s a wedding or lifestyle session. Let’s just say I’ve seen a ton of great sunsets and sunrises from my house lately.

Even last night I had a photoshoot. So normally I wouldn’t get to take a photo like this, but I happened to be returning from Mesa and the sky went NUCLEAR and I flew to the off-ramp at Scottsdale/Rural, parked in a spot I probably shouldn’t have and ran like an idiot about 500 feet to the water’s edge.

It felt amazing to actually be in a spot with a lake, a reflection of the sky, Tempe and A-Mountain in the background and a gorgeous sunset. Made me realize how much I’m missing just being out in nature capturing awesome skies and beautiful landscapes.

Going to have to go on a road trip soon.

Overflow at Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake Overflow
(please click to view larger on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40 f/4 l, 17mm, iso 50, f/18, manual exp blend // buy print)

Anytime is rains in Phoenix must seem hilarious to the rest of the world. The local news show pictures of running water down gutters, rain drops in puddles and of course you have guys like me blabbing on Twitter about his rain gauge. The amount of rain we deal with is so tiny compared to a lot of other places in the country that everyone else much think we’re just silly.

But you gotta remember…this is the desert, we only average just over eight inches of rain per year in Phoenix. And this past Friday-Sunday my house has seen 1.39 inches in just a few days! That’s a lot for us.

And when is does that out here, things flood, washes run and cool stuff happens. Like in the photo above…the Tempe Town Lake Dam. If you aren’t local, you may not be able to see it right off the bat, but the dam is actually made of giant inflatable rubber tubes.  Each section is 240 feet long and over an inch in thickness. They are durable against UV rays, ripping, etc. and can be deflated/re-inflated in 15 minutes.

This dam is located on the Salt River right in the heart of Tempe, Arizona and creates a little recreational lake for us. But when we get tons of rain, sometimes water is released from the major dams further upstream in the mountains, or runoff from city drainage can cause the lake to start filling up.

This is a sight you don’t see too often. I actually am not sure if the dam itself was lowered at all or is this is just how much water is coming from upstream. Either way, it was a beautiful sight to see against the stormy skies we had last night.

Tempe’s old railroad bridge

Iron Railroad Bridge Tempe Arizona

Yes, it’s man-made, so it’s  not exactly awesome, but we do have a lake in the middle of the Valley called Tempe Town Lake.  It’s actually the Salt River, but a dam has been built to make it a recreational area. We hit this spot for our latest photowalk on June 10th.

Spanning the lake are quite a few bridges and there is also a new pedestrian bridge being built that will demand to be photographed whenever it’s completed. Has a cool looking design, so I can’t wait to see it done.

But anyways, in the heart of the lake are the dual Mill Avenue Bridges, the Light Rail Bridge and this old railroad bridge. This photograph is of that ancient giant beast that still carries train across it. It’s so old though, that you could walk up to it, think it’s out-of-use and then decided to cross it only to get flattened by a speeding freight train. The first time I ever walked on its tracks I didn’t think it was still in service.

The bridge is called the Arizona Eastern Railroad Bridge. Check out this picture from the year 1900 (there are a bunch more here). Incredible. I honestly had no idea it was THAT old. I love seeing these shots of Phoenix and the surrounding cities before anything really existed.

There were a ton of shots I could have done of the bridge and I’d like to go back actually and fine some more, but standing up on this slope I had an awesome view of the base of the iron support stretching across the lake into infinity. In hindsight I may have used a narrower aperture to get a bit more detail further down, but I also really enjoy images that take a slice of detail and keep that area in focus, blurring the rest.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, f/2.8, iso 100)


The Light Rail Bridge over Tempe Town Lake

I guess I’m not done with stuff I shot in Tempe a few weekends ago. I had some issues with this photo but I worked them out and finally got around to posting it.

This bridge is for the public transit system we call “the light rail” here in Phoenix. It’s kind of slow, it has to stop for traffic lights, cost a lot of money and time, but it’s actually pretty cool that we finally have something like this here in town. This particular bridge goes over Tempe Town Lake and the underneath of it changes colors randomly.  I have a few other shots of it right here from late last year where you can see a couple of other tones.

The lighted bridges in the background is the Mill Avenue Bridges, which are simply beautiful at night with the stringed lights going over the lake. Stunning.

Hayden Ferry Lakeside

This is a photo of the office complex and high-rise apartments that are all part of Hayden Ferry Lakeside. It sits just south of the Tempe Town Lake, which is where it gets its name obviously.

I was wandering through here and just liked the kind of “opening” this water feature made and the structure of the buildings framing the shot. My only regret is that the water fountain is apparently shut off at night, otherwise it probably would have added something great to this shot.

This is probably the final shot from my Tempe photowalk…I have a few more, but they need some more work and I am not sure how much I really like them.

Looking around for the next photowalk soon, although on Friday I’m headed up to Grand Falls and cannot WAIT to see it.