A Pond At Papago Park – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest daughter called and asked if I would be interested in doing a photo shoot with her during the sunrise in Papago Park. I have been around the area of the park, but never directly in it. The park is situated next to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens. Never being one to pass on a chance for a photo shoot in a new place, especially with my daughter, I was more than willing to get up uber early to make the hour drive to the park. For my daughter, it was an opportunity to pick my brain on lighting, shutter speeds, aperture settings, etc., to capitalize on the unique lighting from a rising sun in a beautiful desert setting. She has a great eye and came up with some really creative shots and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

For me, I fell in love with one of the ponds in the park. The golden hue of the rising sun reflecting off of mirrored water created some really nice shots. I have attached seven of my favorite ones from around the pond.


The first and second captures give you a perspective of the pond.

Papago Pond 1

Papago Pond 1

Papago Pond 2

Papago Pond 2


The third shot focuses on the end we were standing by, which had a lot of reeds planted and loved by a number of early morning ducks.

Papago Pond 3

Papago Pond 3



The fourth shot was the area where we were standing looking back towards some red rocks near the Desert Botanical Gardens. I wasn’t kidding when I said there were some reeds planted.

Papago Pond 4

Papago Pond 4


Photo number five gives you a perspective of the angle of the climbing sun (notice the steep angles of the shadows) and a duck swimming through a shadow of a park light pole (look closely in the lower left for the duck).

Papago Pond 5

Papago Pond 5


In photo number six, I was able to capture a duck facing the sunlight and…

Papago Pond 6

capture number seven zooms in on him….I loved the reflective quality of the water and the lighting of the duck.

Papago Pond 7

Papago Pond 7



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28 thoughts on “A Pond At Papago Park – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

  1. Nancy

    I love them all… but photo 1 and photo 7 are my favorites! The reflections are stunning! How wonderful to be spending a day with your daughter! Not only pictures were captured but memories as well!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      You have no idea….she teaches for Head Start and had a “fall break” week….we had a great day and there will be some more posts from that day!!! Thanks for stopping by Nancy!!

  2. Sue Slaght

    I will admit that 1-3 had me wide eyed in reflection envy. Is it the early light that creates such a vivid reflection? Number 7 also has that wonderful effect.
    Definitely worth an early morning!

  3. lorriebowden

    What a great bounty from your early morning shoot, Kirt!! And love the fact that is was instigated by your daughter…somehow I think no matter how far or how early you had to rise…you would have done so!! 😉 I am certain you enjoyed yourself thouroughly…the live shows in the photos!! Blessings for a wonderful weekend ♡♡

  4. reocochran

    This was a serene and tranquil series which made me want to get a book and sit close by and look up at nature, then read some more. We all need peaceful moments immersed in beauty, Kirt.

  5. Pingback: A Pond At Papago Park – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot | SUSANNE LEIST

  6. Carl D'Agostino

    They have similar palms if not the same in Miami. I see some trees have the dead fronds intact and others cut away. My understanding is that the dead fronds are the palm’s defense against insects and tree disease.

  7. Pingback: Sketched Palm Trees from Papago Park: Featured Art Prints | thewallgalleryblog

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