Tag Archives: desert

Saguaro Cactus in Subtle Abstract – Featured Art Prints

I just completed adding some new art prints to my Abstract Subtle Gallery and wanted to share two of them. Both are of the Saguaro Cactus found here in the Sonoran Desert. I used a subtle watercolor technique creating an abstract look to both of the prints. I like an abstract approach to some subject matters, whether it’s big and bold like my last post or subtle like these. It allows the eye to absorb the color and suggestive shapes. This particular approach creates a subdued look to complement a look and not dominate it.

Desert Saguaro In Subtle Abstract

Desert Saguaro In Subtle Abstract

Lone Saguaro Cactus

Lone Saguaro Cactus

Thoughts?


Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

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


 

…thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

 

 

Hot Air Balloons – Featured Art Prints

I wanted to share a couple of prints that I just added to my Hot Air Balloon Gallery. Both are from a series of photos I did last winter at a Hot Air Balloon Festival here in the Phoenix area. Using a couple of those shots as the inspiration, I have created these two prints using a pastel colored chalk technique.

When I think of hot air balloons, I think of bright colors. I think the color and the shapes are what attract us visually to them. In keeping with that aspect, I wanted to use bright pastel colors to represent the scene of this event. As I mentioned in an earlier post where I shared the photographs, the event is the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Avondale, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area). The balloon envelopes are inflated in the early morning hours for flights and races. After that series of events, the balloons are deflated until the evening hours when the envelopes are again inflated, but this time they stay on the ground. As evening turns into night with the darkening sky, the balloon operators shoot large flames up into the envelope of the balloon illuminating the brightly colored balloons. At this event the operators were synchronized to music, making the series of balloons rotate the glow to the beat of the tunes. This nighttime spectacular is referred to as The Desert Glow. It is a stunning scene to behold with the contrast of light and dark and the bright vivid colors of the balloon envelopes. Thoughts?

I invite you to visit my Hot Air Balloons Gallery to enjoy these prints and many more.

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

The Grand Canyon – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, we took a long weekend and spent it in Flagstaff, Arizona (just a few hours up the road from us) and Grand Canyon National Park (the Grand Canyon). Today’s photos come from the series I took at the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most photographed natural wonders of the world, so what could I possibly do differently to create some interesting captures. What I decided to attempt, was to stick with the natural elements of this natural wonder and present them in a slightly different perspective (not that this hasn’t been done, but my approach hasn’t been presented as frequently). For anyone that hasn’t visited the park, the view is breathtaking and over-whelming at the same time. The colors and shapes are incredible, but the size, depth and scope of what you are looking at boggles the mind. I decided to break it down into captures that focused on highlighting depth. I love creating that sense of depth in a picture, so what more natural thing to do when it’s all but handed to you. Kind of obvious, but the presentation I wanted for each shot was a strong foreground that was decidedly distant from the background.

Grand Canyon 1

Grand Canyon 1

The first shot gives you the idea of what I am talking about. The foreground is on the left side of the frame. I love the building nestled at the top of the lookout point and the people viewing the canyon. Even the clouds have shape, texture and depth.

Grand Canyon 2

Grand Canyon 2

This second capture, zooms in on the same spot for a slightly different perspective. The foreground becomes the prominent feature with the people walking around the lookout point, yet we still have an obvious background that is large and distant in scale.

Grand Canyon 3

Grand Canyon 3

The third photo takes another lookout point that juts out from the rim. In this one, I have a hint of trees from where I am standing as the immediate foreground (I am shooting across a very deep ravine), yet the lookout point stays as the main foreground, with the canyon as the background creating the sense of immense depth to this shot.

Grand Canyon 4

Grand Canyon 4

The fourth shot is of two lookout points. The one in the foreground has the most people walking around, but then you realize the rock strata to the right of that is actually another lookout point further back, which the fifth shot zooms in on.

 

Grand Canyon 5

Grand Canyon 5

In this capture, you see the people on the point and this angle is looking down the canyon, not across it as is evident by the coloring (air is hazier and bluer because of the distance).

Grand Canyon 6

Grand Canyon 6

Lookout points are an easy way to capture the obvious levels of depth, but for my last two, I used a slightly different approach. In the 6th capture, I have two light color rock structures in the foreground and a red colored rock strata in what could be called the background, but behind that is the canyon creating another focal point of depth (three distinct elements of depth).

Grand Canyon 6

Grand Canyon 6

The last photo looks down into the canyon. I framed just one area of erosion that is laced with a trail taking you all the way down to the Colorado River, which can just barely be seen below and right of center. This angle pulls your eye down through the various layers and levels towards the river.

In your opinion, was I able to create a series of pictures that portrayed visual depth, giving you a feel for the shear size of the subject matter in an interesting way? What are your thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

Saturday Morning In The Park – Excerpts From A Photo Shoot

In our community, we have two lakes that are the focal point for a lot of social activities. Around the lakes, it is a park setting with a continuous wide sidewalk that always has walkers and joggers enjoying the fresh air and outdoors. The lakes are not physically connected, but sit right by each other. The sidewalk connects them for all of us to easily go between the two. They are called North Lake and South Lake. I love the creativity in the names (yes, sarcasm) and frankly would argue that they aren’t really lakes, but large ponds. It is 2.5 miles around both of them, so we are talking “large ponds”. Both are man made and serve more than just aesthetic beauty. They actually hold recycled water that is used throughout the community to water the vegetation. You must remember, this is Arizona and we are in a desert, but we have learned early on, how to utilize water wisely. And with that said, since it is Arizona and we’ll take what we can get in water…the term Lakes works.

I decided to get up early last Saturday morning and take a walk around the two lakes. I’ve attached six shots from my morning adventure.

Estrella Mountain Ranch - North Lake - Goodyear, Arizona

Saturday Morning In The Park 1

The first shot is at the end of North Lake where there is an open-air amphitheater in the lawn stepping down to the lake with the water fountains as backdrops. Throughout the year concerts are held here representing a variety of music. Notice the early morning couple walking their dog. As I said earlier, the sidewalk and the lamppost go the full 2.5 miles around the lakes with sidewalk connectors into various neighborhoods.

Saturday Morning In The Park 2

Saturday Morning In The Park 2

The second shot is from South Lake looking back east towards the Estrella Mountains as a backdrop. If you look real close along the sidewalk, you’ll see a parent pushing a stroller coming out from under the Palm trees and to the far left, a gentleman sitting on a park bench.

Saturday Morning In The Park 3

Saturday Morning In The Park 3

The third shot shows the end of South Lake, where there is a large park hosting tennis courts, picnic pavilions, playground equipment and a boat ramp for very small boats.

Saturday Morning In The Park 4

Saturday Morning In The Park 4

The fourth shot shows the sidewalk as it winds its way through the picnic pavilions.

Saturday Morning In The Park 5

Saturday Morning In The Park 5

The fifth shot takes us back over to North Lake, where there is a clubhouse hosting a swimming pool and water features that help beat the heat for all ages from young kids up to….well, let’s just say people my age and older.

Saturday Morning In The Park 6

Saturday Morning In The Park 6

The last shot is the dock, which sits close to the clubhouse. From here you can get kayaks, paddle-boards and small sailboats to go out on the water.

Our heat hasn’t gotten too intense yet, so as the day progressed, so did the activity around the lakes. As a side note, I mentioned the lampposts that go along the sidewalk around both lakes…summer nights are a great time to also take the walk as it is well lit, the temperature is more tolerable and the lights reflecting off the water …beautiful. I feel another photo shoot opportunity! Thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

Desert Oasis – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

The one thing that always amazes me about the desert is when you think you understand the terrain you are hiking in, you round a bend or crest a hill and come across an unexpected oasis. I took the attached shots while on a hike in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.

Desert Oasis 1

Desert Oasis 1

This first shot gives you an idea of the my initial find, but as I followed the stream around a bend, it became more green and lush (again, the term “lush” is used loosely…it is the desert, so from that point of reference, we’ll stick with “lush”)

Desert Oasis 2

Desert Oasis 2

Desert Oasis 3

Desert Oasis 3

Desert Oasis 4

Desert Oasis 4

Desert Oasis 5

Desert Oasis 5

Desert Oasis 6

Desert Oasis 6

This shot gives you an idea of the surrounding topography towards the west….

Desert Oasis 7

Desert Oasis 7

And this shot is from the same spot, but looking east. Thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

Red Rocks – Green Desert: Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Last week I posted some shots from a hike, my son-in-law and I did a few weekends back. We went to Camelback Mountain here in the Phoenix area for a hike. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with perfect weather. Camelback is well known for the steepness of the trail. You ascend 1200 feet in just over a mile. It’s very popular this time of year with the weather here just in the 80’s and not yet the heat of the summer. The area is beautiful and is known for the red rock outcroppings rising from the desert floor. Never one to be without my camera, I had a great time as we ascended the trail. What I wanted to share today is the contrast between the red rock of the area and the green desert around it. This is the only time of year the contrast is so vibrant. The desert plant life does maintain some green during the heat of the summer, but not as vivid as spring. With all of that said, I love the contrast between the two rich colors and wanted to share some of my shots.

Camelback Red Rock 1

Camelback Red Rock 1

This first shot shows part of the ridge-line that makes up Camelback Mountain. We took a side trail that leads into a small valley away from the main trail. Notice the green land rising up to the ridge forming a point. That portion of the mountain is softer rock and has eroded more readily over the millennium. It comes down into this little valley and you see it littered with large and small boulders.

 

Camelback Red Rock 2

Camelback Red Rock 2

This next shot is in the same area as the first photograph. Again, the contrast of the green plant life against the red rocks and blue sky creates a beautiful scene.

Camelback Red Rock 3

Camelback Red Rock 3

Camelback Red Rock 4

Camelback Red Rock 4

Camelback Red Rock 5

Camelback Red Rock 5

Photographs 3, 4 and 5 are the boulders that have fallen over the years and sit on the desert floor creating that spectacular color contrast.

 

Camelback Red Rock 6

Camelback Red Rock 6

This last photograph is away from the area of the valley and is along the main trail as it begins the ascent up to the summit.

Thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

 

Camelback Mountain Hike – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

This week’s photo shoot comes from a hike my son-in-law and I did two weekends ago. We went to Camelback Mountain here in the Phoenix area for a hike. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with perfect weather. Camelback is well known for the steepness of the trail. You ascend 1200 feet in just over a mile. It’s very popular this time of year with the weather here in the 80’s and not yet the heat of the summer. The area is beautiful with red rock outcroppings rising from the desert floor. Never one to be without my camera, I had a great time as we ascended the trail. What I wanted to share today is a scene I caught with my camera and frankly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. So let me set the stage. We are about halfway up and I wanted to take a series of shots, so we stopped and stepped back into the mountain for me to take what I am about to share.

Camelback Mountain 1

Camelback Mountain 1

This first shot gives you an idea of what the trail looks like and the elevation gain above the desert floor. It is straight down beyond the fence and the climb we had just done reminded me of hiking up the pyramid in Chichen Itza (years ago you could walk up the steep stairs…that’s no longer possible due to safety reason which I can attest to having done it). So from this perspective, I move my viewing over to the right across a ravine where the trail will be taking us.

Camelback Mountain 2

Camelback Mountain 2

I took this shot for obvious reasons…it’s beautiful with the red rock and the green desert plants. So here’s what I want you to take a look at…towards the center of the frame, do you see the “white shirt” of someone on the face of the rock? Off to his right, you can see where the trail goes through the rocks…note the people. I got so entranced by this guy, that I just stopped shooting. Originally I thought he was rock climbing, but no, he was jogging…not walking, but jogging.

Camelback Mountain 3

Camelback Mountain 3

This shot (#3) is the same photograph, but cropped in on him.

Camelback Mountain 4

Camelback Mountain 4

This shot (#4) is similar, but you can tell he has moved up the rock. In this picture, please note the white shirts in the upper left of the frame at the top of the rock outcropping.

Camelback Mountain 5

Camelback Mountain 5

Number 5 is a cropped version of the prior showing him and the trail with people.

Camelback Mountain 6

Camelback Mountain 6

And number 6 is a cropped version of # 4  showing the two white shirts at the top left of the rock face. If you look real close, you can see a path worn in the rock….this is where the person jogging up the rock ended up.

Camelback Mountain 7

Camelback Mountain 7

This is just another shot showing his progress…

Camelback Mountain 8

Camelback Mountain 8

…and the zoomed in version.

Thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

 

Desert Glows – Hot Air Balloon Photo Shoot

In last week’s post of the Super Bowl football stadium, I alluded to the fact that we stopped at the stadium on our way to a hot air balloon festival. Today I want to share shots from that event. We timed our arrival right at dusk along with a million other people. After about 45 minutes just to get into the grounds of the festival and park, we were off to enjoy the part we wanted to experience and that is called the “Desert Glows”. As dusk approaches, the balloon operators start filling the envelopes with hot air inflating the balloons one by one. As the sky darkens, an announcer comes over the loudspeaker and introduces the balloon operators. Then music is started and the balloons are coordinated as they light themselves up in beat to the music. Without further ado…seven shots from the Avondale, Arizona 2015 Hot Air Balloon Festival’s “Desert Glows”.

Desert Glows 1

Desert Glows 1

Desert Glows 2

Desert Glows 2

Desert Glows 3

Desert Glows 3

Desert Glows 4

Desert Glows 4

Desert Glows 5

Desert Glows 5

Desert Glows 6

Desert Glows 6

Desert Glows 7

Desert Glows 7

Thoughts?

 

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

 

Desert Sunrise – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Last week early one morning and I mean early one morning, I walked out onto our patio, coffee mug in hand. I was ready to sit down and enjoy my coffee as the sun was just starting to lighten up the sky. Our patio faces the eastern sky, so I was looking up expecting clear skies (it is the desert), but instead saw a lot of high-level clouds. (I’m sure you’re thinking “thanks for the weather report Kirt, but really…) The clouds caught my attention because I know that these types of clouds can make a spectacular sunrise or sunset depending on which is happening. Our area is straight west of a mountain range, so our sunrises are more impressive coming over the mountains. I knew I didn’t have much time; so coffee cup gets sat down, I go screaming into the house to grab my camera and dart out to hike up a hill nearby for some cool shots. I didn’t have time to grab my tripod because at this point the sky was changing already into an incredible display of color. The change to the coloring is ongoing and fast as I get up the hill and get my camera ready for some spectacular shots. I position myself and start taking shots…nothing happens…huh? Thought I had turned it on…check again (which means reading glasses back out), yes it’s turned on, but display is blank…..dead battery. I forgot I had been downloading pictures from my camera into my computer a few days back and obviously left the camera on. Knowing that I didn’t have time to get back to the house for the other set (I always have a backup charged and ready), I reverted to my iPhone. The iPhone takes decent enough shots, but not as clear as I would have gotten with my camera. That said, I still wanted to share some of those shots from the sunrise. What I love about a sunrise or sunset is the coloring changes as you watch. I’ve attached a couple of them from that morning so you could see some of the subtle changes.

Desert Sunrise 1

Desert Sunrise 1

The first shot is soon after I realized my camera batteries were dead. I started with a wider angle to get an overall look of the desert and the mountains in the east.

Desert Sunrise 2

Desert Sunrise 2

The second shot is zoomed in a little tighter. Notice the slight color change…just a little brighter orange as the sun has moved further up behind the mountain.

Desert Sunrise 3

Desert Sunrise 3

The third shot shows the sky just before the sun has peaked over the top of the mountains. The color is becoming brighter and the hues have changed slightly. As I waited a minute for the next shot, I looked to my right and noticed the color explosion on the next shot….

Desert Sunrise 4

Desert Sunrise 4

With the fourth shot, the sun is just about up and the light is reflecting off of some high level rain that is dropping from some clouds south of me.

Desert Sunrise 5

Desert Sunrise 5

The last shot is that same view and the sun has broken the horizon. Notice the change from orange to yellow.

All of these shots were taken within 4-5 minutes all total, that’s how quickly the colors change. Once the sun came up, the dance of color in the clouds quickly disappeared. Thoughts?

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale