Tag Archives: phoenix

Lakes, Mountains and Palm Trees – Two Featured Art Prints

The attached prints were created from views around one of the lakes in our community. Our community has two lakes (yes, man made…this is Arizona after all) with palm trees lining the shoreline of the park that goes entirely around both of them. The lakes sit side by side with a large wide sidewalk circling both and connecting to each other. Great walking, running or biking as the total distance around both is about 3 miles. What I love is from the northwest shore of both lakes is the view of the Estrella Mountains as depicted in these prints.

The first print is a small beach on what is called South Lake, with picnic pavilions and other amenities for kids and adults as part of the park encircling the lakes. The second art print is from the perspective of the northwest shore looking across the lake at the Estrella Mountains. The mountains are a very rugged and dramatic range creating the perfect background view. Thoughts?

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The Duck At Papago Park

My wife and I have not been home for a weekend since before Thanksgiving until this weekend. I am not complaining as we have had short weekend get aways to celebrate a first birthday for our granddaughter in Los Angeles, a wedding in San Jose and then our nieces graduation in San Diego for her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy (two of her internships over the last year and a half were here in the Phoenix area where we were thrilled to house her both times) and next weekend finds us in Seattle for Christmas with the following one in Los Angeles for New Years. I share all of this (yes I am headed somewhere…) as to why it was that we found ourselves in the ever popular shopping malls and stores this past weekend doing our last minute Christmas shopping. This is not to say that Amazon has not received it’s fair share of our purchases, but there are those items you need to actually pick up or find. Having survived the masses, my mind went to a peaceful quiet place as we wound down Sunday night. The result is the attached photos.

Papago Park in Phoenix is nestled between the Desert Botanical Garden and The Phoenix Zoo. It has ponds and hiking trails and is very “quiet and peaceful”. Key point!! I was looking for a beautiful peaceful snow scene, but since I couldn’t find one (yes I have been living in warm climates for many years now), so I settled on this to represent a reprieve from the last minute hustle and bustle of the season. So back to the ponds. The ponds are home to many birds, but as the fall and winter migration occurs, it has a resident that calls the ponds home year ’round, the Mallard Duck. Both shots are the same duck, who appears not to have a concern in the world. So I give you my visual of a little peace and quiet during this busy season!!

Thoughts?

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Scorpion Gulch – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I posted excerpts from a photo shoot that I did with my daughter a couple of weeks ago (Heritage Square: Phoenix, Arizona). As a continuation of that day this photo shoot was another stop we made. Scorpion Gulch is in South Mountain Park at the base of the mountain. The minute we came across this, we knew we had to stop. Scorpion Gulch was a store built in 1936 by William Lunsford. He also built his residence right next door. The property is located on Central Ave and is the main road to go into South Mountain Park on your way up to the summit. The buildings were first listed on the historic preservation register in 1990. For more information, click the Scorpion Gulch link to Wikipedia.


The first shot is the store itself. Located to the right of this structure is the remnant of the residence, which is the focus of this photo shoot.

Scorpion Gulch Store built in 1936 at the base of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The owner also built his residence which is located to the right of the store. The property was listed in the Historical Preservation Registery in 1990.

Scorpion Gulch 1


The second picture is the front of the residence. Notice the castle-like turret on the left. I love the stonework and the attention he gave to detail.

Scorpion Gulch 2

Scorpion Gulch 2


The next capture gives you an idea of the condition of the walls and obviously there isn’t a roof any more.

Scorpion Gulch 3

Scorpion Gulch 3


The building stretches back and around giving you unique angles and views. The wall on the right (which is really not in the shot) is the back of the fireplace on the next shot.

Scorpion Gulch 4

Scorpion Gulch 4


I fell in love with this fireplace; can you believe the size of it and the detail of the rock? As an enclosed room, I am sure it was stunning.

Scorpion Gulch 5

Scorpion Gulch 5


This and the rest of the shots are taken from the same spot, just rotating to my right. I am back at the front of the property with the store on my immediate left and the front of the house on my immediate right. The house stretches back on the right and then juts out in front of us creating a large “L”. I would assume this was a type of courtyard in its day. If you look back through the window and doorway combo on the middle right, you can see the fireplace from the prior shot.

Scorpion Gulch 6

Scorpion Gulch 6


This picture gives you a better perspective of just how far back the house goes. On the extreme right of the frame is the base to the castle turret we saw in the capture of the front of the house.

Scorpion Gulch 7

Scorpion Gulch 7


This last one looks back towards the front of the house with a very large and old Saguaro Cactus framing the shot.

Scorpion Gulch 8

Scorpion Gulch 8

Thoughts?


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Papago Palms – Featured Art Print

Papago Palms is a wall art print where I used a fauvism technique creating this scene. This technique uses bold brush strokes and bright surreal colors. This particular wall art print depicts palm trees reflected in a pond.

The setting is Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. Papago Park is located next to the zoo and the botanical gardens. In the middle of the park are two large ponds. The stillness of the water allows for the row of palm trees to be reflected in the water creating an added dimension to the scene.

When you are considering buying an art print, the interior design of the room comes into play and the look you are going for with any given print comes into the decision process. This particular style of wall art print works well a contemporary décor. The deciding factor will be the framing and matting style, which can dictate what décor the final piece will look good in versus just the style of the art print by itself. Thoughts?


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Heritage Square; Phoenix, Arizona – Excerpts From A Photo Shoot

My oldest daughter and her husband live near us here in Arizona. She teaches and has been out on break for the summer. She has always had a love of photography and will periodically give me a call and suggest a photo shoot somewhere in the Phoenix area that she has been researching. She wanted to get together and do a shoot before she headed back to the classroom and her students. This go around, she picked Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. Neither of us had been there and it sounded like a great opportunity.

Heritage Square is located on block 14 of the original townsite of Phoenix. The crowning jewel is the restored Rosson House Museum. The square celebrates the city’s striking Victorian past with restored homes and buildings of that era, some housing award-winning restaurants, others museums. The square also adjoins Science Park, home of Arizona Science Center.


The first shot was my suggestion to help her work with depth of field through aperture setting and shutter speed. The setting is between two of the restored homes looking towards the Rosson House.

Heritage Square 1

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


This second capture grabbed my attention because of the wrap around porch, typical for this style of home in this era.

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona,

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


And of course what type of a reminder of the era would be complete without the carriage parked in front of the carriage house for the Rosson mansion.

Heritage Square, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona


My last two shots are of the Rosson House Museum. The home has been completely restored including furnishings true to the era.

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square, Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Square – Phoenix, Arizona

Beautifully done, the square is a great addition to downtown as it celebrates the history of what we know today as modern day Phoenix. Many of you might not be aware of the history of Phoenix. The region has hosted many nomadic tribes dating back to 9,000 BC, but was actually settled in about 1 AD for agriculture. A canal system was developed within the first 500 years enabling agriculture to flourish. Agriculture today is still one of the major industries throughout the surrounding desert. For detailed information; Wikipedia, History of Phoenix, Arizona.

Thoughts?


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Desert Botanical Garden At Night – Phoenix

A couple of weekends ago, we had an opportunity to visit the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden at night. There was an art exhibit my wife wanted to see. I didn’t go with the intent of photography, but I always have my camera. Had I thought about it ahead of time, I probably would have come more prepared. That said, I have attached four shots from that night. Having never visited the garden at night, I didn’t realize just how beautiful it was with the night lighting. Had I intended to do night shooting, I would have brought my tripod and spent time adjusting the aperture and speed to get the type of shot I wanted. It was very crowded with people that evening and when I realized I wanted to take some shots, I grabbed a few on the run if you will…

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 1

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 2

Desert Botanical Garden 3

Desert Botanical Garden 3

Desert Botanical garden 4

Desert Botanical garden 4

Thoughts?

 

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?

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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?

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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?

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Super Bowl Forty Nine – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Todays post is what I call a “fun” post…nothing deep, nothing earth shattering. If you’re not a football fan, I am going to lose you right here…. unless you like architecture.

It’s no secret that I live in the Phoenix area and that the Super Bowl is here this year, along with the Pro Bowl that was played last Sunday night. In honor of all the activity and festivities going on in the valley here, I thought I would include a series of shots I took last Saturday of the University of Phoenix Stadium as it was getting the final touches for both games. It wasn’t an intentional photo shoot, as we were actually headed to a hot air balloon festival (shots from that next week).

Super Bowl 49 #1

Super Bowl 49 #1

We were driving by the stadium in Glendale and decided to stop at one of the restaurants in the Westgate Entertainment District, which sits right across the street from the football stadium. The entire area was hopping with activity as you can imagine. The Gila River Arena, which is home of the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey Team is also part of this complex. (Do I have non-football folks interested again?) The entire area is very pedestrian friendly and since I have never had the good fortune to be that close to a stadium that was getting decked out for a Super Bowl, we walked over to it so I could grab some shots! It’s a massive stadium and takes over the landscape.

Super Bowl 49 #2

Super Bowl 49 #2

 

I remember when it was first built and I happen to be flying through Phoenix from San Diego to Washington, DC on business. As we descended into the metropolitan area, I noticed this huge dome building off in the distance. What an impressive site due to its shear size. It opened in August of 2006 after 3 years of construction. Unlike any other stadium in North America, it has a retractable roof and field. The seating capacity expands to over 72,000 seats and is home to the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals and the annual college football Fiesta Bowl.

Super Bowl 49 #3

Super Bowl 49 #3

Notice the “skin” of the building. It lights up at night for these games. I saw it on TV watching the pro bowl….very colorful.

Super Bowl 49 #4

Super Bowl 49 #4

These arches also light up at night with bright pulsating colors. The amount of work that goes into preparing a site like this is incredible. There were tons of workers in the complex putting the finishing touches on.

Super Bowl 49 #5

Super Bowl 49 #5

Security was being tightened up with these concrete barriers being moved into place. I also had security approach me as I was apparently walking across an empty parking lot that was not to be walked on….what I don’t try for the “shot”.

Super Bowl 49 #6

Super Bowl 49 #6

So there you have it…just a “fun” photo shoot of an amazing structure!!

I have also made it through the blog without voicing an opinion on who I am rooting for. You have to realize, my wife and I both take football very seriously and have raised our girls to appreciate the sport (yes, we have even been in Fantasy Football for years…. OK, I  have only won once and maybe I ended up in the basement this year….). All of that said, we seem to have lived in cities that have NFL Teams (Denver, San Diego, Seattle and now Phoenix). In each city, we have been loyal fans win or lose. It does get tough when these teams play each other. I’ll just leave it there….thoughts?

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