Let the fun begin!
It is a beautiful show- and I am honored to be a part of it!
P.S. One of my photos has SOLD!
The views go on forever!
We were absolutely entranced by the view from the Mogollon Rim on our recent trip to Payson. The views of rolling hills and mountains seem to go on forever. This image started as an in-camera multiple exposure, which was then layered with another multiple exposure and edited in Photoshop and other programs.
Lonnie and I took a short trip over to Payson for two nights. We had never been in the area east of the Verde Valley and wanted to explore a bit (and I wanted some photo ops!). Our first visit was to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to view the 183 foot tall travertine arch (believed to be the highest in the world). After reading that the hike down to the bottom of the arch was strenuous and on slippery, unstable ground, we decided to save our knees and look at things from a higher vantage point- on level ground.
The arch is magnificent- I wish I could post photos from the bottom looking up instead of the top looking down! Here are two shots (basically the same except for the orientation) from one of the viewpoints at the top. That white stuff is water dripping down.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Prescott- perfect for a walk and some photography. The water is high at Willow Lake, and areas where we normally walk are under water. The upside is that the water surrounding the boulders create beautiful reflections- and waterfowl is everywhere! The usual ducks were there, as well as egrets- and there was a hawk perched high in a tree (too far for a photo with my limited lens).
Arizona sunsets are amazing!
You can see the Thumb Butte ahead with our hill to the right (our house is off camera).
Photography notes: Unfortunately I only had my iPhone with me to capture this (and the snowplow was waiting for us to move, I think)- and I haven’t learned enough about iPhoneography to know how to capture the dynamic range of this scene. I would automatically bracket this scene on my big camera- and could have done it with the phone camera if I knew my controls better (on my to-do list. . .). I edited it on the computer, but I can’t help wondering what it would have looked like taken with my Nikon!
Is it an alien? A robot? A silo? A barbecue?
Nope- it’s an old furnace used for smelting copper in the late 1800″s by the United Verde Copper Company Mines in Jerome. The coke used for fuel was brought around the horn from WALES- and shipped by train to Ash Fork. From there, it was brought over the mountains by mule drawn wagons to Jerome. I’ve walked by this many times on our visits to Jerome and never stopped to look at it before.
I am always amazed by displays like this- and grateful to local historians who think it’s important to save these artifacts from the past.
Here is Tuzigoot, the last ancient pueblo we visited- not built into a cliff, but at the top of a rise. We arrived about 15 minutes before closing, so we had barely got to the top when it was time to climb down again.
Here is the view as we pulled into the parking lot.
A shot taken as we climbed the steps at the top.
And here is the view FROM the top- the road we took back as we headed to Jerome, the last stop on our trip before we headed down the mountain back to Prescott.
The travelogue continues! After visiting Montezuma Castle (and then having lunch at the nearby casino on the reservation!), we drove down the highway to Montezuma Well, another part of the same National Monument. A short walk takes you to an overlook of an eerily deep green/blue well, where cliff dwellings line the surrounding rocks. Yes, the water does really look this color!
We didn’t take the steps down to the water itself, but just continued on the upper trail.
I converted the photo below to black and white; it looks a bit like another planet to me!
Last week, we had a beautiful day of sunshine, a break before the torrential monsoon rains we had a day or two later. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take a drive to the Verde Valley (about an hour away) to see some of the sights on our Arizona bucket list.
The first place on our list was Montezuma Castle to see cliff dwellings!
The pueblos are located in the cliffs overlooking Beaver Creek, hidden behind the trees.
The topic for this month’s photo club is an interesting one: each member randomly drew a piece of paper which had a section of a map of Prescott and the surrounding area on it. Our photo had to be taken within our section of the map. I believe the word creative was used in the description. Gah!
Lonnie and I drove out to my area, and he immediately spied an old windmill, which stands in someone’s yard. Perfect! It was midday with no clouds and 95 degrees, so we planned to go back. The following week, we drove out there again about 9 a.m., and I had a nice chat with the owner of the property. The windmill was there before the land was developed and was evidently part of the original ranch. It still works, although he doesn’t have it going right now.
I had this brilliant (hah!) idea of taking photos of the windmill, a poppy, a street sign and Granite Mountain (visible from the street) and then creating a composite that would be very artsy. I need practice in making composites- both the technical side and the creative side. I never did get all the elements into the photo- maybe someday. And neither of the two composites look at all like I envisioned. I will probably use a plain windmill shot for the photo club.
Here is my first effort. Later in the week, I’ll post my second try.
Don’t you think colour looks better than color? One of my favorite quotes is “Keep calm and fake a British accent,” so this is in that spirit (nothing to do with Brexit. . .).
The above is from last week’s trip to the Grand Canyon. The hazy sky desaturated the colors, which I brought back with Lightroom’s Dehaze brush and some other adjustments. THEN I added a very slight adjustment with Topaz Glow, which is such a cool little plug-in- it does things I don’t know how to do otherwise. Very fun! The frame is from On1 Effects.
This morning I was out with my macro lens, trying to capture the early morning light on the flowers when I became aware of some movement across the street.
It was a javelina!
He seemed on a mission and continued up the hill and up the driveway of our neighbor’s house, where I lost sight of him.
We have lived here almost three years and, although herds of javelinas can be seen throughout Prescott, especially in early evening, we had never seen a javelina in our neighborhood until today. I know from neighbors that they are around, but they seem to avoid my camera. In fact, last month something rooted up all our bulbs in the front flower bed- and damaged some of the drip system. And now I have a potential suspect!
Unfortunately, my 80mm macro lens was on the camera, so I wasn’t able to zoom in on our visitor. The first two photos are cropped.
FYI, javelinas are collared peccaries, not boars or pigs. They are usually in small herds or family groups and can be aggressive.
And they sound like this! http://www.desertmuseum.org/books/audio/javlina_medley.mp3
at the Bryce Thompson Arboretum