We stayed in Tucson on our way to New Mexico. I never tire of this view of the Saguaro Desert!
Up to Speed
I remember taking this shot near Yuma, because I was attracted to the way the light was hitting the weeds at the lower left. But then when looking at the photo on the computer, it just seemed like another dusty, dry, shot of an unappealing landscape. It took me a couple years to get used to the harsh desert sunlight here, and this is one of those locations where I was fighting it all the way.
I decided this week to finally get up to speed on the major improvements that happened in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw recently (specifically the addition of creative profiles to the basic panel). I was not a believer, because I have my usual workflow- and I didn’t see the point of changing. However, I watched tutorials by three of my go-to editing gurus, Matt Kloskowski, Blake Rudis, and Julieanne Kost and gave it a try. I was especially interested in what Blake had to say, because he never does much on the creative side with Camera Raw- he saves that for Photoshop and the plug-ins.
So. . . I used one of Matt K’s new Lightroom/ACR profiles (Crisp Warm) on this photo (plus some other Lightroom edits) and am pleased with the results. I like the way you can reduce the opacity of the profile, which I did here- and that the profiles don’t override the slider settings like presets do. I also really like that you can access the same profiles in Camera Raw, which would allow me to use them in a layer in Photoshop and mask if I wanted. These changes haven’t rocked my world so far, but I can definitely see using this new feature.
Another outing with my photo group- this time close to home!
We visited the Vulture Mine outside Wickenberg and enjoyed wandering around the old ghost town taking photos. Gold was discovered there in 1863 by Henry Wickenberg, who started the mining operation. Eventually a town of 5,000 grew up around the mine, which became the most productive gold mine in Arizona history. It was shut down in 1942 by the government, but is now owned by a private corporation and is open for tours.
Castle Dome Road seems longer than it is, especially for us city slickers in our shiny cars! Every time a car drove by as we were pulled over taking photos, a dust cloud lingered long after the car disappeared. On the way back out to the main highway, I decided it was a photo op and shot this through the windshield.
Out of Town!
On Saturday, Lonnie and I got OUT OF TOWN! After a couple weeks of illness- and then a water leak which will eventually lead to our floors being replaced- we were more than ready for an outing. We didn’t go far- just southeast to the town of Superior to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, where we walked and walked and walked admiring all the different cacti and wildflowers. It is a beautiful spot! I took dozens and dozens of photos; it felt so good to get out and use my camera again.
These rocks form the backdrop of the state park, which is right by the highway. Octotillo was in bloom everywhere!
I brought my Lensbaby Edge 80 along too, which I used on these flowers (along with a bit of enhancement from Topaz Impression).
In the Desert
Probably the highlight for me of our trip to Tucson (beyond lying by the pool and having guacamole with every meal) was seeing the Sonoran Desert. I now get why people love the desert. The landscape there is different from what we’ve seen around Phoenix and definitely not like the high desert climate we live in- it is BEAUTIFUL and full of life. I would love to go back and see more.
This view is from when we stopped the car on the way to the museum.
This is the view next to the museum.
I can only imagine what this looks like at sunrise or sunset (these were around noon. . . and it was SO HOT! ). Beautiful country!