Spring time poppies here in the Arizona desert this spring. We were blessed with lots of rain this year, so our desert floor came to life with lots of colors from our wildflowers. I found this patch of poppies up on a bank, so I was able to get down low and shoot up quite easily and capture the underside of the flowers with the sky in the background.
A beautiful morning just after sunrise on the Gila River at the Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area, Tolleson, Arizona. It might be hard to believe by looking at this image, but this place is in the heart of the Sonoran Desert right outside of the city of Phoenix. This place is an oasis in the desert where people come to fish, enjoy many species of birds, and photograph.
This photo was captured with a 30 second exposure to smooth out the water and give a burst of movement in the clouds.
A sunset photo of the Mill Avenue Bridge over Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. This is a man made lake created by damming the Salt River. To the left of the bridge is Tempe, Arizona. Then just to the right is the City of Phoenix.
I wanted to create a long exposure image to both smooth out the water on the lake and capture some movement of the clouds. Due to slow moving clouds, I had to use an 83 second exposure to capture the movement I wanted.
For me, I really liked all the contrasts this image displays. First, there is the contrast of the light and shadows. Then the clouds look like an explosion of energy to contrast with the smoothness of the water. The capture of motion also contrasts nicely with the solid standing bridge.
You may view a larges size version of this image on Flickr
Saguaro cacti against a colorful Arizona sunset west of Phoenix, Arizona. I created this image by capturing three images f14, ISO 100, /1/500 second with one each + 2 EV and -2 EV, and creating an HDR merge in Lightroom. After merging, I continued editing with Topaz Studio using the precision contrast and detail adjustments along with HSL Color Toning adjustments. I love how Topaz brings out the details in an image.
Walking around the desert looking to make an interesting landscape image when you have grayed out skies, can be quite challenging. However, I did come home with this image worthy to work with. I felt the dead tree in the foreground along with the sun bleeding through the clouds worked great with the mood of this shot. I did an HDR merge in Lightroom then played around with tonal adjustments to come up with this. I also reduced saturation a little using the HSL panel. To finish it off, I used the radial filter to brighten up the dead tree a little bit along with using the adjustment brush to dodge and burn in other areas of the image. Photographed west of Phoenix, Arizona.
You may view a larger size version here on Flickr.
It is always nice, at least in my opinion to see the glow around cacti when the sun strikes the spines just right. The cactus in the foreground is a Cholla Cactus, which is one of the best, if not the best, in my area for catching that light. I stopped down my aperture to f20 to get the star effect and waited for the sun to get positioned just right for this image. I bumped us the warm tones with white balance in Lightroom. I also used Topaz Clarity to increase contrast and Topaz Detail to bring out a little bit more details. I also did a little some dodging and burning in Photoshop to lighten highlights and darken the shadows some.
35mm, f20, 1/50 sec, ISO 100.
You may see a larger version of this image here in Flickr.
One of my rare Arizona desert landscapes without cactus. This image was captured at the Skyline Regional Park, Buckeye, Arizona along a hiking trail. I stopped down my aperture to f14 to get the star effect as the sun was fixing to go down, behind the mountain. I also used the adjustment brush in Lightroom to brighten the rocks in the lower right to give the effect of the light striking them. Then I lightened slightly a bit of the landscape between the rocks and the sun and to the ridge of the mountain to create paths for the eyes to follow to the sun. The eyes will either go straight from the rock to the sun, or travel up to the ridge of the mountain, then down to the sun. I also used the adjustment brush to darken some of the shadows. You may see a larger version here on my Flickr or here on 500px.