Breakfast In The Desert And Dinner In The Mountains

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Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand

I love living in Arizona – I can have breakfast in the desert and dinner in the mountains,which is exactly what I did a few days ago. I live in Scottsdale which is 2 hours south of Flagstaff, Arizona, I had heard from my sources in “Flag” that the colors were peaking or “going off” as we say in the biz, so I knew I had to get up there fast. One windy storm and the leaves would be “gone with the wind” for sure.

I got up to “Flag” in the early afternoon, a little later than I had intended to, so I made a beeline right to the location that I was told the colors were supposed to be “going off”. I have to admit on my drive north I saw nothing that would lead me to believe that there was any good color at all and I was a bit anxious to see what I would find. I was glad when I started seeing some good color along the forest dirt road I was directed to. The light was perfect with warm gold and yellow tones and I wanted to get right to work. I quickly pulled into a what looked like a nice camping spot,  grabbed my camera bag and tripod and off I went….out into a world of autumn gold!

 

Yellow Rising

Yellow Rising

 

For the most part I always have a wide angle lens on my camera, I call it my “normal” lens. I love the unique perspective that it gives me. And I am all about seeing the world in a different way. I had my Tamron 10-24mm on my camera and I was standing in the middle of a stand of golden aspens breathing the crisp mountain air and taking in the beauty and light, I looked up at the gorgeous color and “BAM” there was the shot. I walked over to the aspen tree with the thickest trunk and basically put my chin to the tree turned my camera vertical and that was the shot. I love how it turned out and it’s funny, people ask me, “How do you see those things?”…..you just have to LOOK…..a wide angle lens is so much fun – just slap that lens on and the world is your “wide angle” oyster!

 

 

 

Aspen Meadow

Aspen Meadow

Of course a wide angle is great for a “wide perspective” on landscapes as well – I like my lens at it’s widest setting – 10mm but it’s nice having the option of zooming in a bit too and with the Tamron 10-24mm I can do that. Life is all about having options isn’t it? When I get to a location that I want to shoot a unique perspective with my wide angle I actually put the camera to my eye and walk around looking through the viewfinder for “the shot”. It’s like putting on a new pair of reading glasses and walking in them for the 1st time and I wouldn’t recommend this in a busy city or at the edge of the Grand Canyon since it’s easy to trip if you aren’t careful but for me a trip over a small branch is all I had to worry about here – so don’t try this at home kids!

 

 

Silent Aspens

Silent Aspens

After all of the wide angle shots I thought I would “zoom in” for some detail photos since detail is really what makes up a sense of “place”. I put my Tamron 18-270mm lens on and as the sun sank low in the sky I noticed the shadows on the aspen tree trunks behind me so I turned my tripod around and zoomed in to isolate the patterns on the trees. The trunks on the aspen trees here were so unique, it was almost like they had animal stripes and that I would see some sort of perfectly camouflaged creature walk out of them at any moment. It was kind of creepy having those thoughts but I have a very overactive imagination and that is what happens. I wanted to give that “creepy” feeling in this detail shot of the trunks and I thought processing it to black and white would do it ….can you feel it?  I shot more detail photos with the Tamron 18-270mm – it gave me so many options as far as how many focal lengths I could utilize from wide to close-up. For a quick afternoon shoot I certainly came away with a great variety of shots from super wide to dramatic close up detail. Now it was time to head into town for “dinner in the mountains” then drive back home to the desert and call it a very good day!

So get out there and see the world with a different view – whether it’s wide or close-up play with your photos and the perspectives that you want to shoot. If it’s not FUN then why do it…so let’s have some FUN! Oh, did I mention that I love living in Arizona!

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