Gotta Love Arizona!

I had an opportunity to visit Phoenix, AZ recently, and, of course, my camera accompanied me on my journey.  Arizona in the summer is unforgetable, especially if you have lived most of your life in New York State.  The heat is crazy!  Most days during my four day stay exceeded 110 degrees.  I happen to be a fan of summer heat, so I was fine with it, but for most it would be one of those things you wouldn't forget.  I had a chance to make two photo trips during my time in Arizona:  one to Sedona and the other to Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale.  

I was really looking forward to my journey to Sedona.  I had always heard how great it was--and it is--but, unfortunately, I didn't plan my trip appropriately.  I was attending a conference in Phoenix, and at 4:30 p.m. when the conference was over for the day, I took off on my two hour road trip to Sedona.  My goal was to photograph Cathedral Rock, one of Sedona's signature rocks.  I didn't realize, however, that Arizona doesn't have Daylight Savings Time, so when I arrived just before 7:00, I realized I only had about an hour's worth of light.  With the help of one of the locals, I found my way to Cathedral Rock, paid the $9 entrance fee, and took off to photograph this incredible formation of nature.  Because I had such limited time, I really didn't have a chance to experience the greatness of Cathedral Rock, and my pictures don't really do it justice, but I did my best to get what I could.  By 7:45, the bats (100s of them!) were flying close over my head, and by 8:00 every bit of light was gone.  I could have spend hours there.  Oh well.  The photo above is Cathedral Rock, taken just before my light disappeared.  If you have been here, you know this is a classic location, but I loved the reflection, and the green really pops against the blue, cloudless sky.

My trip to Camelback Mountain the next day was much better.  Camelback was only a short 10 miles from my hotel, allowing for better planning.  I headed out to capture the sunset, and I was amazed at what I saw through the lens of my camera.  The Arizona sunset is everything that I had heard it was:  beautiful reds and yellow and a sky that just really lite up.  I was lucky to capture these shots againsts a cloudy sky which gave me some great depth to my photos--awesome!  The man in the photo was rapelling down the side of the mountain, making for a classic silhoutte.  

In all, it was a great trip.  Definitely include Arizona on your bucket list!

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