I have never tried to photograph fireworks before, but as it was the 4th of July, I decided to give it a go. Once again it was myself and my camera on the desert floor in the dark. I feel this is happening too often and it is only a matter of time before a creepy crawly thing gets too close. Luckily, I didn’t see anything slithering in the night. With my camera on a tripod, I put my aperture on f9 (I’m sure anywhere between f8 and f16 would have worked equally as well), lowest ISO, and manual mode with the shutter speed on bulb so I could control the length the shutter was open depending on the fireworks display. Also, I used a zoom lens so I could get a variety of close-ups and wide-angle shots. For me, it was preferable to photograph with my camera in portrait position rather than landscape, but I tried both and at this location (with nothing interesting in the landscape) portrait worked great. I only wish I could have found my remote trigger as it would have reduced camera movement for more clear images. All in all I was happy with the results and had a great time.
As many of you know, last night was a total lunar eclipse easily visible in North America. I decided to capture the progression of the eclipse so I went out into the dark desert at 10:30 pm and set up my camera. The full moon started out so bright I hardly needed a flashlight to walk around all the cactus and take several photos. As the eclipse progressed, the night became pitch black. During that almost complete darkness the stars looked brighter than I have ever seen them and star-gazing in Arizona is an incomparable experience. However, the pitch black night did have some drawbacks. I was sitting amongst all the prickly cactus, wild animals and I am sure a few snakes with only a flashlight . When a coyote ran very close by me, I almost called it quits. However, with the moon beginning to glow a blood red, I knew I couldn’t pack up quite yet. Below are some of the images from that night.
Recently I photographed a couple who had not had their photo taken since their wedding engagement years ago. Their children had been asking them to get new photographs done and it was such a pleasure for me to be their photographer. We had the session at Christopher Columbus Park in Tucson, AZ. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful sunset.
A couple weekends ago, I went with a family to Catalina State Park in North Tucson to do their portraits. The weather was beautiful and the family was great to work with. The children loved getting their pictures taken and were excited to be hiking all over the park. We hiked up a trail that followed the ridge of a mountain. There were spectacular views and great desert scenery.
Last year, my cousins and I decided to recreate an old family photo. We discussed the many photos we would love to replicate, but decided as there were the four of us girls, we would redo our four Aunts’ glamour photo from 1992.
One weekend last month, my cousins Cassie and Jessica came to Tucson from Phoenix and I set up the set in our entryway. We all did our makeup and made our hair as large as possible. However, our hair was not large enough until my mom came at us with a comb and teased our hair to new heights.
We decided who we each looked closest to and arranged ourselves into the appropriate positions. We had a lot of fun trying to perfect the smiles and expressions of our aunts in the older photo. After about one hundred photos, the very last turned out to be almost perfect in comparison. The bottom photo is the final photo we chose out of the camera.
After I took the photo into Photoshop, I was able to adjust the colors and clean up the photo to more resemble the older photograph. I ended up grabbing the boa from the original and placing it in our photo to better match the original. Other than the boa, everything else was captured in camera. After working on our photo and cleaning up the original a bit, the result was remarkably close.
We had originally planned to give the photos as Christmas gifts, but within days there was already a rumor going around the family that there was a surprise gift. We knew the secret would not remain much longer and decided to give the photographs as Easter presents. I printed both the original and replica photos and we framed them together. My sister wrapped the frames and we handed out the gifts. Our aunts opened the gifts at the same time and their reactions were priceless. They were so happy to see the remake and the original.
With the recent snow on the ground, I decided to go hiking at Catalina State Park in Tucson, AZ. The park has beautiful scenery and trails into the mountains. The streams were running and all the saguaros were covered in snow. I took my parent’s dog Caesar for company and I think he had as good a time as I did.
As most of you know, Tucson and Phoenix received a few inches of snow on Wednesday. It is rare to see snow in the lower elevations of Arizona. Thank goodness I hadn’t packed away my snow clothes from Boston. As the snow fell, I went out into the backyard with my camera and dogs to take some photographs. It was so quiet and beautiful.
My sister Shandra and her husband Michael are almost six months pregnant with their first child. It is a very exciting time for all of us, but I am especially looking forward to being an aunt. As I am hosting her baby shower this April (April Showers), I wanted to take some photos for the invites, but also for sentimental reasons. We are having the shower in Tucson, AZ so I wanted to incorporate the desert landscape and also my sister loves the desert. Here are some of my favorites.
On a trip back home to Tucson, I was able to take some desert landscapes of my backyard. Sunsets are amazing in Arizona every single night, but they are always unique. I also did a light painting of a saguaro one night with the full moon in the background.