• Fall Color Road Trip

     

    Lockett Meadow- Flagstaff, Arizona

     

    Yes, we have fall colors in Arizona! We actually have a huge variety of landscapes in our beautiful state. One of my favorite road trips in early October is a drive to Lockett Meadow near Flagstaff. Lockett Meadow is a primitive campground located in the Coconino National Forest. It offers a beautiful view of the San Francisco Peaks and the golden aspens in the fall.

    Closeup Aspens- Lockett Meadow

     

    The campground has 17 sites which are all are set among the aspens. Lockett Meadow is also where the trailhead for the Inner Basin Trail starts, which leads to the heart of the ancient volcano. This is a busy trail, especially in the fall for the amazing colors.

    Golden Aspens

     

    Fall Colors- Lockett Meadow

     

    Getting there:

    Location: 15 miles north of Flagstaff in the heart of the San Francisco Peaks.

    Directions: Drive northeast of Flagstaff on US Highway 89 for 12.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 552, directly across from the Sunset Crater National Monument turnoff. Follow FR 552 for approximately one mile. Turn right at the Lockett Meadow sign and continue to the campground.

    This dirt road is closed in early spring and late fall due to snow. This road is not recommended for RVs/trailers due to the very steep, narrow (single lane), and rough road.

    GPS: (Map): 35°21’33.3″N 111°37’09.7″W

     

    Snow Bowl: Aspen Loop Trail

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    When I make the drive up to Lockett Meadow I usually plan on heading up to the Snow Bowl in the afternoon for sunset and more golden aspens. Another fall favorite is the Aspen Loop Trail, this is a 2.5 mile easy/moderate trail with nice aspens and meadows with views of the distant volcanic field to the west. The trail starts at the north end of the Snow Bowl parking lot. The fall is just beautiful up here, come for sunset, you won’t regret it.

     

    Sunset Snow Bowl, Arizona

     

    This year I made the day trip to Lockett Meadow and Aspen loop for my birthday. My friends know that I love road trips and I know it sounds strange, but I really can’t think of many other things I would rather do on my birthday. The only thing that would have made this trip better would be doing it with my friends 🙂

  • argus c3 rangefinder camera

    Vintage Camera Project

    I love studying the history of photography and some of you may be aware that I have a small vintage camera collection. I think that’s why I have been learning about vintage/alternative photo processing over the last year. Learning and understanding how early photographers worked helps me hone my own art/craft and forces me think outside the box.  This concept leads to my most recent project; what I’m calling “Vintage Camera Project”. Here’s the basic idea: I’m shooting “portraits” of my classic cameras and then processing them with a vintage look. Some will then be made into photo transfers onto wood panels. I will be featuring my favorites here on my blog over the next few months.

    argus c3 rangefinder camera

     

    First up, the Argus C3 Rangefinder- this camera was mass-produced from 1939 to 1966 by Argus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The C3 was a low cost rangefinder and according to Wikipedia, Argus sold about 2 million units, making it one of the most popular cameras in history. Based on the serial number of my Argus C3 it was produced in 1950. This camera was commonly referred to as the “brick” by photographers because of it’s metal construction and weight (this thing does feel like a brick!).

    So, this next image is the final result of my photo transfer to wood. I first learned about this technique in alternative photographic processing class this past Spring at Phoenix College. However, I didn’t try the technique until recently, after seeing a tutorial on instructables.com- I will write a future post on the entire technique, start to finish.

    IMG_2617

     

     

  • sedona photofest

    Heading to Sedona Photofest

     

    I’m excited to be heading to Sedona again for the Sedona Arts Center annual Sedona Photofest. It’s a great reason to get out of the Phoenix area, especially when we are hitting 110 degrees this week, although I can always find an excuse to head out of town- I love road trips! The event runs June 5th and 6th and the first day is FREE– sponsored by the City of Sedona.

    sedonapf

    Featured speakers include Julieanne Kost, Larry Lindahl and Jennifer Wu on Thursday and Tony Sweet, Scott Stulberg and Mike Olbinski on Friday. While I’m there I plan to get out for some hiking and sunset/night photography. I will post a summary of the event and some of my Sedona photos next week. If you want updates on the event in real time check out my twitter and facebook feeds during the photofest.

    If you are interested in attending, I believe there are still spots left. Register here. 

     

     

  • Joshua Tree Star Trail

    Shooting Stars at Joshua Tree National Park

     

    As I mentioned in a recent post, just over a month ago I went camping in Joshua Tree National Park with my friend and photographer Lennis Wayne. Shooting images for a star trail was on my mental “shot list” and we were fortunate enough to have 2 nights with clear skies. The park is all desert, although what’s interesting to me is that there are 2 different desert climates in the park; the Colorado and the Mojave deserts. The  Colorado desert is part of the larger Sonoran desert that spans the Southwest U.S.. At below 3,000 feet in elevation, the Colorado desert covers the eastern portion of the park. The Mojave desert is higher, cooler and home to the famous Joshua Tree. The Mojave makes up the western portion of the park and contains large forests of Joshua trees. This part of the park also has unique boulder formations that look like they came from another planet.

    Now, on to the details of shooting my star trail. I have not shot many star trails that I have loved so far, but that’s mainly because I didn’t have the best location or foreground element. Well, I have to say that the Joshua tree made a great foreground for my star trail. The first image is the finished star trail. Camera info: Canon 7D with Canon 10-22 lens at 10mm, f3.5, iso 800, 2 min exposure per shot. I shot for almost 2 hours and ended up with about 50 usable images. Images were loaded into Photoshop as layers and then the blend mode changed to lighten. I also had to remove some plane trails, I didn’t know so many planes fly over the park! I will share a short video tutorial on how I removed the plane trails in a future post.

    joshua tree-2014-1430
    Click image to view large.

     

    One of my frames captured a shooting star, I thought that was pretty cool. Have a great week!

     

    joshua tree-2014-1401
    Click image to view large.
  • Salt print

    Alternative Processing is Fun!

     

    Some of you who follow me on Facebook or other social media may already know that I recently took a class on alternative photographic processes at Phoenix College. I thought it would be cool to share a little about alt processing and what my experiences were learning these new techniques. First I want to define alternative processes, I took the following from wikipedia:

    The term alternative process refers to any non-traditional, or non-commercial photographic printing process. Currently the standard analog photographic printing process is the gelatin silver process, and standard digital processes include the pigment print, and digital laser exposures on traditional color photographic paper.Alternative processes are often called historical, or non-silver processes. Most of these processes were invented over 100 years ago and were used by early photographers.

    Alternative processing has become popular again in this digital world, I believe it’s because we are looking for ways to stand out and be different. I took this class to force myself to get out of my comfort zone and make new, unique art. I’m always learning new techniques so that I can grow as an artist. What’s great about many of these techniques is that they are very easy to work with and can give consistent results- once you get the technique down. The processes we focused on were more of the simple, easy to learn ones. The first I want to discuss is the photogram.

    Photograms

    Photograms are images made on a photo sensitive material without using a camera. Objects are placed on the light sensitive paper and placed in the sun or under a UV light for a period of time. The final image is a shadow or silhouette,  it can have variations in tone based on the transparency of the object used. Photograms can be done on traditional photo paper or a paper coated with chemicals for an alternative process. The first photogram I did was leaves on a tracing paper coated with a salt solution then with a silver solution, this process is called a salt print. They are not very permanent and the colors will change and fade over time. Take a look at the following images, both are of the same print, the first was the same day that I processed the print.

    IMG_1867
    Click to view large.

    The second is the same print, a few months later. As you can see the print became darker and the lighter, yellowed areas turned a purple color. If continually exposed to light over time the print will continue to change and eventually will darken over the years. This process is not considered permanent.

    IMG_2102
    Click to view large

    I will discuss more alternative photographic processes in a future post, next up- Cyanotypes!

     

  • Welcome to My New Blog

     

    I’ve struggled a for a while debating on if I wanted to start a new blog. Almost a year ago I had malware installed on my wordpress site without my knowledge, after weeks of trying to get rid of it and feeling frustrated, I ended up shutting down the blog. I’m excited that I have decided to take another go at it. My goal with this blog is to share what I’m doing with my photography and inspire you to get out and explore our beautiful planet. Stick around and enjoy the world through my eyes.

    Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park
    Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

    About a month ago I went on a camping/photography trip to Joshua Tree National Park. One of my “bucket list” items is to visit all of the national parks in the U.S., I’m slowly checking them off, one at a time. The spring is a great time to visit Joshua Tree, since it’s all desert, it’s warm during the day and cold at night. In fact, I was surprised how cold the nights were, I guess I didn’t think about the elevation change within the park. We camped at Jumbo Rocks Campground, what a cool place with unique boulders and Joshua Trees everywhere! This campground was centrally located in the park and made a great home base. One of my plans was to do night photography while there, unfortunately the first couple of nights were cloudy and we saw very few stars. However, we did get lucky enough to have 2 clear nights before leaving.

    Starry Night
    Starry Night (click to view large)

     

    Stay tuned next week for more images from my adventures including more from Joshua Tree National Park. Thanks for stopping by!