Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Elevated Experience

Traveling is important as an artist. It allows you to see new places, meet new people, and expand your mind. It's a crucial part to the creative process and being free to express yourself. While at times it may seem difficult to do, (getting time off work, money, transportation, lodging) one should definitely experience surrounding areas at the very least. Even if you have been the same place multiple times, you're bound to see something different each time. Use your creative mind to find interesting things to involve yourself in. I spent this past weekend in Show Low, Arizona. This area is part of what is called the "White Mountains" here in Arizona. Roughly four hours away from Tucson, we left very early to make the trip. The drive up the AZ-77 North is quite the scenic route. After leaving the low altitude desert you enter the Salt River Canyon. A curvy treacherous road that is steep but has beautiful views. Looking over the side of the road you notice all the rocks and flowing water that is the Salt River. As you climb further in elevation pine trees begin to announce their presence, and soon they are everywhere. Upon arriving at Show Low Lake campgrounds, mid seventies weather, slight breeze, and blue sky filled with fluffy clouds greeted us. After setting up camp I began wandering the area looking for interesting things to photograph. My objective was simply, relax and take photos. The afternoon was now behind me and so I began setting up for my first night of sunset photos. Show Low lake is decent sized and provides quite the foreground for landscape photos at sunset. Next day was primarily spent swimming and driving around exploring the area. As the sun began to fall again I couldn't help but set up in a different location. I have done many sunset/sunrise images over the years but I was most excited about capturing the stars. Show Low lake is stationed at 7,500 feet elevation and doesn't get much light pollution from the city, all this equates to extremely visible stars. Into the late hours of the night I set up my camera and snapped away at 30 second exposures. Armed with the knowledge fellow photographer Sean Parker shared with me, I was quite happy with the images of the stars I had captured considering it was my first serious attempt. Knowing it was a bit late already I headed for a short amount of rest before I would head out again for my last golden hour of the trip. 5:00 a.m. and my eyelids open, its time to shoot. I grab my bag and start walking towards the lake in the darkness. My flash light illuminates my path of gravel and grass. I approach the rim of the lake and I can start to see light coming over the mountains to the east. I book it to make it around the lake and onto the dock to setup. While down there I met an older man who was fishing early in the morning. According to him it was the best time to be out there. I stayed on that dock for some time, watching the sun come over the mountains, and simply thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love. I feel like a lot of the opportunities that have come my way are because of my recent travels and willingness to put myself out there. In stark contrast to one year ago, I can honestly say I am looking forward to the last quarter of 2013. These upcoming months are completely exciting and could possibly change everything. I will work harder than ever to continually improve my photography, increase my network, and take on new challenges. Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Salt River Canyon

Another angle further up


I was really digging the reflection here

People fishing in the lake

Giving my car some love for making it safely



Show Low Lake


Up early fishing at 5:30 am


My first attempt at Astrophotography

Personal Favorite


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