Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘Arizona

Yes, Smokey Does Exist

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As a kid I remember seeing public service announcements on television featuring Smokey the Bear, whose signature line was “only you can prevent forest fires.”

As a young adult with a CB radio, Smokey became known in my mind as a slang term for a police officer, usually a state trooper, who was on the watch for speeding on interstate highways.

The name derived from the fact that troopers usually wore ranger hats similar to the one that Smokey wore.

Last year while visiting a museum in a national park outside Sedona, Arizona, I got to meet Smokey.

Well, actually it was a statute of him that didn’t talk. I wasn’t aware that Smokey was still in use by the park service, but at least here he was.

Written by csanders429

June 30, 2017 at 6:33 am

He Hardly Moved All Day

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During a visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum last October I was hoping to make photographs of an ocelot moving around in his grotto.

But the temperature that day was in the 90s and the ocelot didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping. I can’t say I blame him.

I returned to the wildcat exhibit three times throughout the day and ocelot had barely moved. This was the best I was image I was able to make.

The lesson I took away from this is that I need to visit the museum on a cooler day.

Written by csanders429

June 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

First Red Rocks I Saw

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Many people visit Sedona, Arizona, to see the red rocks there. That was one of the attractions for me, too, during a visit in October 2016.

I don’t remember if this formation has a name, but it was one of the first ones that I spotted on the drive north. There was a museum and overlook here so I wheeled in and got this image.

 

Sunset Casts its Glow on the Mountains

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The sun is setting in Scottsdale, Arizona, as we wrap up a visit to Pinnacle Peak Park. I can’t see the sun from where I’m standing but I can see the reddish glow that it is casting on the nearby mountains. It is a sight I will never tire of seeing.

Do You Like Your Cities Wide, Medium or Close Up?

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Photojournalism textbooks often talk about wide angle, medium and telephoto shots. Each has its own pros and cons, but ultimately the reason for doing one or the other depends on what you are trying to show.

Shown here are three different views of essentially the same thing. I’m standing on A Mountain overlooking Tucson, Arizona.

My focal point is the city’s downtown. In sequence, the images are progressively becoming wider in scope.

By zooming out, the perspective changes as the frame becomes narrower on the focal point. It becomes a tradeoff between detail and a wider sense of place.

Road to Infinity

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One of the distinguishing features of the American West is how if you get up high enough you can see a road unwinding for what appears to be miles off into infinity.

This road is North Soldier Trail in northeast Tucson. I was driving southward when I caught this view and pulled off to record it.

I wanted to get a break in the traffic, but I also didn’t have time to wait it out as we had somewhere we needed to go.

What fascinates me the most about this view is not so much the road in the foreground, but the road in the distance, which is not an extension of Soldier Trail. It is another road.

But there is an illusion that the road dips down and out of sight only to rise up again farther away.

Written by csanders429

February 4, 2017 at 7:38 am

Sheer Rock Cliff

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If you live in the western United States, the sight of mountains probably is old hat. You see them every day and appreciate their beauty and starkness and all that, but they are just another object in a familiar landscape.

Having grown up on the prairies of east central Illinois, I’ve never outgrown my fascination with mountains.

These days I live in Northeast Ohio, which has some nice hills, but nothing that comes close to matching rock cliffs such as the one shown above.

Given that I don’t get to see sights such as this very often, my camera will be out to capture it, if can.

This particular mountain is located near Tucson, Arizona.