Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘mountains

Cactus and the Clouds

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Dark clouds do not also means storms are coming. They don’t even necessarily always mean that rain is coming.

Many photographers prize what they call storm light. It often occurs when the sun pops out after a storm and illuminates the back edge of the storm.

The contrast of objects against the dark clouds can make for some dramatic images.

This image is not storm light per se, but it has some of its qualities. There was no rain and no storm from those dark clouds in the background.

Yet I was able to take advantage of the edge of those clouds opening up a path for direct sunlight. It arrived in time to give this saguaro cactus a late day warm lighting.

The image was made near Tucson, Arizona. Those are the Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance.

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That Warm Red Glow of Sunrise

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Think of a sunrise or a sunset and what probably comes to mind is an image of the sun.

Yet some of the most interesting sunrise and sunset images I’ve made didn’t feature the sun at all.

Such is the case with this image of sunrise over the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.

The early morning light and its warm glow has turned the rocks into a fiery red color. It won’t be long before all of this mountain moves out of the shadows and into the early morning light.

Symbol of the West

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There are many things that symbolize the western United States. The Rocky Mountains might top the list, but not far below would be cactus plants.

There are many variety of cactus yet the saguaro probably is the best known because of its size and arms.

If you called central casting and asked them to send you a cactus, it would look like this one. Not every saguaro has arms, but in the minds of many it is not a cactus unless it has a number of arms poking out.

There is nothing unusual about this particular saguaro, but it has all of the needed properties to be quintessential.

Those dark clouds in the background didn’t produce any rain, but they made a nice contrast with the foreground.

The saguaro is not widespread in the West. The plant is most likely to be found in southern Arizona and parts of California.

Up Early to Catch the Sunrise

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I made it a point during a stay last October at a bed and breakfast outside of Tucson, Arizona, to get up early to catch the sun rising over the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The view wasn’t as colorful or spectacular as the sunset I had photographed from the same location the night before.

But it was a nice view nonetheless. It was quite cool in the desert. It might be in the 90s during the daytime, but the air cools rapidly after sunset.

There was a small wisp of clouds over the mountains that caught the early  morning light. The air was still aside from a few birds chirping away.

It was one of those moments I won’t soon, if ever, forget.

Fog, Sunrise, Clouds

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Some of the more intriguing images I’ve made have come to me as I was a passenger in an automobile on trip. Typically, it was early morning or late day and the scene involved sunrise or sunset.

This image was made in December 2015 near Altoona, Pennsylvania.

It was cloudy, but not so overcast that I couldn’t see the sun. The fog had mostly lifted, but continued to blanket the low-lying areas in the valleys.

The interplay of the sun and the clouds made for some interesting patterns. Sometimes, it’s nice to be the passenger rather than the driver.

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.

 

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.