Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘Tucson Arizona

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.

Yeah, It’s Big All Right

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This pint-sized visitor to the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum in Tucson is trying her hand at operating a diesel locomotive.

Union Pacific Railroad donated to the museum this locomotive control stand. Of course such things were designed to be operated by adults. But regardless of your age, you can only pretend to be in control of a train going down the tracks.

In the top photograph this little engineer in training has her left hand on the throttle and her right hand on the knob that controls the front headlights. In the bottom photograph, she has both hands on the throttle. All Aboard!

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.

The Cat I Really Came to See

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Not long ago I posted a couple of photographs of a pair of bobcats at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. I noted in that post that the cat canyon is one of my favorite exhibits at the museum near Tucson.

But the wildcats were not necessarily the kitties that I really wanted to see.

The cat I coveted was an ocelot. It can be found in the Sonora Desert, but there probably are not many of them in Arizona.

On its website, the museum reports that although ocelots have been documented in Arizona, the state is the northern limit of their range. An endangered species, the loss of habitat may limit how many there are in Arizona.

On the day that I visited the museum’s cat canyon, the ocelot was barely visible. I used my longest focal length lens to make the image that accompanies this post.

I was hoping that the ocelot would get up and move around so I could get better photographs of it. But despite three visits to the cat canyon during my time at the museum I had no such luck. This was as good as I got. Maybe next time.

Written by csanders429

January 31, 2017 at 8:36 am

If I had a Glider

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I’m standing on a mountainside in Tucson Mountain Park looking to the southwest. On the floor of the Sonora Desert in the distance is Old Tuscon amusement park. Out of sight to the right is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Out west everything looks far away and the land is quite open compared with what I am used to seeing in the Midwest.

The view makes me wish I had a glider and could launch myself and glide out over the desert. What a view it would be as I soared toward those mountains in the distance.