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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Grand Views - Part II

Day Two - up to Flagstaff (7,000 ft.) and the Arizona Snow Bowl (base 9,500 ft. - peak 11,500 ft). The ride up the chair lift was "cool" - literally. The gift shop does a good business in sweatshirts, long sleeve Ts, and blankets. But it is well worth going to the top where you can look down on the clouds.

There is a world class disc golf course around the base of the chair lift. But at more than 9,000 feet, it was difficult for Charles to play more than 2 holes. I just took pictures of the pretty flowers and sky.

After the Snowbowl (and a suprisingly good lunch at an off season ski resort eatery, we headed north west to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments. The landscape at Sunset Crater NM including its lava flow makes it seem like you are on the moon. I did not get any pictures that did it justice. You just have to go and see it for yourself.

Wupatki NM is the site of ruins of the ancient pueblo peoples. When the first rangers came to live at the Wupatki site, they actually lived in the ruins.

We ended day two driving back to Sedona through the southern route instead of going through Oak Creek Canyon. We stopped at the Bell Rock Vista to catch a view of Bell Rock. Unfortunately they were doing contruction next to the vista and they had placed contruction equipment in the path of our view. I shot around it.

Grand Views - Part I

There is the reason why they call the Grand Canyon "GRAND" -- because it is. While we were on vacation in Arizona last week, Charles probably got sick of me saying that the scenery was "awesome", "incredible", "amazing." But I just couldn't help it. It had been over 20 years since I had been to the Grand Canyon but seeing it again was truly an experience. I would go again in a heartbeat (though maybe in a less crowded season - summer is peak tourist season at the canyon).

Our trip started on Friday, July 20 with a flight to Las Vegas and then a 4+ hour drive to Sedona. After getting out of Vegas, we went over Hoover Dam and through the desert. The high on the car thermometer that day was 112 degrees. Yikes. Everyone says "but it's a dry heat." Yeah, but hot is hot!!! At least we didn't have humidity too.

The last leg of the drive was from Flagstaff to Sedona. We drove down through Oak Creek Canyon at night so had no idea about the scenery we were missing. The next day we found out when we awoke to views of red rock vistas all around us.

The view from our balcony.

Some shots from Day One - out and about around Sedona, Arizona.

Oak Creek Canyon (heading north out of Sedona towards Flagstaff).

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Long Time Between PHOGs

I thought that I had posted since January - but apparently not. I have been in a bit of a photo slump. Life sometimes throws you a curve or two and I have been away from artistic pursuits (of any kind) for far too long. I've taken a few pictures here and there. Here are a few.

The Washington Post had a first day of summer photo contest. Here is the shot that I submitted. It seemed like such a typical Washington, D.C. scene - afternoon thunderstorm during rush hour. There were 450 entries and I didn't win. Oh, well. I like my shot anyway.

This past Saturday the Northern Virginia Photographic Society had its annual field trip to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. I probably should have stayed in bed instead of getting up early and heading over to the gardens at 6:30 am. I got a few shots before my camera decided it wanted to jump into the pond. It is now on its way to Penn Camera's repair facility for an estimate on how much it will cost to repair it (if it can be repaired at all). In the meantime, I will have to use my D70 for my upcoming vacation to Arizona and all things photographic. Expensive lesson learned - watch out where you plant your tripod legs.

In May, we were able to get to Kansas City for a long weekend trip to visit Charles' family. Of course I took my camera equipment with me and was able to get a few shots that I liked.

This is the Bloch Wing of the Nelson Atkins Museum at night. I've seen this image in several magazines and decided to try and imitate it. Here is my shot.

On Mother's Day morning, I shot some pictures of the peonies in Jef and Shannon's yard. They were very pink. I've been playing with a technique called the Orten Effect. It creates a dream-like image. Both this picture and the lotus above were manipulated in Photoshop using this technique.

More pictures soon. I promise.