Arizona by JohnDukesPhotography
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Grand Canyon sunrise
Sharing a panoramic image I recently captured of the absolutely gorgeous Grand Canyon. I captured this image on a very early morning on July 5th, the day after Independence Day, and many of the tourists slept in late and missed out on an absolutely spectacular display of color painted on the canyon walls from the rising sun in the east. Getting up early definitely pays off! This picture is actually four tall images shot in portrait mode, stitched together in Photoshop to create a panoramic image. I did shoot in raw and the colors were just so beautiful. I did use a few layers of luminosity masking in Photoshop in order to bring out the colors in the highlights and shadows. This image was looking north with the light from the rising sun to my right, putting on just a beautiful display of color on the canyon walls. Hope that you enjoy it!
Saguaro National Park at Sunset
The beautiful sunsets at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona are truly one of the most amazing sights!
Saguaro National Park Sunset
I captured this picture on the eastern side of Saguaro National Park from the Tanque Verde Ridge trail. The Arizona sunsets from this park are absolutely gorgeous!
Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus
The cactus, known as the Teddy Bear Cholla, got it's name because the fuzzy branches seem to resemble cute little Teddy Bear arms when viewed from a distance. I found these absolutely gorgeous cactus plants were very fun to photograph, especially during early morning sunrise and sunset, twilight times. The way that the light seemed to glow through the protruding spines and branches, I found to be extremely beautiful. They are definitely one of the most beautiful sights to see in the desert, especially contrasted against a dark background as in the photo I captured here.
Saguaro National Park at Night
Saguaro National Park at night. You definitely hear lots of noises all around from all the wildlife that come out at night, especially the coyotes howling. Most of the animals are nocturnal and hide and seek shelter from the summer heat during the day and only come out at night. But after the sun goes down, and the galactic core of the milky way makes it's appearance on a summer night, the stars in the sky contrasted against the silhouettes of the tall saguaro cactuses will truly take your breath away.
Saguaro National Park-1
In the foreground of this photograph I captured at Saguaro National Park, are Prickly Pear cactuses, For much of the wildlife in the park, this cactus is good source of food, but they are also places for birds and packrats to see shelter from predators. In the middle are the very tall Saguaro cactuses, which dominate the park. I learned that I had been pronouncing Saguaro wrong, and that it is actually pronounced suh-waa-row. Saguaros are found exclusively in the Sonoran desert, so southern Arizona and parts of Mexico are the only places you will find these cactuses. The cactuses are endangered. What I found so interesting about these cactuses, is that they can live for centuries and are enormous in size and a fully grown Saguaro can weigh over a ton! (The cactuses in this photo are actually about 25 feet tall) Saguaros are the largest cactuses in the USA, with some growing over 40 feet tall. Their roots are only 4-6 inches deep and radiate as far as the plant is tall.
Subset at Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park, located just outside of Tucson, AZ, is truly an amazing and beautiful place! And the Arizona sunsets here are just absolutely breathtaking! In this picture, I thought it would look nice to contrast the silhouettes of the saguaro cactuses with the setting sun, so I exposed my camera for the highlights to create this effect. Hope that you enjoy it!
Rainbow over Sedona
Everyone loves a rainbow! This photograph I captured at Red Rock Crossing in Sedona, Arizona after a July afternoon rainstorm. I did not know this at the time I took this photo, but this location was the set for scenes in the the 1950's Western movie "Blood on the Moon". Sedona is truly one of the most picturesque and beautiful towns in America. It is no wonder why so many photographers flock to this area, and there are many art galleries with some amazing photography work hanging on the walls. Next time I visit Arizona, I want to spend a lot more time here. Such an amazing place!
Cathedral Rock - Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, AZ is one of the most gorgeous towns I have been to. All around the city are red rock formations, beautiful canyon walls, forests of pine trees, and adorable little shops, hotels and restaurants. It is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset, for the Arizona skies are simply breathtaking. This is a picture I captured of a rock formation known as Cathedral Rock. It is one of the most photographed sights in the entire state of Arizona and for good reason. The summit elevation of Cathedral Rock is 4,967 feet tall and it can be seen from just about anywhere. It is an absolutely magnificent sight, and one I went back to several times to photograph.
Grand Canyon Romance
One of the things I love to do while traveling is meet new people and make new friends. My photography addiction has brought many new friends into my life and this visit to the Grand Canyon was no exception. As I was photographing a gorgeous sunset over the canyon, I noticed to the left of me, a couple who were sitting on the edge of the canyon, just enjoying the beautiful scene which was unfolding in front of them. I went over and introduced myself and asked their permission to capture an image of them, for I thought they looked so amazing against the backdrop of the canyon. They gladly accepted! I learned that they were from Massachusetts and on vacation, visiting the Grand Canyon. Super nice people! Just sharing an image which is a special part of the story of my photography journey through Arizona.
Grand Canyon Sunsets
Even the widest of lenses will not capture the full beauty of the Grand Canyon. You really have to be there to see it yourself. I captured this image from a place called Lipan Point which is close to Navajo Point and Desert View on the east side of the Grand Canyon. The sunsets from this vista are just simply mind blowing and I was treated to another beautiful sunset when I came here. I used my Canon 16mm lens with a polarizer filter to enhance the richness of the scene and reduce the haze which is so common at the Grand Canyon. I also set my camera settings to f/22 to keep the entire scene sharp and give the starburst effect of the setting sun, which was a technique I used in a similar image I shared. From this viewpoint, you get gorgeous views of the Colorado River. You can see the river on the left side of the frame and also, the twisting and turning of the Little Colorado River, which is downriver on the right hand side of the frame. During sunset and sunrise at the Grand Canyon, the way that the
Grand Canyon Sunrise-1
The Grand Canyon is as difficult to photograph as it is breathtaking. The layers of detail on the canyon walls, the depth, and the sheer size of it, shrinks in any lens that is wide enough to adequately display it, and the scale of it is lost when using a telephoto lens to drill down on a certain detail. I tried to convey the depth and magnitude of the Grand Canyon in this image, where I noticed a young couple enjoying a beautiful sunrise, close to the Mather Point section of the canyon. While I am sure that this was a beautiful and romantic time for these two, I hope you can somehow see how little they appear in this photo when contrasted against the enormity of the Grand Canyon. I have many more Grand Canyon images coming soon, and also some from Sedona to share soon!
Sunset at Grand Canyon
What more words can be spoken about the Grand Canyon in Arizona, that have not already been spoken by the millions of people who have visited this place for centuries? There really are no words! I am speechless! One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon puts the grandiosity of nature and creation at a whole different level. The diverse, beautiful colors of the Grand Canyon are a magnificent sight to behold and it's mile deep canyon walls make you feel so tiny. It is absolutely breathtaking! To look out at this kind of place and witness this type of creation, and not believe in God is to me, impossible. In my opinion, it actually requires more faith to believe that this world just came to be as a result of some cosmic accident, instead of created by a majestic and loving God. Just beautiful! This image was last night's sunset, captured on Independence Day. To capture the starburst effect of the setting sun in this image, I set my Canon 16-35mm lens at f/22, using a shutter speed
Salt River - Phoenix Arizona
This is an area outside of Phoenix called the Salt River. For landscape photography this is one of the most gorgeous places for sunset and sunrise in the Phoenix area. Go to the Water Users Recreation Site. Here you can get some amazing reflections and colorful sunrises and sunsets.
Grand Canyon sunrise Saguaro National Park at Sunset Saguaro National Park Sunset Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus Saguaro National Park at Night Saguaro National Park-1 Subset at Saguaro National Park Rainbow over Sedona Cathedral Rock - Sedona, Arizona Grand Canyon Romance Grand Canyon Sunsets Grand Canyon Sunrise-1 Sunset at Grand Canyon Salt River - Phoenix Arizona
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