Arizona

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Spent the last few days trying to figure out travel for the rest of the year. I haven’t gone anywhere since February, mostly because I was working on Snap DC, but I’m starting to get that itch again. Another trip back to California is in the works as well as a fun get away to the beach with my girlfriends. I can’t wait for either trip because I’ll be going with some of the people I love the most in the world. What about you, where do you plan on going this summer? Let me know because I’m also starting to plan a few fall trips as well.

This image was taken last year on our epic road trip across country. One our last stops was in Tucson, Arizona. As soon as we arrived, I knew I wanted to come back. First of all, it was hot like no other. We drove through one of the hottest heat waves ever. I heard there were some places where mailboxes were melting. That’s redonkulous! So I don’t think I was able to enjoy it like I would have been able to if it were just normal heat. I mean the first thing we did was drive to our hotel and immediately put on our bathing suits so we could just soak in the pool. LOL. We finally emerged right before dinner so we could eat and then go watch the sunset. Second reason I want to go back is for the saguaros. I loved Saguaros National Park. We only got to drive around for a little bit but I had never seen cacti so big before. I’d love to explore more.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/100th of a second ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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We didn’t get to spend enough time in Tucson, Arizona. Mainly because it was so freakin’ hot! We drove through a serious heat wave where it was 90 degrees at 8a in the morning. By noon it was up in the 110 to 115 range. It was just so uncomfortable to be outside. Like if you’ve ever gone to Bikram Yoga you know what it’s like in the room. It was hot, humid and you kinda feel like you are having trouble breathing. Well it was like that in Tucson but outdoors. There was no way to get any kind relief except to stand next to the air conditioning. I think the majority of our visit was spent hanging out in the hotel pool to cool off. When we woke up the morning, we packed our bags and left as soon as we could. No offense, Arizona.

But the little bit of it that we did get to see, I really enjoyed. My fav was seeing all the saguaro cacti. I’ve never seen so many in one place. And they were huge! I wish I could have taken one home with me. And the part that I was most surprised about was how many airplanes there were. Granted, our hotel was near the airport but even driving around other parts of the city, it felt like it was a grave yard of airplanes. As if all the airplanes in the world just laid to rest and picked Tucson to hangout in.

The ice cream ain’t bad though 😉

I’d definietly would want to go back again. I didn’t get to see or experience nearly as much as I wanted to but next time I visit Arizona, I’m thinking it will be in the winter time 🙂 Maybe at that time they’ll have some descent weather.

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Man o Man was Arizona hot! That’s what you get when you drive through a heat wave. I think the hottest we experienced was 115 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we were just in Tucson. I heard the heat was so hot that it was melting mailboxes in Phoenix! That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. We pretty much arrived in Tucson, went straight for the hotel pool, got out just in time for dinner in air conditioning and sunset in Saguaro National Park. The next morning we woke up and left Arizona, ASAP.

I didn’t expect too much from the park. I like to keep my expectations low so I don’t disappoint myself but it was way better than I had imagined! These Saguaro cactuses were huge. Way taller than me. So much fun to drive through and point at. If you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, I suggest starting out on the east end of the park where they have a paved road to drive through an 8 mile loop. There are a lot of pull over points where you can just stop and enjoy the views.

From a photographer’s standpoint I had a blast in this park but found it a little difficult to shoot. First of all, there are SO MANY saguaros. To single anyone of them out was difficult. Especially since there are so many cactuses around. They all sort of blended in with their surroundings if you wanted to shoot wide angle. So the way that I did it was to use a foreground element to sort of frame a really cool looking saguaro. I think if I had more time there, I’d also try to use the evening or early morning light to try to highlight the outline of the cactuses. I think that’d be pretty cool. Oh well, next time. Hopefully it won’t be as hot that time.

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The last time I was at the Grand Canyon I was caught in the middle of a huge rainstorm. We spent most of the day trapped in the visitor center with about 50 other people. Not really the type of adventure I had anticipated but as soon as the rain stopped this beautiful fog rolled through the canyon. It made the Grand Canyon look so small because hardly anything was visible.