Sunday, October 28, 2012

Southwest Road Trip 2012, Part 1: Arizona

I took my family on a road trip across the southwest United States. This was a quick vacation, traveling almost 3,000 miles in only 10 days. I captured over 1,000 images during this time.
San Francisco Peaks - Flagstaff, Arizona
This was a major crop--I removed probably 70% of the image to create this photograph. If I had a longer lens with me, all of this cropping would have been completely unnecessary.

I'm doing this a little differently than my typical travel blog posts. Usually I have the photographs in chronological order. This time I'm organizing the images into categories and publishing them in alphabetical order. "Arizona" is first alphabetically, so it's part one of this series.
Three Trees In Autumn - Flagstaff, Arizona
Here we have color contrast--yellow and blue--and the magical number three, both working in one photograph.
With so many miles planned in such a short time, Arizona became a "pass-through" state for us. Because we used to live in Arizona and have previously visited many of the places we drove through, this wasn't a real big deal for us. We spent far more time on I-40 than historic Route 66, which is too bad. I really wish we had driven The Mother Road more, because there are so many great things to see (and photograph) along the old highway.
Nearing the End of Fall - Flagstaff, Arizona
The light was a bit too harsh for this image.
We made Flagstaff an overnight stop going both east and west. By the time we crossed the Colorado River eastbound, the sun had already dipped below the horizon. It was also dark when we left New Mexico westbound. Half of the journey through Arizona was under a blanket of stars. Even so, we saw the entire distance across in daylight, but it took two tries to do so.
Yellow - Flagstaff, Arizona
 Why would somebody write "yellow" under a yellow line? Sometimes by isolating something out of its greater context, one can make an interesting photograph out of what would otherwise be an uninteresting subject.
I used a Pentax K-30 DSLR with a kit 18-55mm lens to capture all of these image. The K-30 is a fairly small and lightweight DSLR that is weather sealed and has great image quality. In other words, it's an excellent travel camera. I really enjoyed using it on this trip. 
Painting The Bank Door - Flagstaff, Arizona
If I wasn't lazy, I'd correct the distortion caused by the low camera angle. One of these days I will get a tilt-shift lens so that I can fix this prior to capturing the image.   
Arizona was more-or-less a blur. We still enjoyed the autumn colors, red deserts and green mountains from the comfort of our automobile. I suspect that on a future trip (perhaps in 2013), we will be able to spend more time exploring northern Arizona and Route 66.
Crossing The Tracks - Flagstaff, Arizona
This was another massive crop--about 60% of the image was removed to create this photograph. The human element--the pedestrians crossing the tracks after the train passed--is what makes this an interesting photograph. Notice how the rail leads the viewer from bottom-left into the middle of the image where the people are.  

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