Sunday, December 23, 2012

Grand Canyon Views

I hope you have enjoyed these photos nearly as much as I enjoyed capturing them. May each of you have a wonderful holiday season and a blessed new year. Many of these scenic photographs are available on calendars and prints in my on line gift shop.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Red Rock State Park

I have been enjoying a very lazy weekend, so I thought I would share some of my photos from my Arizona Vacation a few months back.
Welcome to the scenic beauty of Northern Arizona. These photos were all taken in Red Rock State Park just outside of Sadona, Arizona.

Bell Mountain
This area is considered to contain many energy vortexes, Bell Mountain being one that is believed by many locals to hold strong spiritual powers. According to my Mother-in-law a few years ago many people gathered on Bell Mountain in hopes of a much anticipated rapture only to be overcome by heat stroke in the hot afternoon sun. For most though this area is just a magnificent area to hike and commune with nature.

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual trip to Red Rock State Park. Now please hop over and visit some of the other city's taking part in Unknown Mami's Sunday in my City.

Unknown Mami

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Have I lost it?

What woman goes to a unique shopping center and doesn't look at a single item that is for sale? Yep, that would be me. I know I should have my right to call myself a woman revoked or at minimum suspended. 

However, in my defense the architecture and landscaping at Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village in Sadona Arizona is so mesmerizing I was too busy oohing and awing to notice the many unique crafts items for sale. An absolutely amazing experience. Here let me show you.

The entire village looks like an old Mexican village possibly built as long ago as when Arizona belonged to Mexico.
Just look how the tree limb has grown into the outer wall as if the wall was there when the tree was just a sapling.
Wide staircases with beautiful elaborate tile work approached by worn cobblestone paths, led to shops unexplored. Enormous Intricately carved doors thrown wide in welcome . All set in stucco buildings that captured Mexican Colonial Architecture down to the very smallest detail.
Everywhere I turned my eyes were met with beauty and grace. I was led down winding cobblestone paths that opened into breathtaking courtyards.
Black & White Wednesday Submission
To find myself branching off onto paths through narrow shaded alleys with small hidden courtyards, fountains and intricately carved benches.
No area had been overlooked, it was all terrific, Right down to small delicate fountains heavily covered with moss like this religious shrine nestled against the stucco protected by lush vegetation and ornate ironwork.
If I wasn't entranced by the architecture I was captivated by the sculptures. Every courtyard, walkway and nook held some fantastic carving from delicate pots to elaborate sculptures.

The only thing that felt a bit out of place to me was the Zen Garden in one of the larger courtyards. Although, even that held my interest. 
I was not the only one that had eyes only for the beauty of the scene around me, this artist was creating a wonderful painting featuring the villages bell tower.
So what do you think, does my defense hold up or do I need to sign up for classes on how to be a woman?

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Black and White Wednesday

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Victorian Peek

Here is a peek at a Victorian photo session that I shot yesterday. For this photo shoot we chose to go into the Freemason Historic District in down town Norfolk.
Weekend Reflection Submission

While taking the above photo on the steps of an old home that is now used as a business we were invited into a beautiful old home just across the street. The owners are in the process of restoring the home and decorating it with many historical pieces. In addition to opening their home to photographers they also provide historical walking tours of the area.

The owners were even kind enough to allow their little dog to take part in the photo shoot.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sissy at Japanese Gardens

Have you ever had an off day when you decide on the spur of the moment to do a photo shoot and wind up forgetting important things? Well, I did. I wasn't going to post these as they are certainly not the quality I would expect from myself, but I thought it might be a good way to show what not to forget. Can you tell what I forgot?

 Although they are not the quality I would prefer I did get some cute shots of the kids.

So as you have probably already figured out not only did I forget to bring my reflectors and use flash for fill light I also was not making the proper aperture adjustments. Do you see anything else that I may have forgotten?
What I learned: Make myself a check list so next time I don't forget important things like fill lighting and reflectors.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Montezuma's Castle

Earlier this month on Artistic Composition I posted a bit about my vacation last month in Arizona, today I would like to focus on Montezuma's Castle. Located high on a cliff this ancient home shows the forethought and ingenuity of the people who once lived here. The location must have offered the residents a great deal of protection.
The only access was made through the use of tall ladders starting at the base of the cliff and extending to ledges either natural or man made in the side of the cliff at which point another ladder would be placed to reach the next ledge. 
I can only image what life must have been like for the residents that were not in the prime of health, for they certainly would have been confined to one area of the castle.  
Walking along a paved walkway at the base of the cliff  one can see glimpses of many small caves in the cliff wall. Some are semi-sealed off with windows in the outer wall and others are open. According to the brochure many of these would have been used for storage and may have been used for individual confinement. Talk about one heck of a "Time Out" spot.
Benches have been placed in various spots to allow visitors to sit and rest or just soak in the soothing atmosphere.
I could not help but wonder if the foliage in the canyon has changed much since the castle was built. There were some trees that looked very old and others of course were not so old but the foliage was very thick in areas.
Not too far from the base of the cliff just a short way off the path we could see the river that supplied the ancient people with water.
This park although small is most surely a spot I could find myself returning to often if I lived closer because of its' extremely peaceful setting. If you find yourself in Northern Arizona I strongly recommend visiting this historical location.