Landscape and Panoramic Photography

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Lightning Storm from Boulder

After arriving in Boulder, I noticed flashing light off to the east through the trees. I couldn’t hear the thunder, but lightning was striking every half second in the thunderstorm over the plains. I drove up the hill near the NCAR Mesa Lab and took a few 30-second exposures of this storm cloud before heading to bed.

LightningStormfromSouthBoulder

Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#2), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)

LightningStormfromSouthBoulder4

Lightning Storm from South Boulder (#4), Boulder, CO (12″x18″)

Ute Mountain and Clouds

On my drive to Boulder, CO, I stopped along US 285 near San Antonio Mountain to photograph the summer clouds passing over the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

UteMountainClouds

Ute Mountain and Clouds, Rio Arrive County, New Mexico (12″x18″)

Monsoon from Sentinel Peak

When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.

MonsoonCloudsfromSentinelPeak2

Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)

Boot Hill Climbing

Routes on the north and west faces of the rock promontory above the Prison Camp area make for great spring climbing along the Catalina Highway on Mt Lemmon. I especially liked the shadows of the passing clouds on the hills in the background.

BootHillCliffsAndClouds

Boot Hill Cliffs and Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x39″)

Green Slabs Climbing

Just past Milepost 9.9 and the Seven Cataracts Overlook, the road cut along the Catalina Highway (General Hitchcock Highway) forms two vertical cliffs on either side of the road. The climbing cliffs just uphill from this pullout are called The Green Slabs. There are a variety of traditional (‘trad’) routes on the south face and sport climbing on the north face. Here are a few photographs from the area.

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Focus on the Rock, Coronado National Forest, AZ (12″x18″)

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Green Slabs Cliffs and Highway, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x49″)

Milagrosa and Agua Caliente, Part 2

Here is a second series of photographs from my Milagrosa to Agua Caliente Canyon loop hike. I was amazed to see water flowing near the top of Agua Caliente (second photograph) even though we had received so little moisture for most of the winter.

LookingDownMilagrosaCanyon

Looking down Milagrosa Canyon, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (16″x33″)

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Falls in Agua Caliente, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (12″x18″)

Milagrosa to Agua Caliente Canyon

In March, I hiked up Milagrosa Canyon (I have posted climbing photographs from this canyon in the past). I exited the top of Milagrosa by scrambling up a series of stepped dry waterfalls. I then picked my way across a hill through the Sonoran Desert until I hit a trail that dropped back down into the head of Agua Caliente Canyon. After a brief swim at a lunch time pool, I boulder-hopped down Agua Caliente to where the two canyons join near the road. As I was sliding from boulder to boulder, countless thumb-sized, camouflaged desert toads hopped out of the way of my feet. Overall, the day was at least an 8/10 stars for fun- it felt rugged without ever being more than three hours from a trailhead.

SaguaroCactiMarchingIntoMilagrosa

Saguaro Cacti Marching into Milagrosa, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (14″x16″)

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Agua Caliente Pools, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (16″x42″)

Homestead Climbing

Two hours north of Tucson along Arizona State Route 77, a small turnoff dumps you out onto a dirt road that winds up into the hilly desert. The southern Arizona climbing community has created a series of trails and low-impact camping sites so climbers can unobtrusively set up a tent and climb in the limestone canyon known as ‘The Homestead’. The limestone cracks and overhangs in this area are a fun alternative to climbing the granite and schist of Mt Lemmon.

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Homestead Canyon Cliffs, Gila County, AZ (16″x54″)

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Far off the Ground at Homestead Canyon, Gila County, AZ (16″x44″)

Window Peak Summit

After hiking to Ventana Arch, we scrambled up the rock towers of Window Peak. The approach to the summit took a few hours; we had to ascend at least 4,500 feet from the trailhead to the peak, but the views were worth the walk. The hike down to Sabino Canyon was also gorgeous- a few rainclouds blew over and spat a few drops of water on us as we passed the last ridge near sunset.

LookingDownFromWindowPeak

Looking Down from Window Peak, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x57″)

SaguaroandEveningCloudsSabino

Saguaro and Evening Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x36″)

 

 

Ventana Canyon and Ventana Arch

Early in March, I hiked up the Ventana Canyon trail to Ventana Arch and back down through Sabino Canyon. Here are a few panoramas I took on the way up to the Arch.

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Ventana Arch, Cliff, Hills, and Sky, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x53″)

MaidenPoolsRocksCacti

Maiden Pools Rocks and Cacti, Ventana Canyon, AZ (16″x50″)

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