Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Posts tagged “Sonoran Desert

Rock Prow at Sunset

We scrambled and boulder-hopped onto a small ridge above camp to watch the sun set over the Rincon Mountains.RockProwCloudsatSunset Rock Prow at Sunset, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (12″x18″)

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Exfoliating Rock and Clouds

A texture-focused photograph of the exfoliating bedrock and clouds east of Rincon Peak in southeastern Arizona.

ExfoliationsAndCloudsEastofRinconPeak

Exfoliations and Clouds, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (12″x18″)


Exfoliating Rock East of Rincon Peak

Just east of the Rincon Mountains and Mescal Road (Forest Road 35), a second, shorter series of hills pokes up from the desert floor. From a satellite view, I could see waves of rock with nearly parallel fissures running NW-SE through the hills. Sediment is draped over parts of the exposed bedrock like a blanket. This spring, we camped near a stream bed and spent the day exploring the landscape of shattered rock and high desert grass and cacti. I took a series of photographs of the exfoliating bedrock that appears as if it is shedding its old skin.

ExfoliatingRockSlabRinconMountainsExfoliating Rock Slab, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (16″x50″)

ExfoliatingRockandCloudsRinconMountainsExfoliating Rock and Clouds, east of Rincon Peak, AZ (16″x37″)


Lower Tanque Verde Falls

After visiting the Upper Tanque Verde Falls in February (see previous week’s post), I hiked up to the Lower Falls in March. The hike to the Lower Falls allowed for a bit of exploration and boulder hopping, but I preferred to photograph the clearly delineated cliff striations at the Upper Falls. After using an ND filter to make the water flatten out, I was able to walk away with at least one good panorama of the Lower Falls.

GlassyWaterAndLowerTanqueVerdeFalls

Glassy Water and Lower Tanque Verde Falls, near Tucson, AZ (16″x54″)


Upper Tanque Verde Falls, Part 3

While photographing Tanque Verde Falls, the striations in the rock kept drawing my attention. I tried to get in close to the cliff face to use the striped rock to both frame the falls and lead the viewer’s eye towards the cascading water.

StriationsAndTanqueVerdeFalls

Striations and Tanque Verde Falls, near Tucson, AZ (16″x36″)


Upper Tanque Verde Falls, Part 2

After taking a few photographs of Tanque Verde Falls from above, I tried to get below the falls to photograph the water from below. I made the main focus of the three-frame vertical panorama the small cascade at my feet, but I tried to capture the larger falls in the upper right corner of the composition.

LookingUpAtUpperTanqueVerdeFalls

Looking Up at Upper Tanque Verde Falls, near Tucson, AZ (16″x15″)


Upper Tanque Verde Falls, Part 1

Last February, I took a late winter walk out to the upper portion of Tanque Verde Falls. After scrambling around on the rock shelves for a few minutes, I found a spot that allowed me to photograph both the cascading water and the striations in the cliff face.

LookingDownOnUpperTanqueVerdeFallsColor

Looking Down on Upper Tanque Verde Falls (color), near Tucson, AZ (16″x32″)

LookingDownOnUpperTanqueVerdeFallsBW

Looking Down on Upper Tanque Verde Falls (B&W), near Tucson, AZ (16″x32″)


Tucson Mountains Saguaro Cacti

I went for a January pre winter  storm (in Tucson read: rainstorm) hike in the Tucson Mountains. Cactus spines and arms stood out in front of the approaching clouds.

cactustopcloudstucsonmountainsCactus Top and Clouds, Tucson Mountains, AZ (12″x18″)

cactiinthecloudstucsonmountainsSaguaro Cacti in the Clouds, Tucson Mountains, AZ (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″)


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.

HomesteadCanyonCliffs

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

FarOffTheGroundAtHomeSteadCanyon

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