Saguaro at Dawn

Living in Fort Wayne for years, I know where most of the great spots are to take photographs. But here, I have no idea. I spent time yesterday on the internet searching for Phoenix sunrises. I found some beautiful photos, but few had the locations marked. So thank you to the photographers that are willing to share their photo spots. I will do the same.

I took this photograph this morning near Canyon Lake, Roosevelt, Arizona. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens (1/80 sec at f/4.5, ISO 100, 48mm). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Desert Lemonade

It was a beautiful day in Phoenix yesterday and we drove over an hour to attend an event… that is today. I bought tickets over a month ago and put it in the calendar wrong. So… I used the AllTrails app on my phone to find a nearby loop hike. And that is how we discovered White Tank Regional Park and turned some of life’s lemons into lemonade.

This was taken in White Tank Regional Park, Waddell, AZ. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens (1/1250 sec at f/9.0, ISO 100, 100mm). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

Canoe at Sunset

This illustrates several of the principles of nature photography. We stopped at this roadside park so I could get pictures of what was turning out to be a magnificent sunset. (Principle: Always have your camera with you!) Looking at the scene layers, I had a good background (sunset) and middle ground (reeds), but I lacked a good foreground layer. While I was taking some pictures, this couple pulled up and put their canoe in. Perfect. (Principle: Layer your photographs). And as a bonus, the ripples in the water created natural lines to the focal point of the photograph. (Principle: Leading lines)

This was taken last fall in Ashland, Wisconsin. It was taken with a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 lens (1/125 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100). It was edited in Adobe Lightroom.

The Lonely Coot

In search of sunrise pictures, I tried the 120 acre fresh water marsh at Aransas Woods. The fog was dreamy, but very few birds. This American Coot was kind enough to swim by so I at least got a few shots. The coots are very common here and can sometimes be found in large groups. When taking off, they beat their wings and appear to be walking on water for a few yards.

This photograph was taken in January 26 in Aransas Woods, Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/400 sec at f/5.3, ISO 11400, 350mm)

Franklin Mountains Sunset

Destined for Phoenix, we have made it more than 700 miles from Rockport. Driving with with the wind gusts was challenging. It took concentration and both hands on the wheel. We did make it safe and found our campground backdropped with these beautiful mountains.

This was taken last night in Anthony, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/250 sec at f/4.0, ISO 640, 43mm)

Sunset of Progress

Texas leads the nation with over 16,000 turbines installed. I was discussing sunsets with another photographer in Rockport. The conversation led to his favorite places to take sunset pictures that wouldn’t have wind turbines in them. I don’t know. I guess I would rather have visual pollution rather than air pollution. Your thoughts?

This was taken just after sunset on February 3 on Cape Velero Drive in Rockport, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 500, 400mm)

White Pelican

American White Pelicans have beautiful black feathers that are only visible when they unfurl their wings. While their body is squat, their wings can span 9 feet! Look at the top of the bill of this bird and you can see a plate or "horn" forming. After breeding and laying eggs, this will fall off.

This was taken at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100, 400mm)

White pelicans soar high,
Over Gulf waters they glide,
Texas coast in sight.

~ A haiku by ChatGPT

Best Catch in Town

I may be wrong, but I think the Rockport area leads the world in bait stands per capita. Open early, often busy and smelling terrible, these businesses support a huge community of saltwater fishermen. You see people fishing off piers, off the shore, standing in the water and in boats. While I am not a fisherman, I love the lifestyle. #slowdown #saltlife

This was taken just after sunset last Wednesday at the Fulton Harbor Bait Stand, Fulton, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO 2000, 24mm)

Spring in the Cemetery

Several people have told us to make sure and see the wildflowers in the cemetery. They advised it isn’t mowed until after the wildflowers have finished. Okay, the cemetery? Well, wow! We found several acres teeming with pinks, blues and yellows. We also saw several mockingbirds, two yellow-rumped warblers and a golden-fronted woodpecker.

This photograph taken yesterday the Rockport Cemetery, Texas. (Nikon Z5, 1/500 sec at f/5.0, ISO 100, 100mm)