Phoenix is a city of contradictions. It is a desert city but a river runs through it. Lush green golf courses are surrounded by powdery dry, dusty landscapes. Mile after mile of flat land, with occasional mountains rising from nowhere, form a most interesting topography not often seen throughout the United States.
A neighbor to Phoenix, Scottsdale is an upscale suburban area that is part oasis and part arid mountains scattered amid the hot, dry landscape. Adjacent to Camelback mountain is The Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott resort and spa. The property is very large and comprised of several two story guest room buildings scattered around the meticulously manicured gardens.
I can only imagine what the water bill must be at a resort like this in the middle of the desert. The grounds are very nicely maintained and (more…)
A little more difficult to reach than Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon involves climbing rocks and ladders, and squeezing between narrow gaps in the rock. Although the rock colors and textures are very similar to what we saw in Antelope, Rattlesnake has a very different look and feel.
The canyon is smaller, has more light, and where Antelope can be traversed all the way through and exited on the other side, Rattlesnake is one-way with a dead end. Apparently because of the more difficult access, there are far fewer tourists visiting this canyon and therefore it is much less often photographed.
Not a good place to be if you suffer from claustrophobia, Rattlesnake Canyon is nevertheless another location where photographing nature is almost required. The lighting conditions make it tricky to capture great images, but a little creativity and a good eye go a long way. Have you ever seen more beautiful rocks? The feeling is pure magic.
Last year’s trip to Arizona began as a long weekend getaway and ended up being quite an interesting adventure. Our drive North from the Phoenix airport took us to a part of the country I had never seen before. It was my first visit to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and that magical place I had seen many photos of but was shooting for the first time, Antelope Canyon.
After spending a day in Grand Canyon National Park, I was expecting Antelope Canyon to be more (more…)
Red rocks. Monumental works of nature. Spectacular formations carved by water a long, long time ago give Sedona a truly sensational setting in the desert that is otherwise, well, desert.
Situated in the Verde Valley of Arizona, the drive to Sedona from the Phoenix airport involves making your way (more…)
Miriam Webster defines an oasis as a “fertile or green area in an arid region (as a desert); something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast.” Pleasant contrast is how I would describe the design and architecture of a new addition to the ultra luxury hotel chain Aman. Small, secluded and designed for personal pampering, Aman Resorts delight discriminating travelers who are looking to escape.
Having experienced their flagship property, Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand a few years ago, I knew the resort in the middle of the Utah desert would indeed be an oasis. That is, if we could find the hotel. (more…)
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered a major source of photo opportunities I had yet to tap. The United States National Parks. There are some amazing visual treats just waiting for a creative eye and a camera. Finding great light takes some research, planning and luck with Mother Nature, but all of the major natural wonders are well documented which makes the research relatively easy.
Any type of travel requires basic logistics–food and lodging. What I am learning is that most national parks are not located near large cities. In fact, every park I have been to so far has been (more…)