Morning Moo’s by Pcoskun

I found myself perched up above these unique spires that are somewhat hidden in the maze of cinder cones in Northern Arizona this morning. After getting skunked for a sunset that looked to be promising, I managed to wake up this morning in hopes for a little bit of redemption. Halfway up the hill in the near dark and I was beginning to reconsider this idea. I huffed and puffed while taking a few quick breaks to catch my breath. I could see the faint glow in the clouds to the east and when I finally arrived to where I wanted to be I just felt like laying down and going back to bed. I set up my gear regardless and ate a quick breakfast (if you can even call it that), and waited for the sky to do something. As I was waiting I couldn’t help but hear the many cows down on the prairie that kept mooing and making all sorts of noises. They happened to be making noises all night long as I was trying to get some sleep. The clouds to the east began to turn that beautiful orange crimson color while the clouds above and to the west were barely catching any color. I thought maybe I would be skunked again and that my efforts would not have paid off. Luckily, the light eventually caught some of the clouds above me and above the peak I was starring at. I managed a few dozen photos trying to figure out the best way to capture the whole scene and get those wonderful clouds above. When the light finally crested the horizon, it began to flood the prairie floor and Kendrick peak (the mountain on the horizon) began to catch it’s first light. It was nice to be up in the high country again, and to visit a place I have never been. I am sure I will be back in this area again in a few weeks when fall colors begin (hoping for a good year!).

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Payoff by Pcoskun

While exploring the vast expanses of wildflower covered hills in Northern Arizona, I came to find myself atop a hill with one of the most stunning views I could recall seeing. After shooting a pretty vibrant sunset, I kept pushing myself to get to the top of this hill hoping to time it right with the moonrise. I thought the top would never come into view, but sure enough, I could see the cinder hills in the distance and the glow of the moon creeping above the horizon. I searched for a composition quickly and fired off two shots for depth of field and then switched my lens to capture the moon. This made the moon appear more natural to how I saw this scene in person. The last colors of sunset still lingering in the clouds added to the wonderful display of color found within these hills. The very next morning, I forced myself back atop the hill to catch another beautiful sunrise and carpets of vibrant wildflowers blooming. I find it interesting that I have such a connection with this specific image. One of my very first places I had taken photographs was around sunset crater, which is the mountain you see in the background. Back then, I didn’t come back with any photos I enjoyed. To photograph this scene and see how far I have come in my own work in the short amount of time I have been taking photos was pretty special to me. It inspired me just like the first time I went to make photographs in this area. Anyways, I recently put up a handful of images on my website from this summer. Not quite as dramatic of a series I was hoping for, but I think the diversity of the images and the somewhat subtlety of them make them unique. You can view them on my website here http://ift.tt/1NWXGnV

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Summer Splendor by Pcoskun

Summer Splendor- I try every year to make it up to the mountains during the summer. Early plans to visit more rugged mountains quickly changed when wildflower blooms occurred nearly two months earlier than normal. This was in places like Glacier National Park and Mount Rainier, two prime locations for summer wildflowers. Now with so many fires ravaging these areas, scrapping those plans seems like such a great idea now. I made a brief visit to this location last year for the first time and it absolutely took my breath away. I feel fortunate to have been shown this area that is now so special to me and a few others. It’s just simply one of the greatest views in this great state of Arizona. These wildflowers are only present for a very short period of time. In fact, they are probably toast by now even though this was photographed only a few days ago. Perfect timing I suppose. I spent the entire weekend up on these beautiful yellow hills thinking of how lucky I am to be able to witness something so beautiful. For someone who spends the majority of my time in the hot desert, this was a much needed getaway to the mountains, and I didn’t need to travel thousands of miles to get there. When I left this place I thought to myself even if I didn’t come back with any photographs to show for, the time spent here was good enough. Luckily, I was treated to a few beautiful shows of light that seemed to be perfectly situated for whatever composition I chose. It was one of those weekends that just rejuvenated my desire to explore and create.

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Mountain Remnants by Pcoskun

This weekend was spent enjoying fresh mountain air and beautiful wildflowers that seemed to have been timed perfectly for my visit. I met up with a few local photographers from around AZ and we spent the weekend wandering through the vast expanses of yellow sunflowers. These flowers really only bloom for a very short period of time, so I was pretty happy when I got there and saw the hills covered in gold! We endured a few nice sunsets and some typical monsoon thunderstorms. I always noticed these dead trees far up on the hillside and always wanted to get a decent photograph of them. I worked a few angles on a couple trees while the sunset started to go off. These trees reminded me of both bristlecone pines and the white bark pines that one can find in Montana. It was a nice weekend spent in the high country that was definitely much needed.

For those that knew Jeff Swanson either personally or online knows he always brought joy and laughter to all of us. He was unfortunately taken too soon by Melanoma about a year ago, but his images live on and if you happen to enjoy his images please do purchase one of his prints. All proceeds from his website will go to the Melanoma Research Foundation. http://ift.tt/1Kmy8QL

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Consolation Prize by Pcoskun

Finally, a new image recently photographed in the scorching desert! I was lucky enough to join local photographer and storm chaser Mike Olbinski on a brief chase just south of Phoenix. Mike’s knowledge of storms and weather brought us back and forth to a small cell that we had photographed earlier in the day that produced a handful of lightning strikes and some pretty interesting atmospherics. The cell quickly fell apart and nothing really looked quite interesting. Mike was just about to call it a day when we met up with a few other storm chasers who were nearby. After a little consultation and just about calling it a day, we began to return just from where we came from. The cell seemed to reconstruct itself and began to drop some rain off in the distance. By the time we got back close enough it had come and gone once again. It was just about sunset when we found a spot just off the road to wait out and see if anything would materialize again. It never really built up again like we had seen earlier in the day, but we were still out in the desert under the beautiful skies that began to light up with pinks and oranges. It was one of the better sunsets I have seen of late, and quite a nice consolation prize for not getting much in the way of good storm images.

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Canyon Flame by Pcoskun

It’s been a while since I have visited a slot canyon, and lately the urge has been making me want to return. The hordes of people in these particular canyons makes it a little unappealing, but nevertheless, the canyons are stunning. Ever since seeing the very first slot canyon image in a gallery here in the SW, I have been fascinated by the colors, textures, and shapes that these canyons contain. Regardless of how many times they have been photographed, I never tire of seeing the shades of warm and cool light contrasting with one another.

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South Rim Light by Pcoskun

I was going through some old folders as I typcially do looking for past images which I might want to reprocess or even attempt to reshoot in the near future. This was from the very first time I photographed a sunset along the grand canyons rim. I had been here numerous times before with family, but this happened to be an unplanned trip. A friend and I were in Moab wandering around arches and canyonlands national parks and got fed up with the windy and dusty conditions, so we left a day early and headed back into Arizona. I figured since we both still had a day to spend, we would go to the grand canyon and hopefully enjoy a nice sunset. It was still just as windy as it was in Moab, but there was a gap on the horizon leaving the possibility of a nice sunset. After sitting and watching the light and the canyon for an hour or so, these nice light rays began to make their way into the canyon. It ended up being a beautiful sunset and I still remember that evening pretty well. As much as I enjoy this image from a few years ago, it makes me want to try and recreate this scene or something better (or just give me a good excuse to spend some time up here). Perhaps in the next few weeks I will get that chance, but for now, this image will do.

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The Stone Path by Pcoskun

Late evening light illuminates the clouds and intricate rock formations found in south coyote buttes. The colors found in the rocks here are some of the most diverse and incredible in the southwest. Many shades of yellow, orange, and even purple. This place has been one of the highlights of my travels this year and I hope to return in the near future.

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Desert Takeover by Pcoskun

This shot may look a bit similar to another shot I posted a few months ago titled “Sonoran Burn”. I took this image just a minute before as I liked how the fallen ocotillo and glowing cholla seemed to tell a story. This area has plenty of ocotillo that are just laying flat on the ground which create some really awesome compositions and leading lines. This was no exception and the fact that the sun was poking between the clouds to light up the cacti was quite a nice compliment. I imagined that the teddy bear cholla were celebrating the defeat of this fallen ocotillo while the tall giants in the upper right were coming in for round two. There is just something about the desert that brings me so much joy and when I can find scenes like this and light like this, well, it’s just like it’s meant to be. Even in the harsh desert, there is so much beauty!

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Panther Mist by Pcoskun

A straight forward view of the incredible panther falls in the Columbia river gorge. The composition is nothing groundbreaking, but the overall scenery is pretty spectacular. This was perhaps one of the coolest waterfalls I had the privelege of viewing and photographing. I took plenty of photos of the place, but of course, many of them are a bit similar to one another. I liked the focus on cascades here surrounded by the lush greens for which the area is known for. I hope I am fortunate to return to the area next year when the water flow is a little better.

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