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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Arizona Treasures - Photography Book Published

I have just published my Arizona Treasures photography book and have submitted it to the 2011 Photography Book Now International Juried Competition. At some point, you all will have a chance to vote for my book in the People's Choice awards. The Grand Prize is $25,000!!!  It is ready for viewing! I'm psyched!

Be sure to click on the 'Full Screen' icon located at the bottom of the video.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Waiting For The Light

Superstition Mountains - Apache Junction, Arizona

It had rained most of the day on Saturday, April 9. By 4 p.m. there were some bits of blue sky popping around the storm clouds. I was at the movies with my neighbor at 2:45 p.m. and when we left there an hour later, it looked like the sun might come out enough to get a good shot of Superstition Mountain.  I was pleasantly surprised when I got to this particular spot to see the sun come out and light up The Superstition Mountains!
From this point, we continued down the road so that I could get another view of the Superstition Mountains with The Elvis Memorial Chapel located at the Superstition Mountain Museum.
Elvis Memorial Chapel at Superstition Mountain Museum
Since there was just about an hour left of light before sunset, we drove to Goldfield Ghost Town.  There are a multitude of interesting photo ops at this old western town and mine camp.  Just after I parked the car, I saw a cowboy standing outside at the back of The Mammoth Saloon smoking a cigarette.  Just below where he was, a horse was tied up to a wooden railing.  Right out of the Old West, except for the car in the background and the telescope to the right of the cowboy!
Cowboy and  Hitched Horse

While the cowboy was looking away, I moved a bit closer and took this close-up picture of him to capture his solitary mood.

In Deep Thought

 It turned out to be an adventurous day after not know whether or not the rain would stop.  The temperatures were very cool for this time of year, though my neighbor and I enjoyed it even more after realizing that within a week or two that we would be experiencing upper 80's to over 100 degree temperatures.

All words and images strictly (C) Tam Ryan 2011

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Photography Group Meet-Ups 2010

Dale Chahuli Glass - Desert Botanical Gardens - Phoenix, Arizona

 Last year went by so quickly.  Why is it that the days crawl like a snail and the year whizzes by like a comet?  I guess we all get so wrapped up in our daily lives with work, running errands, meeting up with friends and in my case all of the above including doing  photography in my spare time.  If it were not for those days off to enjoy photography, it would not be an interesting, productive or creative life.

During the month of April 2010, I joined  two photography meet-up groups, AZ Photographers Group and AZ Shutterbugs.  It was a pleasure meeting up with this group to get out and take pictures, as well as, learn about new software and other photographic techniques. Both groups occasionally schedule meet-ups for the same events or photo shoots.  I have learned a lot already from each and every member that I have met.  They are all very passionate about  photography in the many varied types of images that they pursue, whether it be events, weddings, portraiture or landscapes.  Once a month, we get together for a dinner/seminar that is  related to learning new software or other photographic techniques.

Dale Chahuli Glass Exhibition - Desert Botanical Gardens - Phoenix, AZ

This is the first blog in a series about the events and places that I visited in 2010 with some of the members of AZ Photographers Group and The AZ Shutterbugs including one other meet-up group which started my interest in to find the groups that I am presently involved with.

Dale Chahili Glass Exhibition - Desert Botanical Gardens - Phoenix, AZ

There are many varieties of butterflies inside the Butterfly Pavilion and a during the hot summer months there is a cooling mist that permeates the air.

Butterfly Pavilion - Desert Botanical Gardens - Phoenix, AZ

A delicate flower in the midst of the Butterfly Pavilion
There are paved paths throughout the Desert Botanical Gardens that lead to hundreds of varieties of flowers, desert cactus, as well as, statues scattered throughout the property.  Tours of the gardens are ongoing and there are a couple of snack bars where you can enjoy lunch on the beautiful grounds of this popular attraction.

California Poppies - Desert Botanical Gardens - Phoenix, Arizona

(C) Tam Ryan Photography 2010

Bio-Mythic Mask Exhibit - Artist: Gwynn Popovak

 For more information on the Bio-Mythic Masks by Gwynn Popovak, please visit this link HERE.

 One of my next visits to The Desert Botanical Gardens will be to enjoy the Music in The Garden events.
Upcoming blogs will cover the points of interests listed below that I visited in 2010 through the month of February 2011.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch - Gilbert, Arizona

    Birds: Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Longbilled Dowitchers

Boyce Thompson Arboretum - Superior, Arizona
    Fall Colors
    Desert Flora

Classic Car Show at Falcon Field - Mesa, Arizona
    Classic Cars and Airplanes

Goldfield Mine - Apache Junction, Arizona
    Ghost Town pics
    Rusted out Ford cars and tractors

Apache Land Days -Superstition Mountain Museum - Apache Junction, Arizona
    Cowboys and stage coach ride

Hopi Hoop Dance at The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
    Hoop Dances and Portraits

Tortilla Flat, Arizona
    Scenery and western town pics

Superstition Mountains - Apache Junction, Arizona

All words and images are strictly copyright ©Tam Ryan 2010 / 2011

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My Facebook Fan Page:  Arizona and Other Treasures

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tucson - My Birthday Weekend

Tucson, Arizona - December 2010
My Birthday Weekend
The day before my brother David and I were leaving for Tucson, Arizona, my clothes washer broke down. Not the best start to what was to be my special birthday weekend at Cherry Valley Ranch in Oracle near Tucson, Arizona. Water leaked out onto the carpet in the hallway and into the computer room.  I called my insurance company right away and they sent someone over to take care of it. The repairmen came over with gigantic fans and a dehumidifier that were to be there for at least five days. They were so noisy that I could hardly hear the sound from the television. My brother was on his way from California to Mesa, Arizona to help me celebrate my 60th birthday (December 18th) in the Tucson area.  We had old family friends in Oracle to visit and I wanted to do some photography of San Xavier del Bac Mission and El Barrio. 

David arrived in Mesa very late in the evening on December 17 because he had to go back to L.A. to get his wallet which delayed his arrival for about three hours. David and I left for Tucson early in the morning of December 18 and arrived at the B&B that David had reserved for us at Cherry Valley Ranch in Oracle.  It was a comfortable place to stay and beautiful scenery from the top of the hill where the owners lived, just a short five minute walk from our unit.

Cherry Valley Ranch - Oracle, Arizona

David - checking text messages

After unloading the car and putting our suitcases in the B&B, we headed over to the Oracle Inn for lunch before heading out to see our friends at Rancho Linda Vista who were old friends of our parents, artists who taught at University of Arizona in Tucson. We had lived at the Ranch in the early 70’s for a short period, so there was a lot of nostalgia visiting this artist's colony.

Rancho Linda Vista View - Oracle, Arizona
Cherry Valley Ranch - Breakfast with a view.

On Sunday morning, we woke up for the breakfast at the main house at Cherry Valley Ranch.  The house was stunning and the view from up on the hill was spectacular!  The people we met there were a pleasure to have met and share our meal with.

Hilltop view from Cherry Valley Ranch, Oracle, Arizona

David and I went back to Rancho Linda Vista after breakfast for a brief visit.  Then we drove into Tucson to see San Xavier del Bac Mission. The Mission was photographed by Ansel Adams many years ago. I had the opportunity of meeting Ansel Adams when I was seventeen years old and I can only hope that a fraction of his talent rubbed off on me.  I have so much more to learn!

San Xavier del Bac Mission - Tucson, Arizona
Holy water - San Xavier del Bac Mission

Sunday, December 19th was a clear and warm day in Tucson where David and I had lunch at the Congress Hotel.  There was a Christmas tree in the lobby and an old telephone booth.  I hadn't seen one of those in years!  The food was excellent and the interior of the restaurant had some interesting objects up on the wall including a chandelier made of wine bottles!

Lunch at The Congress Hotel with my brother, David

After lunch, we saw St. Augustine’s Cathedral on our way to the next point of interest.  This was an unexpected photo op that we just happened to pass on our way to the colorfully painted buildings of El Barrio.  I took some pictures from the outside and then took a peek inside the door to see if there were some stained glass windows to photograph.  My favorite stained glass was of St. Francis of Asisi located in the lobby of the cathedral.
St. Augustine Cathedral - Tucson, Arizona

Interior of St. Augustine Cathedral - Tucson, Arizona

St. Francis of Assisi - Stained Glass

El Barrio was just a few blocks away and as you turned onto the street  you could see multi-colored buildings and doors.

El Barrio - Tucson, Arizona

El Barrio - Tucson, Arizona

El Barrio - Tucson, Arizona

El Barrio - Tucson, Arizona

It was just about dark and the last stop of the evening was back at Rancho Linda Vista where we visited with several other friends from The Ranch.  They were having a music and poetry reading night.  The art gallery inside The Barn was featuring the work of a photographer which made it another highlight of the evening.

Chuck, Arnie and David

David and I went for dinner at the Oracle Inn Restaurant after the get together and then headed back to the B&B for the rest of the evening.  We got to sleep early since there was a long drive back for David from my place in Mesa.  When we got back, David took a short nap.  Before he left, he took apart my desktop computer that had crashed a couple of months ago and hooked up my large monitor to my netbook.  He’ll be getting the desktop computer upgraded for me and I will certainly look forward to having it back up and running!  David left for California about 4 p.m. and got home about midnight.

Oracle Inn Restaurant - Oracle, Arizona

Being able to see old family friends,  Sax Xavier del Bac Mission, St. Augustine’s Cathedral and El Barrio was a great 60th birthday gift!  But, the best gift was that I was able to share my 60th birthday with my brother, David. It would have been even better, though, if my brother, Donnan, could have been with us!

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© All words and images are the property of Tam Ryan

My public Facebook page:  Arizona and Other Treasures

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day Trip - December 30, 2010

I woke up early to take a drive over to Superstition Mountain by myself to see if there was any snow on it before picking up my friend, Eric, for the planned drive to Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat, Goldfield Mine and Superstition Mountain Museum area, in that order.

Even though there wasn't any snow on the mountain, I liked what I saw and stopped to take this picture from Brown Road before turning off to the left to get some closer images of the mountain from the Superstition Mountain Museum area.

Superstition Mountain view from Brown Road, Apache Jct.

Superstition Mountains

Here is another view from the Superstition Mountain Museum property showing The Elvis Memorial Chapel, Apache Land and the stagecoach.

The Elvis Memorial Chapel at Superstition Mountain Museum

After some walking around in a bit of mud and around Cholla (jumping cactus), I finished my shots and then called Eric to see if he'd like to have breakfast before heading out to Canyon Lake. We had breakfast just down the road from where I live and then headed up Brown Road going East toward the Superstition Mountains. We didn't stop to take pictures there or at Goldfield Ghost Town until later that afternoon. Our mission was to find snow in the desert or on top of some surrounding mountains.

When we got to Canyon Lake, there was a breathtaking view of the lake from a lookout point. It had just started to snow and we got out quickly to take some pictures. We continued along the windy and sometimes hairpin curves and found another spectacular view of Canyon Lake as the snow turned into tiny pellets of hail. Despite the high wind and chill factor, we both got out of the car, Eric in his shorts and T-shirt (as always), and I with my new winter coat (thank goodness)! It looked like fog rolling in across the lake. But, it was actually the snow creating that hazy effect as you can see in this image below.

Canyon Lake

When Eric and I arrived to this view of Canyon Lake, it was still snowing and hailing. Look for the white spots in the picture and you will see the hail. It snowed and hailed all the way from there into Tortilla Flat.

Canyon Lake

We stopped in Tortilla Flat for at least an hour. The first stop was the restaurant to get a cup of hot chocolate! It was freezing cold up there! Here's the view of Tortilla Flat as we approached this 'one horse' town.

Arriving at Tortilla Flat, Arizona

By the time we were done with our hot chocolate, visiting with some other people sitting at the bar and checking out the gift shop, it had stopped snowing and most of it had already melted. We took a walk along the front of the buildings to see the other sights, one of which had a hangman hanging from the top of the building. We continued on toward where the water was flowing on the road past the town and took some nice shots of the stream and surrounding hillsides. But, we didn't go further up the road because there was a strong stream of water covering it. Several large pick-up trucks attempted to cross and made it. But, the smaller cars were waiting for the stream to turn into a trickle. The view was perfect from there as the sun came in and out of the clouds that were trying to break from the earlier storm.

Tortilla Flat

On the way back toward the restaurant and car, I stopped to take a picture of the red, worn out paint on one of the buildings. In the window there, you could see the reflection of part of the hillside that I had just photographed. See photo above this one.

Reflections from the past

After driving past this area earlier in the day, Eric and I headed back to this location overlooking Canyon Lake on the way back to Mesa. By the time we got there, the snow had been accumulating for an hour or so on Four Peaks. This is an HDR (high definition range) processed image.

A view of Four Peaks covered in snow from Canyon Lake (HDR processing)

 The rain and snow had stopped once we left this scene. But, it was still very cold and windy. We were using the last of the days light when we arrived at Goldfield Ghost Town. We had time to check out The Mammoth Saloon, order a Sasparilla root beer and and then check out some of the shops that were still open.

Mammoth Saloon - Goldfield Ghost

Superstition Mountain

I took more images of Superstition Mountain and the last images were of the old rusted out Ford trucks and cars in behind the Mine area. The day started with not knowing whether or not we would see the snow we had hoped for and ended with some amazing views from Canyon Lake, of Four Peaks covered in snow, as well as, each and every point of interest that we had visited that day being all that we had hoped for and more!

Rusted out Ford trucks and cars at Goldfield Ghost Town, HDR processing

Rusted out Ford trucks and cars at Goldfield Ghost Town

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