December 19, 2014, 09:29:12 AM

Author Topic: Heading to Scottsdale, AZ..anyone with suggestions for landscape photography?  (Read 4781 times)

Northstar

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Traveling to AZ in the near future, anybody with some interesting landscape photo opportunities for me to explore in that area?

Maybe a particular regional or state park?  Maybe a particular canyon or mountain range?   I'm not that familiar with the area but I will have a car and some time.
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teedidy

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Sedona AZ. 100 miles north. amazing red rock canons. was just there yesterday. will post photos when i get back home. check out the pink jeep tours.
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stilscream

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I live in Tucson. I know there are some cool shaped rocks between Tucson and Phoenix. I think they are closer to Tucson though. About two hours Southeast: Picacho Peak. You might want to check out hiking trails if you want it more nature and less big city.
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JPAZ

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Close to Scottsdale: Phoenix Botanical Gardens. A little farther away: Boyce Arboretum and Saguaro National Monument. Agree with Sedona and Pink Jeep Tours. Are you a hiker? If so, consider Superstition Mountains and Weaver's Needle. Don't forget the granddaddy of the all, the Grand Canyon (about 4.5 hour drive from Scottsdale).

Remember one thing above all, the wilderness around here really is wilderness and it gets hotter than you think, even now. Be prepared. 
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MrFotoFool

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Another Tucson resident here with my two cents worth (and accompanying thumbnails).

Near Scottsdale/Phoenix.
1. Estrella Mountain Regional Park.  Short hike out to open views of saguaros and the setting sun (not much else of interest though, no cool cliffs or the like).
2. Superstition Mountains.  Never personally been, but lots of photographers in Phoenix go there.

Near Tucson (which is about 2 hours south of Scottsdale).
1. Sabino Canyon.  The most scenic spot in the Tucson area, nice interesting cliffs, nice stream, high likelihood of desert mule deer.
2. Catalina State Park.  Good vistas of saguaros and the cliffs above it (Pusch Ridge) is very scenic at sunset (terrible at sunrise).
3. Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park West.  Classic views of dense stands of saguaros.

Northern Arizona (between 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours north of Scottsdale).
1. Prescott - Watson Lake.  Interesting rocks surrounding lake.
2. Sedona.  A must see - just go there.
3. Grand Canyon.  See comment above.  Also, elk have become ubiquitous in the last few years - it is impossible not to see them now.
4. Highway 64 (east of Grand Canyon).  Interesting deep gorge on a scenic pullout off the highway.  Light is very harsh - would be best at sunrise or dusk probably.

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(photos continued)

MrFotoFool

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(photos continued)

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Northstar

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Thanks for the suggestions everybody....lots of great ideas.   It looks like Sedona is a must.

I'll probably bring my 5d3 and 24-105 and tripod....not sure I need it but was also thinking of bringing the 70-200, and 2xiii.

Nice shots FotoFool...looks like you've shot quite a bit in AZ.
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TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Grew up in Scottsdale.  Depending on the scale you want, you can find a lot of great settings right there in Scottsdale (particularly North Scottsdale towards Fountain Hills).  This shot was taken hiking up Scottsdale Mountain (about 130th, I believe)


Arise by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

There is a trail nearby into the McDowell's called "Lost Dog Trailhead" that goes through a lot of great country.  This was taken at the base of that trail.


Desert Magic by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

All of the other spots that have been recommended are great if you have transportation.  Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon are no brainers.  Some of the other killer spots are near Paige in the Northeast corner of the state, but require more driving.
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Lgrant

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You must go to the Superstition Mountains at the lost dutchman state park.

gjones5252

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So excited Arizonans represent on this forum! I live in flagstaff az. Best of all worlds- 1 hour from Grand Canyon- 30 minute from Sedona. And smack dab in the middle of as much pine as you will ever want.
Let me know if you have any questions about Sedona or flagstaff area. I can probably save you some time hunting for spots. You can pm me if you need.

MrFotoFool

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24-105 (same general zoom I use) is fine if all you want are large vistas.  70-200 (which I also use - non IS) is recommended if you want shots of isolated subjects, like the couple shots I posted of a tree on the edge of the Grand Canyon or dead tree silhouetted against red rocks of Sedona.

Normalnorm

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Lake Saguaro in the Tonto National Forest.
Dramatic red cliffs along the water's edge. Lots of birds. Plus you can take a tour of the lake on a boat that moves slowly enough for amazing photo views.
There is a restaurant that serves decent food at the marina with spectacular views of the lake.

You can spend all day there and not run out of "oh my" photo opps. You can also explore Apache Trail for more wonderful landscape in Tonto Forest.

For old west charm with a number of Anasazi sites along the way visit Jerome, an old copper mining town.
You can visit Montezuma's castle and Montezuma's well on the way up.
Sedona does have its charm and undeniable beauty of the rocks but I really hate the way they have let cheap nasty development sprawl all over the place.

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stilscream

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20 minutes South of Tucson: Madera Canyon south of Tucson is my favorite hiking spot if you like to hike.
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stilscream

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Also if you're into birds of prey-- ending in April 15 I think is the free flight demonstrations at the Sonoran Desert Museum East of Tucson. And of course other wildlife as well.
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