December 20, 2014, 08:59:27 PM

Author Topic: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...  (Read 1913 times)

Northstar

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Heading to Tucson for vacation and I'm bringing my 5d3, 24-70, 70-200, and small tripod.

I've never been to Tucson.

I'm open to suggestions and advice on where to go and things to photograph.

I plan on taking some morning hikes, are there any spectacular areas/views that I should see and photograph?

Any southern AZ photographers here that can help me?

Thanks!



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distant.star

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 10:13:25 AM »
.
It's been 15 years since I lived in Tucson, but I guess the old standards are still viable:

1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2. Old Tucson (pure tourist shtick)

3. Mount Lemmon

4. Sabino Canyon

5. Bisbee is nearby, as are Tombstone and Nogales.

6. Kitt Peak Observatory

7. Pima Air & Space Museum (they had a SR-71 Blackbird when I was there).

8. Davis-Monthan Air Base (aircraft graveyard)

9. Saguaro National Park

10. Colossal Cave

11. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for unique cactus experience although it's a bit of a trip out of Tucson.

Look for the colors in the mountains -- I always loved the purples in the Santa Catalinas. Great sunset shots usually.

The desert at night is amazing, and Tucson has strict laws about light so you can usually see stars pretty well.

Have fun.

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Northstar

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 12:28:19 PM »
.
It's been 15 years since I lived in Tucson, but I guess the old standards are still viable:

1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2. Old Tucson (pure tourist shtick)

3. Mount Lemmon

4. Sabino Canyon

5. Bisbee is nearby, as are Tombstone and Nogales.

6. Kitt Peak Observatory

7. Pima Air & Space Museum (they had a SR-71 Blackbird when I was there).

8. Davis-Monthan Air Base (aircraft graveyard)

9. Saguaro National Park

10. Colossal Cave

11. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for unique cactus experience although it's a bit of a trip out of Tucson.

Look for the colors in the mountains -- I always loved the purples in the Santa Catalinas. Great sunset shots usually.

The desert at night is amazing, and Tucson has strict laws about light so you can usually see stars pretty well.

Have fun.

awesome info Distant...just what I was looking for! 

Tombstone and Airplane graveyard sound interesting, i'll have to google those.

thanks again!

any other suggestions are welcome...

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Vivid Color

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 07:30:02 PM »
I highly recommend Sun Xavier mission near Tucson--it can be gorgeous if the lighting is just right.

http://www.sanxaviermission.org

As for the boneyard, it is truly an amazing place to photograph and I was lucky enough to do so a few years ago when I knew the base commander there. If you don't know someone on base, I understand there are bus tours, but at the time, I was told the bus tours don't allow photography. That may have changed. You'll definitely need to check that out ahead of time.

If you can go north a few hours, Sedona has the gorgeous red rocks to photograph.

Northstar

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 07:37:33 PM »
I highly recommend Sun Xavier mission near Tucson--it can be gorgeous if the lighting is just right.

http://www.sanxaviermission.org

As for the boneyard, it is truly an amazing place to photograph and I was lucky enough to do so a few years ago when I knew the base commander there. If you don't know someone on base, I understand there are bus tours, but at the time, I was told the bus tours don't allow photography. That may have changed. You'll definitely need to check that out ahead of time.

If you can go north a few hours, Sedona has the gorgeous red rocks to photograph.

thanks Vived...much appreciated.  I'm going to look into the boneyard and the sun xavier mission. 

sincerely,
north
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TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 04:40:22 PM »
I'm shooting a wedding there early April.  I grew up in the Scottsdale area, but haven't lived in AZ for nearly 20 years and haven't ever really shot the Tucson area.
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distant.star

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 07:34:13 PM »
I'm shooting a wedding there early April.  I grew up in the Scottsdale area, but haven't lived in AZ for nearly 20 years and haven't ever really shot the Tucson area.

Dustin, you may want to scout out the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for wedding shots.

They have a botanical garden, lovely grounds, walk-in aviaries, etc. I don't know how they would handle a request to use any facilities for photos, but I can sure envision some great wedding party pictures -- for the right people.

Sabino Canyon is another area where photos could well be done. There should be some moving water in April.

The San Xavier Mission I've always seen as one-dimensional -- one big, very white building in the desert. How many shots might you be able to get? And I don't recall the interior being that dramatic; it's more basic/rustic, leaning toward almost austere.

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 07:34:13 PM »

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 11:28:00 AM »
I highly recommend Sun Xavier mission near Tucson--it can be gorgeous if the lighting is just right.

http://www.sanxaviermission.org

As for the boneyard, it is truly an amazing place to photograph and I was lucky enough to do so a few years ago when I knew the base commander there. If you don't know someone on base, I understand there are bus tours, but at the time, I was told the bus tours don't allow photography. That may have changed. You'll definitely need to check that out ahead of time.

If you can go north a few hours, Sedona has the gorgeous red rocks to photograph.

thanks Vived...much appreciated.  I'm going to look into the boneyard and the sun xavier mission. 

sincerely,
north

Dear north,

As someone else noted in a post after mine, the correct spelling of the mission is San Xavier. (The dark side of auto correct.) As for it being one big white building in the desert, it is. But I personally find it to be architecturally interesting and I like the fact that you can photograph it without clutter in the background. The good news is, is that it is been photographed many times and you can go online and see in advance if it is something you'd like to go visit in person. It's all personal preference.  :)

Cheers,
Vivid

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 03:25:55 PM »
While a but "corny" for some, check out "Old Tucson Studios".  It is a recreated old western town where many films and TV shows have been filmed.  A fire a few years back destroyed some of it but they've rebuilt some of it and there are opportunities for some interesting photos and backgrounds.

Depending on your interest and time allowances, you might want to go to the town of Oracle and check out the Biosphere, a huge greenhouse like structure that was allegedly built as a self-contained environment meant to replicate what might be done for space travel in the future.

South of Tucson, about an hour or so, is the tiny town of Tubac, and "artsy" community set in the desert that makes ro some interesting shopping, walking and photography, as well.
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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2014, 04:12:26 PM »
- Desert Sonoran Museum (natural zoo)
- Saguaro National Park (I think west is nicer than east)
- Tombstone and Bisbee
- Pima air museum

Northstar

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 04:41:49 PM »
I highly recommend Sun Xavier mission near Tucson--it can be gorgeous if the lighting is just right.

http://www.sanxaviermission.org

As for the boneyard, it is truly an amazing place to photograph and I was lucky enough to do so a few years ago when I knew the base commander there. If you don't know someone on base, I understand there are bus tours, but at the time, I was told the bus tours don't allow photography. That may have changed. You'll definitely need to check that out ahead of time.

If you can go north a few hours, Sedona has the gorgeous red rocks to photograph.

thanks Vived...much appreciated.  I'm going to look into the boneyard and the sun xavier mission. 

sincerely,
north

Dear north,

As someone else noted in a post after mine, the correct spelling of the mission is San Xavier. (The dark side of auto correct.) As for it being one big white building in the desert, it is. But I personally find it to be architecturally interesting and I like the fact that you can photograph it without clutter in the background. The good news is, is that it is been photographed many times and you can go online and see in advance if it is something you'd like to go visit in person. It's all personal preference.  :)

Cheers,
Vivid

I'll do that Vivid, thanks!
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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 04:42:48 PM »
South of Tucson, about an hour or so, is the tiny town of Tubac, and "artsy" community set in the desert that makes ro some interesting shopping, walking and photography, as well.

Tubac is great! I completely forgot to mention it. Among other things, it has a wonderful selection of Mexican handicraft items.

Northstar

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 04:45:27 PM »
- Desert Sonoran Museum (natural zoo)
- Saguaro National Park (I think west is nicer than east)
- Tombstone and Bisbee
- Pima air museum

Desert Sonoran Museum and Pima Air museum are def on the agenda...thanks RC.
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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 04:45:27 PM »

Northstar

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2014, 04:49:15 PM »
While a but "corny" for some, check out "Old Tucson Studios".  It is a recreated old western town where many films and TV shows have been filmed.  A fire a few years back destroyed some of it but they've rebuilt some of it and there are opportunities for some interesting photos and backgrounds.

Depending on your interest and time allowances, you might want to go to the town of Oracle and check out the Biosphere, a huge greenhouse like structure that was allegedly built as a self-contained environment meant to replicate what might be done for space travel in the future.

South of Tucson, about an hour or so, is the tiny town of Tubac, and "artsy" community set in the desert that makes ro some interesting shopping, walking and photography, as well.

Jpaz...I've heard mixed reviews on Old Tucson Studios, but Tubac sounds very interesting....Thanks for the suggestion!!

North
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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »
It depends on what you like to photograph.  But, as a Tucson resident whose passion is wildlife photography, let me add my two cents.

1.  Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.  The grounds are a large desert preserve and there is plenty of wildlife, both on exhibit and roaming free.  The highlight of the day (until April 19) is Raptor Free Flight at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  The two shows are different and they afford the opportunity to get fantastic closeups of birds of prey in flight and perched.  A must!

2.  Sabino Canyon.  A great place to photograph lizards and, possibly, a snake or two.  It is a well known location for seeing Gila Monsters in the wild this time of year.  No guarantees, but your chances there are better than in most places.  The area around Sabino Dam is a hot spot for wildlife watching.

3.  Sweetwater Wetlands.  This is a man-made marsh on Tucson's west side.  Take Interstate 10 to the Ruthrauf Road exit, then take the west frontage road south for one mile, turn right on Sweetwater drive, go about 200 yards and it's on your left.  The ponds and swamps there attract lots of birds, including some fairly exotic species like Soras.

4.  Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park.  A great place for photographing Great Blue Herons.  Also take the Ruthrauf Road exit on I-10, head west one mile, turn left on Silverbell, go south about 1/2 mile and it will be on your left.

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Re: Heading to Tucson, AZ for vacation, can anybody give me advice...
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »