Burning Phoenix skies

Drove to Phoenix this afternoon/evening so that I can cover the Arizona State High School cross country championship races tomorrow morning. The drive down between Payson and Mesa is a bit challenging in the late afternoon. The sun can be blinding as it pops through the trees near Payson. Farther along the road is a narrow two-lanes with no shoulder as it snakes down nearly 30 miles of winding descents. Of course that is when the sky turned bright red, appearing to be on fire almost. And that is when there was no good place to stop and pull safely off the road. Finally, at the bottom of one of the hills there was a trail that I pulled into. I grabbed one of my cameras and made a couple of quick frames with my 70-200mm lens and switched on the Vibration Reduction/Image stabilization. (The bottom photo). Even as I did that the light faded from a completely red sky to just a hint behind the mountains. I scrambled for my tripod and my Nikon D80 camera body. Then walked around trying to find a clear shot of the mountains. It didn't work. I was so far down into the valley that there were tree branches in the way no matter where I turned. So, in the end I decided to include the branches into the frame, along with a slight amount of the trail itself (top photo).

In photography, light is everything. Color and shape. That's all there is. After all, it is literally 'writing with light'. A mistake many people make is that they think they are taking photos of things. They are not. Rather, they are taking photos of the shadows and highlights and color - the light being reflected from the subject.
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