Jen Phoenix and Golden Hour

JenPhoenix-32My first outdoor shoot of my desert trip took place near Phoenix, AZ with Jen Phoenix.  I’d spent most of the day driving through western Arizona toward Phoenix enjoying some nice quiet time with myself, the western speed limits, and my first real chance to enjoy the terrain.  My first lesson was that what in Arizona is a river, I call a creek.  My second is that what there is called a lake, I call a pond.  I also learned that Arizona does not observe daylight savings time during the summer which in effect means that in spite of being in the Mountain Time Zone (two hours behind Eastern), in the summer they are at the same time as the Pacific Time Zone of nearby Nevada and California where daylight savings time is observed.  I’d later also learn the Navaho Nation in Arizona does change their clocks which would cause me to be a bit late later in my trip.  I now feel much better about the confusion in Tennessee where two thirds of the state is in Central Time and one third is in Eastern Time.

Driving through the desert was a really wonderful trip.  I just enjoyed the scenery and landscape around me along with being able to observe the terrain, the plant life, and the lighting as the sun moved across the landscape.  I think I’d expected the whole desert to be a dry and barren place with nothing except bare rocks and sand.  Life is tenacious though and though it’s often only little scrubs of brush inches high, few places are truly and completely barren.  Seeing a Joshua Tree forest south of I-40 was an unexpected and welcome surprise.

Thanks to the unexpected extra hour from the lack of DST, I was into Phoenix in plenty of time for my evening shoot with Jen.  We met up at the hotel where I was staying and traveled out to a location suggested by another Phoenix based model I’d worked with in the past.  The spot turned out to be wonderful.  I knew that Jen and I would work well together almost immediately when her reaction to stepping on a cactus thorn was to pull it out and then immediately go back to posing.  Jen was wonderful to work with, open to trying just about any spot, and great at posing and finding the light outdoors.  Really enjoyed working with her and hope I get the chance to in the future either her coming out here (I’d love to pose her in the mountains around here) or my next trip out west.

In particular we were out during the wonderful evening light around sunset.  I think it was the combination of clearer skies and the open terrain, but I simply loved the golden hour light out there.  Shooting here in the mountains and forests I often find that the sunlight light is blocked or lost in the trees when it takes on the golden hue, but during this shoot we were able to work until the sun had dipped below the horizon for good and all was shade.  We spent the last fifteen or twenty minutes in fact working up a hill and shifting upward as the fading light did the same until we could climb no more.  My only regret of the shoot is that we didn’t have more light to work in.

A few more images from the shoot





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