Cree and I decided to spend the holiday photographing in one of our favorite places, Tucson and the Sonoran Desert. We spent many years guiding climbing and hiking in the area, and who can resist those incredible saguaro cactus. We also wanted to photograph at our friend’s bird blinds and put the final touches on our April photo workshop in this area.
We started by visiting Old Tucson, an old west movie set and town. On my last workshop here we photographed the numerous actors walking around the town, and participants loved it. Since the actors are there to be photographed by visitors, we had no problems finding subjects. My favorite was the rough-cut sheriff.
Afterwards we went north to visit Ron and Janine Niebrugge who run the incredible photo blinds at the Desert Photo Retreat. I’ve crossed paths with Ron numerous times in Alaska, his photography is incredible, and when he said we could bring a group to his blinds, I couldn’t wait. He has a beautiful piece of property in the heart of the Sononan Desert, and blinds carefully positioned for the best light and backgrounds. We had a fantastic few hours photographing along with a great dinner afterwards (thanks Ron and Janine!). We’ll have private access for our group during the workshop.
Next up was the Pima Air and Space museum. I think of this spot as Old Car City for planes…except everything is in great condition. The museum is spread out over many acres, and you can walk right up to B52 bombers and vintage Air Force One jets. We will have a couple models meet us here for some great portraits using the planes as backdrops.
We spent numerous days in Saguaro National Park. The saguaro cactus forests are amazing, and photographing these cactus should be on everyone’s bucket list. We got very lucky on Thanksgiving morning with a flaming sunrise (image at the top of the post).
We also spent two days photographing in the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a terrific location. The museum has animals such as javalina and bobcat, but our favorite area is the walk-in hummingbird exhibit. I was’t sure I was going to get Cree to leave. We had Costa’s hummingbirds landing three feet away for some fantastic photographs (look at Cree’s Instagram posts).
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. If you are interested in photographing in the Sonoran Desert, we still have a few spots left on our Tucson workshop. Come join us!