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2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 11:14 am
by joebartels
The cover photo reads composite. Is it digital?

Hike of the month to Pioneer Pass mentions to checkout the bread truck sized boulders atop the radio towers. I bet they were astonished by the peculiar number of pine cones from Pine Toss '09

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 12:08 pm
by big_load
I didn't notice that one, but I did notice a composite picture inside. Although it was a dramatic shot, it sure seemed to me that the subject added onto the scene was lit more strongly and not from exactly the same direction as the natural light. It wasn't grossly off, but enough for me to notice. I'm sure a real photographer would notice right away.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 1:17 pm
by JoelHazelton
Yes, it's digital. Joel Grimes... They did a feature portfolio/article on him several months ago. He would take portraits of desert flora using all your typical studio lighting, just like one would take a portrait of a person. Then he would paste it into the foreground of images with dramatic desert backgrounds. Although the process is probably sacrilegious to the photography purist, the results looked seamless and quite impressive. Definitely unique, which is what art's all about.

I'm assuming the digital "composite" on the front cover utilized the same or a similar process. There was an issue a couple months ago (with the restaurant guide) with some burger joint on the cover. That was also a digital composite.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 2:11 pm
by joebartels
Oh I like it. It was just my first thought that it seemed like a brighter than typical image for their cover shot. Reminded me of the clean light I found on Squaw years ago with my Canon 16-35 I (photos 6-8).

So my immediate thought was the cover might be digital. Then I read the little note that said it was composite. Wasn't sure if that meant the film was scanned then processed or if he started with digital. It's kind of surprising and exciting all in one since you say it is digital. :)

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 3:11 pm
by JoelHazelton
joe bartels wrote:Reminded me of the clean light I found on Squaw years ago with my Canon 16-35 I (photos 6-8)
Oh man, that's some sweet sunset light. I love when you get the orange on the clouds and the crisp reds on the land.

I'm pretty sure it's not their first digital cover by a longshot. George Stocking is a huge contributer for them, and he shoots with the 1dsM3 (I'm pretty sure...). I at least know he's digital. He's had several portfolios and covers. As far as the composite thing... I'll agree that's a pretty big step :)

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 4:35 pm
by azbackpackr
Well haven't seen that issue yet, but for my money AZ hwys photos have gone downhill over the past few years. Too much red where red isn't the right color. The Catalinas aren't red--they are not really all that red even at sunset. It just looks ugly to me. Too many fuzzy waterfalls and creeks, an effect gets so very redundant, issue after issue. One wants to see freeze-frame water once in awhile, ya know? I know, that fuzzy effect is supposed to make it look like it's flowing, but to me it just looks out of focus, and plus, I'm tired of seeing it. It gets boring.

So if they want to try something new once in awhile, I say, go for it! Even if it is kind of artsy fartsy, better than boring.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 4:58 pm
by Tortoise_Hiker
I want the corny joke page back too. :)

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 9:29 pm
by JoelHazelton
azbackpackr wrote:Well haven't seen that issue yet, but for my money AZ hwys photos have gone downhill over the past few years. Too much red where red isn't the right color. The Catalinas aren't red--they are not really all that red even at sunset. It just looks ugly to me. Too many fuzzy waterfalls and creeks, an effect gets so very redundant, issue after issue. One wants to see freeze-frame water once in awhile, ya know? I know, that fuzzy effect is supposed to make it look like it's flowing, but to me it just looks out of focus, and plus, I'm tired of seeing it. It gets boring.

So if they want to try something new once in awhile, I say, go for it! Even if it is kind of artsy fartsy, better than boring.
I've got to disagree that the quality of photography has gone downhill. AZ Highways photos are still top-notch in my opinion. In fact, I would challenge you to pick up a couple issues from a few years ago... The core photographers will be mostly the same- Jack Dykinga, Robert MacDonald, Randy Prentice, etc. If their styles have changed in the past few years its not much.

I can't disagree with you getting tired of the photography, however. Nature photography from the same handful of people can get quite static. That's why I'm glad they let in the Joel Grimes guy... Fresh style, new perspective of similar landscapes.

One last thing- Those guys generally use films like Provia and Velvia, which enhance cool colors much more than warm colors. They make shadowed areas look blue (which they actually are) rather than the dull gray color that our eyes render them. That additional contrast plus the bit of "punch" in saturation the film gives is why the Catalinas look too red to you... That and the outstanding lighting conditions that the photographers strive to find. I bet if you drove to the Catalinas every time a storm was rolling through you may come across a sunset or sunrise that lit them up like they were on fire, too ;)

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 19 2010 9:35 pm
by SuperstitionGuy
Tortoise Hiker wrote:I want the corny joke page back too. :)
Yaa! Like that cowboy when asked by a tourist how often it rained in Arizona and responded by saying:
"Well, I don't rightly know, but I wish it would hurry up as my five year old grandson hasn't seen it yet!"
:y:

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 6:33 am
by fricknaley
azpride wrote:Yes, it's digital. Joel Grimes
ha. i almost bought his house when i moved to oro valley. really, really nice guy. he had fabulous photos in his house.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 7:54 am
by azbackpackr
Ok, maybe so, maybe not about the red. I lived two miles from Pusch ridge for 13 years, I sure don't recall seeing everything looking that red. But I wish they would lose the fuzzy water. That gets old. I have talked to a lot of people about it, and it seems most agree with me on the fuzzy water effect.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 10:15 am
by hippiepunkpirate
azbackpackr wrote:Ok, maybe so, maybe not about the red. I lived two miles from Pusch ridge for 13 years, I sure don't recall seeing everything looking that red. But I wish they would lose the fuzzy water. That gets old. I have talked to a lot of people about it, and it seems most agree with me on the fuzzy water effect.
I love soft water effects but it seems AZ Highways will through in any old shot. All of my soft water shots I thought were going to be great but I got them home and found them to be bland. It's easy to get hung up on soft water, when in reality it's like any other type of photo: you still need a great composition and unique characteristics to make it stand out from the average shot.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 11:34 am
by desertgirl
Joel Grimes does some amazing work with light.

Soft water images that hold the detail in the other areas work quite well. At the end of the day its a magazine & they have to put in what sells -- soft flowing water sells, sharp clear focus on water does not.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 11:53 am
by big_load
I agree that they overdo the soft water shots. It's understandable, but I only enjoy them in moderation.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 12:22 pm
by JoelHazelton
I prefer water to be at least a little soft. Perfectly "frozen" flowing water just doesn't look right to me. Not too easy to capture, either... Under nice conditions with camera settings that ensure a sharp, clear image, it's difficult go faster than 1/8sec or so for a shutter speed. Anything that would allow for a faster shutter speed (higher iso, wider aperture, bright sunlight) would generally result in a degrade in image quality. Especially with film when they shoot with slow slide films... No option to raise iso and notoriously unforgiving in harsh lighting conditions.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 9:15 pm
by azbackpackr
desertgirl wrote:Joel Grimes does some amazing work with light.

Soft water images that hold the detail in the other areas work quite well. At the end of the day its a magazine & they have to put in what sells -- soft flowing water sells, sharp clear focus on water does not.
Yeah, well, last I heard the magazine is on its last legs. (Heard that from one of its contributors.) Of course I doubt that fuzzy water is the problem here...it's our legislature that will kill the magazine whenever they get around to it. I mean, perfectly logical, if we have no state parks then we don't need a magazine full of pictures taken in the state parks... :?

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 20 2010 11:59 pm
by joebartels
I like the soft water but not when it's the entire photo. Fred Hirschmann has a dark rock creek photo(not in the mag) in Wet Beaver Creek. When most think Autumn... fire reds, oranges and yellows come to mind. His photo puts lime green to work so well you wanna burn oil just to find the spot. The soft water in the shot is the lower third and it doesn't dominate. He has a small azpride foreground rock with undoubtedly placed leaves.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 21 2010 12:32 am
by big_load
What I miss in the soft water is the sparkle that is so enticing in real life.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 21 2010 12:57 am
by JimmyLyding
The enjoyment of photographic art is so subjective. I post a fair # of pictures on this site, and it never amazes me how many pics I think are merely descriptive, and don't have much artistic value, end up earning relatively high ratings from fellow users. Conversely, I've posted a lot of pics that I thought were masterpieces that didn't get much attention. I always want to see how my fellow HAZ users value my contributions.

It is a shame that AZ Highways is having financial trouble considering how tourism is such a huge part of our state's economy. I've also been to the Midwest and East Coast many times. Ask people from those places why they moved to- or visited Arizona. You'll get answers like, "I got out of my car, and it was like...wow," or "I came out to visit my grandparents, and it was like...wow," or "I read this magazine...I think it was called 'Arizona Highways,' and it was like...wow."
The folks who work for Arizona Highways are true believers, and they actually care about sharing the beauty of our state with people around the world. I have a lot of family and friends from Hawai'i, and all of them have either visited Arizona or truly want to. We get to enjoy on a daily basis what people spend a lot of money to visit.
I could point out that our fair legislature has slashed funding for Arizona Highways and our education system, but that would be pointing out that our elected leaders.....aw, forget about it.

Re: 2010 Feb Issue - Arizona Highways

Posted: Jan 21 2010 3:25 pm
by joebartels
JamesLyding wrote:The enjoyment of photographic art is so subjective.
That's what keeps it interesting :)
JamesLyding wrote:Conversely, I've posted a lot of pics that I thought were masterpieces that didn't get much attention.
I think we've all been there ](*,)
Generally if I let a year pass then revisit it I see it a little different.

Gotta say I'm 100% loving the MacE sunset & Schulhauser triple plum hallucination that adorn my wall in this calendarless year :)