They give us those nice bright colors

They give us the greens of summers

Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah

I got a Nikon camera

I love to take a photograph

So mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

– Paul Simon

Photography is literally “drawing with light,” whether the historic capture of the crash of the Hindenburg, Ansel Adams’ timeless black-and-white vision of Yosemite’s “Moon and Half Dome,” Annie Leibovitz’s iconic portrait of John and Yoko that day in December or a parent’s cherished snapshot of a child’s 1st birthday party.

Photography is liberating. With a camera, everyone is an artist, a portraitist, a documentarian, an archivist. From metal or glass plates to celluloid to pixels, photography is an evolving medium accessible to just about anyone.

photo credit to Karen Wright, Splash Across the Sky

Day 1 – What Is Photography?

Introduction to Photography

What is Photography?

History of Photography

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

A Quick History of Photography

The Past and Future of Photography

How Does a Camera Work?

Amazing Photographers

20 Years of Nature’s Best Photography

Edward Weston

Alfred Stieglitz

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Ansel Adams

Dorothea Lange

Henri Cartier Bresson

Jack Dykinga

Annie Leibovitz

David Muench


Day 2 – How Tos


Photograph Magical Landscapes

Mastering the Art of Composition

Become a Better Vacation Photographer

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Seeing in Black and White

The Art of Digital Nature Photography


iPhone Tricks

Camera Hacks For Taking Stunning Photos

Tricks For Incredible iPhone Photography

A Simple Trick To Improve Your Landscape Photos

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Macro Photography Secrets

Take Incredible iPhone Travel Photos

Correct iPhone Camera Settings


Photography Museums

Center for Creative Photography

Museum of Photographic Arts

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Here are the Most Inspiring Photography Museum Collections

Activity Time

15 Photography Lessons for Kids

Click It Up A Notch

Teaching Photography to Kids

7 Fun Photography Projects

15 Valuable Photography Lessons

Teaching Kids How to Take Better Photos

Day 3 – Artistic Expression

Download this week’s coloring sheets featuring Photography!

Get To Know The Artists

Amanda Rohrbach

Anna’s Hummingbird

Broad-Billed Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird – “Hummingbirds are nature’s sprites; an encounter with one always leaves me feeling as if I have seen a fairy. This sweet Anna’s Hummingbird kept returning to her perch again and again, surveying the shady garden peacefully. She looks like a watercolor come to life here, as her gentle colors blend with her environment.”


Broad-Billed Hummingbird – “This beautiful, flying jewel was zipping around a mesquite tree and over my head so fast that I could not quite capture a shot of him until he thoroughly exhausted himself and rested on a branch to catch his breath.”

Amanda Rohrbach is a natural light, on-location photographer specializing in family portraits and fine art nature photography and is based in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

To learn more about Amanda and her work, visit


Christopher Allison

Sleepy Orange Butterfly on Desert Aster

Nocturnal Sonoran Star

Sleepy Orange Butterfly – “The relationships between flowers and their pollinators are fascinating and complex. Each of these photographs demonstrate examples where pollinating insects were using flowers for shelter. The bees and wasps returned to the same flowers nightly to roost. I photographed them at sunrise over several days. The Sleepy Orange Butterfly was clinging to an aster during warm gusts of wind. It remained there for some time, calmly resting. These three photographs were taken near my home.


I am fortunate to live in Tucson, a place where nature’s persistence and perseverance make it a constant companion. From abundant birdlife to a seemingly endless variety of insects, I am constantly fascinated and inspired by my surroundings.

This Sleepy Orange Butterfly stopped to rest on a desert aster during a windy day. I observed it for some time and noticed that it did not feed, but instead appeared to use the swaying flower for shelter.

I do not always bring my camera when I observe nature. Some of the best images that I have seen are recorded only in my memory. I am fortunate to live in Tucson, a place where nature’s persistence and perseverance make it a constant companion. With abundant interactions between plants, animals and their surroundings, I am constantly fascinated and inspired by the region that I call home.

Nocturnal Sonoran Star – “Long-Nosed Snakes (Rhinocheilus lecontei) are nocturnal and are most frequently encountered by people while crossing roads. This harmless snake has a unique defense. If disturbed, females may expel blood from their mouth, nostrils and cloaca. I leaned this first-hand while examining this specimen. While holding this snake, I noticed blood running down my forearm. I assumed that a vehicle had struck the snake, but there were no apparent injuries. After photographing her, I watched her slip unscathed back into the darkness of the desert night.

I do not always bring my camera when I observe nature. Some of the best images that I have seen are recorded only in my memory. I am fortunate to live in Tucson, a place where nature’s persistence and perseverance make it a constant companion. With abundant interactions between plants, animals and their surroundings, I am constantly fascinated and inspired by the region that I call home.

I have always been fascinated with nature. As a child I was told that I ‘left no stone unturned’ by an uncle whose large stone wall I disassembled in search of worms and salamanders. Always seeking out any opportunity to be outside and experience nature, I was drawn to Arizona and particularly Tucson. During my 15 years as an Arizona resident, I have explored photography, painting, and digital art with an emphasis on insects, reptiles and birds.”


Linda Ekstrum

Merry Month of May

“Spring arrives early in the Sonoran Desert. Ephemerals bloom in February, tender and tiny. Poppies, blue phacelia and desert marigolds announce March. Cacti – claret cups, prickly pear, cholla – are signs of April. The ‘who cooks for you?’ call of the returning white-winged dove announces May – a fanfare that heralds of the late-blooming queen of the desert – the saguaro.  They join in a symbiotic dance that will ensure their existence into perpetuity.


I am a native of southeastern Arizona and I like to say that my love of grasslands, windmills, white-faced cattle and hawks ‘making lazy circles in the sky’ are a part of my DNA. I grew up eagerly anticipating the monthly arrival of Arizona Highways Magazine, which expanded my vision of the state and connected me to the works of Ansel Adams and David Muench and their sweeping landscapes. Now years later, I have been able to visit those places for myself. It has been a great pleasure to photograph landscapes in some of Ansel Adams haunts such as Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and Yosemite National Park. And, while it is clear that my body of work demonstrates my love of landscape, I do enjoy photographing other subjects including people, cars, architecture and horses—I’ll follow anywhere a story leads.”


Patrick Cobb

Tumamoc Terrarium no. 2

“The desert flora of Tumamoc Hill are rendered into thorny profile on a rare foggy February morning.”  

Patrick Cobb is a mostly self-taught, occasional landscape photographer who installs solar panels for a living. He has lived in Tucson for the past 9 years, and has found it to be a good base camp from which to explore the surreal landscapes of the Desert Southwest. He draws photographic inspiration from the likes of Eugene Atget, Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore, but more


recently from the likes of Zoe Strauss, Stephen Strom and Mitch Dobrowner. Most of the time, he takes pictures of places and things spontaneously and without pre-conception, and then analyzes them obsessively to figure out how to improve on imperfections of lighting and composition. On occasion, he attempts to explore more conceptual themes or certain typologies, but usually without achieving much in the way of satisfying coherence. He is usually lucky enough to exhibit his work, on average, once or twice a year in places both urban and rural.

To learn more about Patrick and his work, visit


Manuel Fontes


“My grandmother was born in 1883 in northern Mexico, and was a well-known traditional Mexican-American healer in southern Arizona. Known as a Curandera in Spanish, she healed the sick and afflicted with plants and herbs


gathered from the Sonoran Desert. As a boy, I spent a great deal of time at her side. Every day she would send me on errands into the desert to gather plants for her medicines. She taught me a great deal about living in harmony with nature. At times, I would help my grandmother in her garden. Her garden was a tangled mass of plants, cacti and trees. It was a place where one was welcomed with a fresh coolness and a symphony of herbal aromas. That was the place where she taught me about the Nopal cactus.

My grandmother spoke to her plants and seemed to know each and every one of them intimately as one would know a friend. She told me that the Nopal is a special plant because it sustains life. I never knew what that meant as a boy. All that I knew was that the Nopal was no different from any other vegetable at dinnertime, something to avoid. She once said to me, ‘The Nopal gives up part of itself so we can live and by doing so we help it to live.’ A profound statement lost as a child but later found and treasured as an adult. What I now know is that the Nopal has been an integral part of the lives of Mexican-American people in the Southwest for generations. It is part of the legend of the founding of Mexico by the Aztecs; it is depicted on the Mexican flag, has provided sustenance to the poor in lean times and even plays a prominent role in Mexican humor. Today, medical science is starting to discover the value of the Nopal in fighting Type-2 Diabetes.

In this photograph, I depict a freshly harvested Nopal cactus pad as the Aztec Técpatl. Técpatl is Nahuatl (the ancient language of the Aztecs) for their broad, lancet ceremonial flint knife. According to Aztec mythology, the Técpatl was the symbol of sacrifice profoundly associated with the lunar cycle and the harvesting of crops. It was often adorned to look like a human skeleton to represent the connection between life and death, mankind and nature. Without death, there can be no life. This was the belief held sacred by the Aztec. Although the great Aztec civilization has vanished, their mythology lives on in the lives of many Mexican-Americans in the Southwest today.  In our technical society, we have lost the connection between ourselves and nature. My grandmother taught me that by sacrificing part of the Nopal we are provided with food. In turn, the Nopal is given the opportunity to live as well. Without cutting off parts of the Nopal (pruning), it will become too big and die. My Técpatl is adorned with items I often found in my grandmothers garden: maíz (corn), medicinal roots and wild Sonoran Desert berries (wolfberries). My Técptal is a reminder that we all should live in balance with nature. That we are we not separate, but a part of the natural world.”


Day 4 – Artistic Interpretation

Adam Block

Southwest Echo

“This particular image literally captures the feel of the southwest as rendered by the Universe through this beautiful nebula. A mountain rises from shadowy depths with


blazing stars in the sky. I work atop Mount Lemmon and run the public stargazing programs at the UA Science SkyCenter. This image echoes the life I live and breathe.  In reality, this is a faint nebula called Sh2-140 (with no common friendly name). Not all astronomical objects have been captured in full color even though they are known and catalogued. This is probably the highest resolution full color image of this nebula that has been published to-date.”

“Over the past 20 years, I have shaped public outreach stargazing programs in the southwest United States. However, my interest in astronomy began much earlier. With only four trips around the Sun my interest in astronomy had already blossomed into a life-long pursuit. My parents took note of my interest and at the age of seven, they gave me my first telescope. Although I could not see much through it, my interest never waned.

As a young boy, I would read books and magazines that dealt with science and astronomy. They always seemed to say “Arizona” in the caption with respect to research and astronomers. So I chose to attend the University of Arizona where I studied Astronomy and Physics. After graduating in 1996, it was serendipity that Kitt Peak National Observatory modified their visitor center by installing a small telescope to offer nightly stargazing programs. I applied for the job (was hired on the spot!) and for the next 9 years created and developed the core public observing programs that are still offered there today. In addition to public speaking and program content, I also created unique programs that highlighted photography of the Universe through a telescope.

As a maturing adult, it became clear I could not make the Kitt Peak job my livelihood so I reached another critical point in my life. I could do the reasonable thing and make astronomy a hobby (and get a “real job”) or I could do the unreasonable and try to make the job of popularizing astronomy through public outreach and astrophotography my career. Through the generosity of Joe Schulman, for providing the telescope and the foresight of Dr. Peter Strittmatter (then director of Steward Observatory at the UofA) the creation of what is now called the UA Science Mount Lemmon SkyCenter began in 2007. As the founder of stargazing programs at the SkyCenter, I believe my life has a wonderful arc beginning from the day, at 8 years old, when I exclaimed to my mother “When I grow up I want to be an astronomer and I want to work there!” while pointing to a picture of an observatory in Arizona (it was actually Kitt Peak). The SkyCenter then represents the culmination of my efforts to do public outreach and share my passion for astronomy.

Currently I am an astronomy researcher at the UofA (Steward Observatory).

To learn more about Adam and his work, visit


Amanda Rohrbach

Trail of Stars

“The sky is our oldest navigational guide. The sun, moon, and stars have helped humans – and many other animals – find their way and understand their surroundings for


millions of years. As such, the sky is central to the myths and legends of every culture on Earth. Tracking the passage of time, predicting seasons, navigating on land, at sea, or in the air – the dynamic celestial map is woven into our very understanding of ourselves throughout all of history.

The Milky Way’s spectacular core reaches up over a desert mountain in Southern Arizona, near Sonoita, in this 20-second exposure taken on a cool fall evening. This spray of stars and celestial dust and gas seems to be an extension of a dark path in the distance – that we could follow a trail and walk right up into the stars. There are myths and stories about the Milky Way in every culture on Earth – it’s not hard to have your breath taken away if you get to experience its majesty from a truly dark place, and you won’t wonder why it captured the imaginations of our ancestors.”

Amanda is a Tucson native who grew up admiring the beautiful Arizona night skies. This lifelong passion inspired her to study Astronomy and Physics at the University of Arizona, and she now works to capture the wonder of those skies in her photography. Previously an aerospace engineer, she now is a nature and portrait photographer, specializing in families, children, and all aspects of the natural world. Amanda lives in Tucson with her husband and two young sons, and together they explore beautiful Arizona and beyond.


Jeff Smith

Bear Canyon Blue

“Growing up in Tucson, on many a summer night, my father and I watched the monsoon storms rolling in over the Santa Catalina Mountains. This amazing, natural energy was


breathtaking and exciting. For the past 30 years, I have spent my summer nights in the Arizona desert chasing lightning.

In Bear Canyon Blue the silhouette of distant cactus against the darkened summer sky is alluring and seductive. The lightning and cool rain encompass the desert’s release.”

“At age 5, my father said, ‘If you’re not going to be in the photos, maybe you should take the photos.’ I acquired two cameras within the following 3 years. A few years later, my family moved to Tucson, where I have lived most of my life.

My lightning photographs encompass two categories. Iconic Landscapes – being in the right place at the perfect time. Catching a hue of light, capturing the emotional storm. And Drivescapes – where motion and light tell the story of night drives. Color variation and stitching of light patterns, imagery in patchwork and splinters of timeline all contribute to this travelogue of monsoon life.

Riding with lightning, I feel incredibly focused. My peripheral vision widens to the view of the lens. While others sleep, I enjoy the sparseness of the roads and the emptiness. When people think of the desert, they think about the brightness. When I think of desert, I think about the deep nights I have spent there, looking for light. I continually discover new ways of capturing lightning and nature.”

To learn more about Jeff and his work, visit


Kate Breakey

Blood Moon

“The Element ‘Gold, (Au) can only be made in the nuclear reactor of stars. It came to our planet when the Earth was first forming, as dust from catastrophic astronomical events —


stars imploding and ejecting energy, as light and matter. The events that produce most of the gold in the universe are called ‘Gamma Ray Bursts’. This occurs when a double star consisting of two neutron stars collapses under the force of gravity. Neutron stars are the cores of dead stars. They are only a few miles in diameter; so dense that every last bit of matter has been compressed down to the density of the atomic nucleus. The two dead, dark stars spin around each other for millions of years at millions of miles per hour, constantly pulling each other closer. Then finally, they touch. At that moment, more energy is released than the rest of the universe combined. Much of their mass collapses into a black hole and leaves our universe forever, but the rest is released in an enormous explosion of gamma rays and newly-formed elements. Some of that star-dust flung into space is gold. The gold in the Earth’s crust was carried here on asteroids that hit the earth, during the ‘Late Heavy Bombardment’ 3.8 billion years ago when the Earth gained most of its mass. The Ancient Egyptians believed that gold was the flesh of their Sun god ‘Ra’. I was struck by the beauty and brightness, the depth of Orotones, which were first made in the early 20th century by, among others, Pillsbury and Edward Curtis. My work is a contemporary version of an Orotone. The image a digitally printed on UV Art glass with 24kt gold leaf applied to the back.”

Kate Breakey has gained international recognition for her large-scale richly hand-colored photographs. Since 1980, her work has appeared in more than 56 one-person exhibitions and in over 50 group exhibitions in the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and France. A native of South Australia, Kate moved to Austin, Texas in 1988. She completed a Master of Fine Art Degree at the University of Texas in 1991 where she also taught Photography in the Department of Art and Art History until 1998. In 1999, she relocated to Tucson, Arizona. Breakey’s work is held in many public collections, including The Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Museum of Photographic Arts in in San Diego, and in Texas, Austin Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography who have collected over 150 works by Breakey since 1999. In 2004, she received the “Photographer of the Year” Award from the Houston Center for Photography.

To learn more about Kate and her work, visit


Lawrence Beck

Full Reverse

“To my way of thinking, Hummingbirds represent the essence of flight. Their ability to hover, fly inverted and in reverse is unequalled in the Avian kingdom.


That they exist only in the Americas and are the smallest of all birds adds to their unique aspect.

I have chosen to study and photograph Hummingbirds, following my first exposure to them in 2006. Rather than follow the current norm of using between six and twelve flash units mounted on light stands placed 18” from a flower or feeder I prefer to photograph them from a distance of 15-20 feet, with a super telephoto lens (840mm equivalent), tripod and single flash mounted to a ring attached to the lens foot. Flash is used at the lowest power setting so as to provide fill light and not overwhelm the bird with a blinding intensity of light that would require ‘glare recovery’ endangering the bird’s vision. With this technique, I can capture wing movement rather than freeze all motion, rendering the bird lifeless as multi flash technique often does. Wing movement represents life.”

For the past 30 years Lawrence has endeavored to develop a process for displaying his work with non-traditional substrates that are devoid of conventional framing and glazing.  He recently developed a proprietary technique, using archival materials, for displaying his Pigment Rice Paper Prints on a 1/4” treated wood substrate, adding acrylic paint to some images. His work can be seen at his studio in Tubac, Arizona.


Pamela Bosch

Cholla Beauty

“Encounters with Cholla are often painful. However taking an intimate view of an emerging spring bud exposes unexpected form, color, and textural contrasts that offer the


viewer a different perspective.” Photography has been a vital and important part of Pamela’s life since she was a child. She would spend hours looking through the family photo album which led Pamela to begin taking photographs as soon as she was old enough to use the camera. The camera became a constant companion as she grew, and a means of capturing her friends, family, and all the precious memories of her life.

Pamela’s passion for photography grew, and she earned a BFA in Photography and an MA in Art History, specializing in the History of Photography from the University of Arizona, School of Fine Arts.  Pamela was awarded an undergraduate scholarship on the merit of her work, and her images were chosen for publication by Persona: The University of Arizona Undergraduate Magazine of Literature & Art.

Although Pamela was diverted to a successful career in healthcare administration she continued her creative pursuits. She maintained her connection with photography and practiced the art of jewelry design for 15 years. The camera has remained her constant companion and the tool she uses to interpret the world around her. The digital revolution in photography has propelled Pamela’s passion for photography to a higher level and returned her to her fine-arts roots.  Photography has become Pamela’s sole creative medium once again.

Pamela’s work explores the natural world; landscapes in expansive vista and intimate detail which is driven by her love of, and respect for, the great outdoors. She is also a people person who finds much joy capturing the beauty of people and human relationships through portraiture. Though these are her favored subjects, almost any compelling sight or subject is within the scope of her lens.


Mary A. Nation

Datura Rising

“The Sonoran Desert and the species that inhabit it provide countless examples of relationships and inter-relationships that can be, but are not necessarily, mutually beneficial.


known as Symbiosis.  The relationship between Datura and the Hawkmoth provides an example of ‘mutualism’ because both species benefit from their relationship. The Hawkmoth pollinates Datura’s flowers and then, by depositing its larva, incorporates the toxins found in the plant, protecting the caterpillars that follow from potential predators.

I think Datura is an enchanting flower and when I was photographing one morning, I came across one of her buds, covered in raindrops. I have come to love photographing in the rain; the sounds and the smell heighten the senses. And as I thought about the bud unfurling before me, I sensed the monsoon rains would again nourish her so that she may again rise to take her place in the circle of life that is the Sonoran Desert.”

“Prior to moving to Tucson, I spent most of my life living and working in New York City; first, specializing in international finance and then later, as a litigator, concentrating on complex commercial transactions. Throughout my career, I was fortunate to be able to travel extensively and at one point, lived and worked in Zurich, Switzerland. This no doubt contributed to my lifelong fascination with people and their cultures.

I was always a serious amateur photographer and while in New York City was fortunate to be able to take classes and workshops at the International Center of Photography. I began my journey in the ‘film days,’ so the digital platform has been quite transformative in terms of the technology that has been applied to the development of cameras as well as software. However, there is something quite special about the context of working in ‘film’ that has influenced my images even in this digital age.


And that is a quiet deliberation that seeks to express the feeling or the emotion I felt when I took the photograph.  What caused me to take the picture?  Can the perception of what I saw be shown in such a way that the experience can be shared with the viewer?  These are my goals:  sometimes I succeed, but sometimes I do not.  But that is all part of the journey and what makes it interesting.

Finally, I think I have always had a special connection with black & white photography.  I have no objection to color and indeed, I believe there are images that speak in color.  But, when a subject can be transformed into something so simple, yet so elegant that it comes with ‘sound effects,’ then that is the real magic of black and white.”


Stu Jenks

Abajo Mountain Hoop Dance

“I took this photograph during a full moon in Southeastern Utah in an ancient Aspen forest where the trees sometimes grow to over six feet in diameter. It was very cold


that October night as I spun a Christmas-light-lit hula hoop through the trees. While the camera shutter stayed open for a half hour taking in ambient moonlight, I went for a walk up a logging trail. Fifteen minutes later as I strolled back down the trail, I saw a distant mysterious light in the forest. It scared me. Who else or what else is in the old virgin forest tonight, I thought? As I walked closer, I saw the answer. I had left the hula hoop lights on.”

To learn more about Stu and his work, visit


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Bill Baker

Leaving Hayden

“When thinking of the role of copper in Arizona, my first thought is always of the people who have been responsible for extracting and processing it, the


lives they have lived, and where they have lived it. When the Five C’s of Arizona are marketed, these are conveniently not shown. Towns like Bisbee and Jerome may be exceptions. This image is intended to reference the industry through the eyes of a resident of Hayden whose life has been dominated by it. When leaving our neighborhood, we anticipate a different environment. The image suggests two choices—more of the same. I prefer stark simplicity that may be felt rather than intellectualized. Being in that moment can, at the same time, evoke a sense of timelessness.”

“I began with simple, illusory sand patterns that I was seeing in the dunes close to my home near Teec Nos Pos, AZ in Navajoland, looking into the abstract forms created by wind and gravity. It was like living within a Zen garden, the emptiness evoking a strong sense of timelessness and peace.

After moving to Tucson in 1988, I also began photographing for travel publications, traveling to as many towns as possible throughout Arizona. I have continued my effort to present images that cause the viewer to see the familiar with fresh eyes.”

To learn more about Bill and his work, visit


Christopher Allison

Bachelor Longhorned Bees roosting on Desert Aster

“The relationships between flowers and their pollinators are fascinating and complex. This photograph demonstrates an example where pollinating insects were using flowers for shelter. The bees


and wasps returned to the same flowers nightly to roost. I photographed them at sunrise over several days. I am fortunate to live in Tucson, a place where nature’s persistence and perseverance make it a constant companion. From abundant birdlife to a seemingly endless variety of insects, I am constantly fascinated and inspired by my surroundings.

These two Bachelor Longhorned Bees were cradled in the slightly open petals of a Desert Aster early one morning. Some of the flowers that I observed had several bees clustered together each night. This social behavior is most likely done to help warn each other of the approach of predators.”

“I have always been fascinated with nature. As a child I was told that I ‘left no stone unturned’ by an uncle whose large stone wall I disassembled in search of insects and salamanders. Always seeking out any opportunity to be outside and experience nature, I was drawn to Arizona and particularly Tucson. During my 15 years as an Arizona resident, I have explored photography, painting, and digital art with an emphasis on insects, reptiles and birds.”


Curt Pradelt

River of Tailings

“A view of the tailing field in the mining town of Ruby, AZ, with the mountains and building clouds in the background.  Even though this is a mining dumpsite, it presents a


dramatic scene. I grew up in rural Western Oregon at a time when it was still possible to stumble upon evidence of early settlers and the remains of hand built log cabins, abandoned tools and other evidence of early habitation, which to me was very exciting and mysterious.

To this day, my photography continues to be inspired by connections to the past, and the relationship that humans have had with their landscape, the objects they leave behind, evidence of their existence, and abstract features and objects that represent or symbolize something not depicted directly but implied.  The implied content can create emotional resonance in the viewer.

I strive for a minimalist and abstract aesthetic and will juxtaposition compositional elements to suggest a sense of mystery. I do not limited subject matter but look for what the scene is about; does it say anything to me and do I feel some emotional connection to the image at the end of the process.  Sometimes I see an image that I want and photograph it, at other times I take a photo and only see the image I am looking for later.”

To learn more about Curt and his work, visit



Dan Chavez

Copper Smelter no 1

“Copper Smelter No. 1 captures one of the earliest territorial copper smelters founded in Superior, Arizona in 1880. Originally called the Silver Queen Mining Company, this


iconic landmark became the Magma Copper Company in 1910 and to this day, it sits proudly on a hillside above the town. This booming copper mining town contributed to the state’s economic livelihood for over 110 years, finally closing in June 1996 when its mineable copper reserves were depleted. Learning that this historic landmark is slated for demolition in early 2019, I felt it imperative to visit and document its existence one last time capturing this image on a glorious fall day in September 2018.”

Mexican-American photographer Dan Chavez’s passion for photography began when he first used his father’s 35 mm camera as a teenager. The amazing digital innovations revolutionizing the photographic arts over the last 20 years have only served to heighten his interest in the art form. Modern digital photography affords today’s photographers’ endless options for artistic expression. Chavez feels “each image is part of a process, the result of research, experimentation, persistence, luck, and accident.” Photography has been Chavez’s journey to the creative process, the same journey that has inspired and nurtured artists for centuries.

Chavez is active in community fundraising, donating his time and artwork to charitable causes including BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Action & Salvage), Resplandor International, the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Imago Dei Middle School, Pictures of Hope and Toys-for-Tots.

To learn more about Dan and his work, visit


Daniel Hansen

Senor Sombrero

“Senor Sombrero strolls in El Día de los Muertos procession, his expression portraying his somber emotions. One can almost hear the voices of the dearly departed souls in


his presence. I am an engineer, but a photographer at heart, in search of new experiences and love images that tell a story. The best stories move one’s soul, and in the Día De Los Muertos parade, every costume is a heart-felt remembrance of a loved one. The vibrancy of the colors, culture, and tradition of the parade are breathtaking.

While I have been capturing landscape images in the Southwest for 12 years, this is the first time that I had photographed this parade and will become a tradition for me.”

Diane Ensign

Tucson Sunset & Sahuaro Cactus Silouhette

“I love nature’s creations. The designs and details of plant and animal life fascinate me. I try to share my appreciation of their splendors with others thru photography. I am always


on the lookout for our glorious western sunsets and have waited in many places many hours in all kinds of conditions in order to capture them in photographs. I climbed a tall ladder to get this particular sunset without interference from bushes and tree branches obstructing my view. Just as the autumn colors are the big excitement before winter sets in I always delight in the last light of the day showing off its brilliant colorful sunsets before night falls and darkness descends.”

Diane’s photographs have been displayed and marketed in many local and nationally known galleries, stores, professional, and corporate offices. She has given numerous lectures and slide presentations to public and private groups, photo clubs, schools, and universities. Diane has taught privately and through Montana’s Flathead College Elderhostel and Glacier (National Park) Institute programs. Her wildlife, nature, scenic, and pet photographs have been widely published in postcards and card lines, books, calendars, magazines, brochures, newspapers, and souvenirs including National Geographic; National Wildlife; Sierra Club; Alaska Magazine; Arizona Highways; Colorado and Colorado Outdoors; Montana and Montana Outdoors Magazines; Frontier and Horizon Airlines Magazines. Her photographs have won numerous awards including International Wildlife Film Festivals and National Wildlife Cover Contest. Commercially, Diane specialized in artist portraitures of people, pets, romantic weddings, interiors, sports and portfolios. Her expansive stock photo files include a wide range of subjects utilizing a variety of creative shooting techniques of back lighting silhouettes, imaginative filter and mood shots, abstracts, and double exposures.

Edlynne Sillman

Keen Eye

“As a native New Yorker my exposure to birds was limited. Living in the magnificent Sonoran desert, has expanded my interest and desire to learn more about the extensive


varieties of birds in this birder’s paradise. Art and Photography have been a constant in my life, with line, texture, and contrast always fascinating me. Capturing the intriguing mysteries and inner souls of animals and people through candid portraiture continue to pique my curiosity. I am mesmerized by the awesome power and beauty of nature and the ever evolving drama of human life.”

To learn more about Edlynee and her work, visit



George McCausland

The Three Muses

“The Three Muses of El Día de los Muertos remind us of birth, life and finally death.  It is the one day that we the living have set aside to visit with those that


now passed on.  The Muse, who represents death is looking at the photographer, is saying ‘remember me’. As a photographer, I have a willingness to loose myself in what is before me. This process is part mechanical and part creative. My mind triggers a thought, and my hand reaches for a camera, what follows is an image. Even when I do not have a camera in my hands, I am mentally photographing what I feel and see. It becomes a life style of constant images and thoughtful observation of life around me. This is my photographic process and who I am.”


James Cowlin


“The saguaro cactus is unique to the Sonoran Desert. A saguaro can live to be 200 years old and will start growing arms from the central column when it


is 100. This photograph shows the sprout of a new arm—a new beginning for an aging giant. I am a freelance photographer based in Oracle, Arizona, specializing in nature, travel and fine art. For over thirty years, I have been documenting the landscape of the western United States and have built a collection of images that range from broad panoramic views to intimate close-ups.

My current work-in-progress is documenting US Route 89 between Canada and Mexico. By concentrating on highway 89, I am able to shoot in twenty national parks and monuments and document the landscape of the West from the Rocky Mountains, across the Colorado Plateau and into the arid mountains and valleys of the southwestern desert. My photographs range from the tourist meccas of Yellowstone and Grand Canyon to less well-known attractions such as the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway. The photographs from the US Route 89 Project form a dynamic portrait of this vital and fast-growing region. For a comprehensive view of the road, visit the US Route 89 website.”

To learn more about James and his work, visit


Jan Mayer

Palm Leaf

“Abstraction is everywhere in nature. It begins with a representational version of what we see. Drawing near, the more cellular the vision becomes. Lines bend.


Colors expand upon closer inspection. Details broaden as the very essence of the whole begins to morph into another microcosm that takes us deeper into understanding or perception. The original sensation is altered by this new feeling of wonder and awe of what is revealed.”

Jan Mayer is a photographer who came to art from a background in science.  She had the curiosity to discern the complexity of things and a vision to translate and embellish upon what she saw.  Jan recognized that nature underscores its exquisite intricacy of design and seductive allure for function in the natural world.  This fundamental integration is the piece that compels her pursuit of photographing what she sees and carrying it further into what her fantasy will reveal.  She does that by using techniques in digital photography that render her images more painterly in nature.

To learn more about Jan and her work, visit


Jay Suchland

Other Wordly

“When I first learned of the Day of the Dead celebrations, I was immediately empathetic to the concept of continuing to remember and honor the dead long after they have


departed. But, it wasn’t until I joined a Tohono Chul tour to cemeteries in Tubac and Nogales, on both sides of the border, that I came  to fully appreciate just how cherished this holiday is in Mexico and in the Mexican/American communities on this side of the border. During that tour, I sought out individuals who were standing vigilance alone by the grave of a departed relative. It was both heartwarming and rewarding to see how appreciative the individuals were that someone would stop by, in an unhurried way, to ask questions, and share the stories of the persons who were buried there. That experience lead me to want to capture images of the symbols that represent El Día de Los Muertos in hopes that those images would help spark an interest in others to experience the essence of this treasured holiday.”

“My fascination with photography began while serving in the military in Europe where I had access to a photo lab and began developing and printing black and white film and shooting color using Kodachrome slide film. The experience of living and traveling abroad shaped my early efforts and kindled a keen interest in people and places. That fascination has continued throughout my life as I travelled to many corners of the world. Often visiting and now living in the American Southwest has expanded my interests to include landscapes and the component details within them as well as the long history and culture of the area.”

To learn more about Jay and his work, visit


Jerry Cagle


“Birds enliven our hearts. Spirit-like beings of, and yet not of, this world. They can, at will, slip the bonds of “earthly existence” and ascend into the ethers. Watching them soar, boundless


and carefree, we long to commune with them in their natural milieu. Note: The sandhill cranes in these images are wild birds that overwinter in Cochise County at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in the southeast corner of the state. I encourage all to take the time to make the trip out to Whitewater Draw to observe firsthand these amazing animals in their seasonal environment.”

Jerry Cagle (born PA 1952) is an artist working in the medium of photography. In 2012, following a personal epiphany, he abandoned a long career in medical microscopy in order to pursue fine art photography full-time. He has studied both analog and digital photography independently as well as through workshops and in formal academic settings. He creates work in the classic nature and landscape traditions employing standard media but also utilizes alternative substrates hybridizing contemporary materials and methods with antiquarian processes.

His work has been exhibited at numerous local galleries including the Art Institute at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and Tohono Chul Gallery as well as in national and international exhibits including  Soho Photo Gallery in New York. His work Hollow Promisies was selected for the Editor’s Choice award by the staff of High Country Magazine in their 2015 photo contest “Water in the West”.  Three of his images, Fairy Swords,  The Tombstone, and Another Rock – Another Tree, have been chosen by Arizona Highways Magazine as their “Photo of the Day”.

Primarily self-taught, he sometimes employs out-of-fashion techniques such as soft-focus and intentional camera movement as means of eliciting an emotional response in the viewer. He seeks to capture the essence of his subjects as he experiences them, as opposed to creating a simple record. He embraces abstraction, but he also creates more traditional work, often with an archaic, tactile feel. Entropy, transience, beauty and imperfection are common themes. His work is influenced, directly or indirectly, by such diverse artists as Aaron Siskind, Michael Berman, Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Salgado, Keith Carter, Craig Childs, Edward S. Cutis, Gillian Welch, Norman Blake, Kate Breakey, Donald Harrington, Tony Sweet, Steve Earle, Wallace Stegner, Sean Kernan,  and The Beatles.

Living and working in Tucson, Arizona, the Southwest is his studio. He can be routinely found in hot pursuit of monsoon storms, dust devils, and evocative light with his dangerously charming, painfully handsome, astoundingly articulate shepherd/kelpie cross companion, Booker.

To learn more about Jerry and his work, visit


Jessie Shinn


“I have been interested lately in the Buddhist concept of śūnyatā, translated both as not-self and as emptiness. I would like to approach the natural


world through an understanding of śūnyatā, neutral and open, without projecting my own interpretations or feelings onto what I encounter. However, paradoxically, as an artist and as a human, I rely on metaphor to understand the world – I turn to things I can see and touch to stand in for abstract concepts that are harder to grasp. Luckless might mean unlucky, but it could also mean not in need of luck or, in a position where luck is irrelevant.

I grew up in the Phoenix area, and have called Tucson home since 1989, completing my BFA at the University of Arizona. In 2012, I moved to St. Louis for two years to pursue an MFA at Washington University. Since then I have been back in my hometown, making art and teaching at Pima Community College.

My photographic work draws on my background in drawing and painting; my interests in philosophy and poetry; and a fascination with the mysterious and confusing parts of human life – the slipperiness of time and space, light and dark. I seek out the sense of presence, surprise, and recognition that we sometimes experience momentarily, in a flash of light, shadow, reflection, color, line, or shape within the overlooked, ephemeral and ordinary.  My work is about the charge of things, both hidden and revealed, and the value of transient and ambiguous visual experiences that do not have fixed meaning.

Sometimes even when we have words, they are inadequate, or seem inaccessible. Yet experiences that can’t be described can still have resonance, affect. They may touch, move, or infect; they may manifest a feeling, disposition or tendency.  I make images to access that space where my knowledge and language fail.”

To learn more about Jessie and her work, visit


Karen Wright

Splash Across the Sky

“What lies beyond in the vast sky above, just out of our reach? I have been so fortunate to be able to pursue my passion and do something I truly love. I approach my photography with an


inquisitive eye and a sense of fun. I like to start with a simple setting that allows the individual’s unique personality to shine, or highlights the special interactions between family & friends.

Whether capturing the wonder of childhood, the special bonds of families, or promoting a business image or special event, I invite you to share in my vision of creating unforgettable images that show those fleeting moments we want to remember always.”

To learn more about Karen and her work, visit


Kate Snow Cocuzza

Butterfly III

“Butterflies and pollination represent transformation, rebirth, and renewal. I was honored that this butterfly stayed with me long enough to capture its beauty and


allowed me to take in its symbolism.” Kate Snow Cocuzza is a native Tucsonan with a love for expression in many forms. From photography to oil paintings, she uses art to capture the fleeting moments of beauty in nature and humanity.

To learn more about Kate and her work, visit


Keith Marroquin

Entire Poem in one Blossom

“Growing up as an only child, my closest friend was nature, and together we played in the weedy lots between sun-bleached mobile homes and faded pick-ups. My other friends


were sci-fi paperbacks and re-runs of Cosmos and Cousteau. These companions were my first guides to a world beyond singlewide trailers, and single moms.

At eight, I went to live with my great grandmother in the desert. At eleven, I was placed into a foster family. And at fifteen, I climbed out of their window, never to return. At twenty-two, I started guiding rivers, and I have been happily mucking around in boats ever since: North America, Africa, Asia, Rio Colorado, Omo, Talaga Waja. I have taught Balinese rice farmers to be raft guides and Maasai tribesmen to play baseball. I have worked for Jane Goodall in east Africa, shoveled manure, dug ditches, washed mountains of dishes, and made a fool of myself countless times. When I was thirty, my mother stepped out onto her front porch and killed herself. And now, at almost 50, I still haven’t met my father. And my friends are my chosen family.

As a trauma critical care nurse, I have witnessed the last moment of many lives, and in that role, I have been honored to help comfort many families. If you add it up, more of my life has been spent watching a campfire than a television. And hands down, I’d rather wake up in a sleeping bag than a bed.”

To learn more about Keith and his work, visit


Laura Stafford

Female Cardinal

“January 1, 2015, I awoke to the desert covered in a blanket of snow. I knew my regular backyard visitors would be waiting for me to put out their morning seed. As I took in the beauty


that surrounded me I spotted this lone female Northern Cardinal perched on a snow covered Ocotillo branch. She sat there for the longest time rewarding me with the opportunity to photograph her.  What a perfect way to start the New Year. It reminded me of how fortunate we are to share our world with these beautiful birds.”

“I consider bird photography my specialty. One of my greatest accomplishments was having my image of a Pyrrhuloxia make the cover of the national Audubon magazine in January/February 2011.  I also had one of my images of a Gila Woodpecker published in Woodpeckers of the World, The Complete Guide, by Gerard Gorman, and I had an image published in a book called Animals That Make Me Say Ouch!, by Dawn Cusick.”

To learn more about Laura and her work, visit


Linda Griffith

With Undying Gratitude

“The image entitled With Undying Gratitude (0800SW)  speaks of life being given up by a very old and long-suffering saguaro. I love this being– here is a father confessor to


whom I have gone for comfort and advice since first meeting along the path in 2009. It has been painful to see such a large, noble creature become so fragile and small, his arms breaking off and now dangling in the wind. The crucifixion of the spirit on its own skeleton speaks so profoundly of time and the brutality of time– all within the circle of the young, virile saguaros hardly old enough to have arms (or are they thieves?). Being, also, at the beginning of the end in my life, my gratitude, however small in the scheme of all this saguaro has seen, grows larger to fill the spaces left in the sky by  father’s inescapable collapse.”

An internationally exhibited fine art photographer, Linda Griffith expresses in her work a sophisticated grasp of the medium’s temporal underpinnings, as well as a unique shaping of compositional elements that speak largely to the subconscious.  A Fulbright scholar in theatre and award-winning playwright, Linda coupled her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in directing with her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work to emerge within her career as a photographer on conflict-based premise of drama with a Rankian homage to the fear of inertia and the problem death presents to human consciousness. Her photographs consistently possess an existential edge that transforms street and landscape captures, equally, into rare, visual experiences that radiate from her prints, once described by critic, Daniel Sean Kaye as “…beautiful, dramatic, haunting work.”

To learn more about Linda and her work, visit


Mark Thaler

Green Metallic

“The path to successful pollination are numerous and quite varied which opens up a rather amazing window of possibilities. Bees play a major role


in transferring pollen and are quite fascinating to witness during energetic visits to an impressive variety of flowering plants. This photograph was taken as a sweat bee (Family: Halictidae) found nectar and nourishment grazing the florets of a cosmos flower (Cosmos sulphureus ). Green metallic bees can shine with golden pollen grains gathered along the way.”

Mark Thaler is currently a Senior Staff Photographer with UAHS BioCommunications Dept. He came to the Southwest over 40 years ago to study anthropology, also photography and received a B.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1976.


Patrick Cobb

Coal Mine Hoodoos

“Like words on a page, the colors of the desert document the geologic forces, both violent and indiscernible, that give rise to their wide assortment of hues.


The perception of color can be a function of the sun’s angle, cloud cover, time of day and even state-of-mind. Likewise, color can trigger emotions within the human psyche that can further altar how they are perceived. In no other biome but the desert, can color reveal itself in such stark nakedness. In no other biome can a sense of subdued awe and quiet reflection be inspired than in the desert.”

Patrick Cobb is a mostly self-taught, occasional landscape photographer who installs solar panels for a living. He has lived in Tucson for the past 9 years, and has found it to be a good base camp from which to explore the surreal landscapes of the Desert Southwest. He draws photographic inspiration from the likes of Eugene Atget, Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore, but more recently from the likes of Zoe Strauss, Stephen Strom and Mitch Dobrowner. Most of the time, he takes pictures of places and things spontaneously and without pre-conception, and then analyzes them obsessively to figure out how to improve on imperfections of lighting and composition. On occasion, he attempts to explore more conceptual themes or certain typologies, but usually without achieving much in the way of satisfying coherence. He is usually lucky enough to exhibit his work, on average, once or twice a year in places both urban and rural.

To learn more about Patrick and his work, visit


Robert Renfrow

Moths on Metal #7

“Moths on Metal is a series of photographs depicting moths flying at night. By using a slow shutter speed and other photographic techniques, I am able to create


images reminiscent of abstract expressionist paintings. One of the many things I like about photography is the camera’s ability to ‘see’ things our eyes cannot – especially in regards to time. As the moths fly, they create beautiful patterns and forms we are usually unable to see. Sometimes these unseen patterns echo other patterns found in nature such as plants, skeletal structures and aquatic forms.”

Robert Renfrow has spent a lifetime traveling and living in many different environments and cultures, gaining in the process, an appreciation for the diversity of life on this planet. Currently based in Tucson, AZ, he also maintains a homestead and studio deep in the Ozark mountains of Missouri.

Robert Renfrow graduated as Salutatorian of his class from the Kansas City Art Institute with a B.F.A. in Photography and Video in 1988. He was then awarded a Graduate Fellowship to attend the University of Arizona and received his M.F.A. in Photography in 1991.

He was an artist-in-residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and is on the faculty of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. He has taught workshops nationally and internationally. His artworks in both photography and video have been exhibited in Europe and throughout the USA.


Theodore Fleming

A Nectar Bat Visiting Agave Flowers

“Most Sonoran Desert plants rely on animals to move their pollen from one to another. And most of these pollinators are small, low energy-demanding insects;


but there are notable exceptions to this. Columnar cacti and paniculate agaves, for example, rely strongly on relatively large, energy-demanding hummingbirds and nectar-feeding bats as their major pollinators. This image shows a nectar-feeding bat, Leptonycteris yerbabuenae, visiting the inflorescence of the century plant, Agave palmeri, for a tongueful of nectar. It will repeatedly visit these and other agave flowers each night and will sometimes carry pollen several kilometers between plants.”

“I am a tropical ecologist with a specialty in plant-animal interactions and a long-time amateur photographer. I have been able to travel extensively in the tropics in my research, always with camera in tow. But I feel that my photography has really blossomed in the digital age and want to share my ‘vision’ with others. I am particularly interested in ‘painterly’ images and often convert my favorite photos into digital paintings under the influence of artists such as Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, and Maynard Dixon. I have rather eclectic tastes in my subjects but have done little landscape photography. Given my background as a biologist, I particularly enjoy photographing wildlife, but I also like to photograph ‘people doing interesting things.’ Living and traveling in tropical countries has fueled my interest in diverse cultures.

As an artist, I am often drawn to images that are visually complex (reflecting my lifelong interest in biological diversity) and colorful. I also seek images that are elegant in composition or in their graphic elements. One of my current techniques involves creating photo montages as a way to emphasize the place of wildlife and people in their natural environments.”

To learn more about Ted and his work, visit


Wendy Islas


“Magic was photographed at Tohono Chul during Bloom Night 2017. The Peniocereus greggi, also known as the Night Blooming Cereus or Queen of the Night, is a wondrous species


that graces us with her beauty just one night a year. The magic surrounding this bloom is wondrous. These plants magically communicate to one another to orchestrate a simultaneous bloom that invites the hawk moth to pollinate. Truly, a spectacular and magical moment in nature and one that is just as spectacular to witness and capture. The allure of the Night Blooming Cereus is strong and it just may call you back for more, as it does me.”

Wendy L. Islas served twenty-six years as a probation officer/supervisor, with close to twenty of those years in Pima County. Following her retirement, she rediscovered her love of Arizona, nature and the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, exploring, road trips, camping, and photographing Arizona’s nature and landscapes. She also volunteers her time helping to keep nature wild at organized clean-up events as well as on her own.

Wendy’s photography was included in the Tumacacori National Historic Park’s 2018 Art In The Park Exhibit. Wendy also has several photographs in the 2019 Discover Southern Arizona Magazine. Her photography is included as the February 24, 2018, “Photo of the Day” on the Arizona Highways Magazine website and she frequently participates in the Arizona Highway Magazine’s weekly Facebook photography themes. Wendy has also collaborated with the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce. As a self-taught photographer, she gleans knowledge from various sources including fellow photographers, research, workshops, and hours of practice.

To learn more about Wendy and her work, visit


Brian Hooker

Lunch Date

“A lizard plays a key role in the mating ritual of the Roadrunner. The male Roadrunner offers the tasty lizard to his prospective mate, who keeps her eye on the prize until mating is completed.


She then snatches the lizard and disappears into the brush. It is unlikely the lizard appreciates its importance in the reproductive behavior of Roadrunners.”

Brian Hooker combines an extensive technical background in optical sciences and engineering with decades of artistic expression in black and white and color photography. He earned a Ph.D. in optical sciences through his research into optimizing the quality of optical images. His early interest in black and white photography has expanded to include color, digital photography. He enjoys finding the harmonies as well as the dissonances in his photographic subjects. Color, geometry, and texture all play a part in the visual response he tries to evoke. His photographs span the range from expansive landscapes to a focus on the details of nature.

To learn more about Brian and his work, visit


Charles Hedgcock

US, Mexico Border Fence

“The craggy spine of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range sweeps up from Southern Mexico, hugging the Western flank of the country. As the range


approaches the international border, it seems to break apart, as though tiring of its long journey northward. This is a place unlike any other. It is a trans-border region where winding ridgelines come cloaked in a thorny veneer. It is 70,000 square miles of mountain spires, surrounded by a sea of grasslands and deserts, called the Madrean Archipelago or Sky Islands.

Things move, biology expects it, demands it in fact. Through these mountains and valleys many pass; birds, deer, jaguars, humans, all moving, wondering, migrating, the living breathing flow of genes, of money, of hope, drifting north and south. They follow paths, both ancient and contemporary, seeking food, shelter, safety, opportunity.

The border, an irrational line, drawn on the landscape, seems an endeavor to limit this movement.”

Charles “Chip” Hedgcock has combined his love of the outdoors with more than 25 years of experience photographing in medicine, the life sciences, and fine arts, to create a unique vision of the natural world. Whether he is chasing fringe-toed lizards over remote sand dunes in the summer heat or, lighting centipedes to look like jewelry, he is equally at home in both the studio and the field. Working either on his own, or collaborating with experts in various fields of biology, Charles has been involved with research projects throughout the American Southwest and Sonora Mexico.

To learn more about Charles and his work, visit


Cy Lehrer

Display for Los Muertos

“This image was made in Oaxaca in 1989, part of an extensive photo essay embracing ancient sites, street humor and people of the area, as well as Día de los


Muertos themed work made in the local cemeteries. The full project was first shown at Tohono Chul Park in 1991.

This particular photograph was made while on ‘break’ from working in a nearby cemetery; the bridal calaca in the foreground caught my eye from down the block, and as I moved closer, the shopkeeper came into view. He started speaking as if to protest, but then relaxed and smiled sheepishly while I clicked off a few frames. When it was all over, we had a nice, amiable chat, parted friends, and I returned to the cemetery for more daylight shooting.

More generally, the Oaxaca work is part of a series of photo-essays entitled ‘In Shadows Ancient.’  All present images of the monumental ruins and street life in their vicinity. They were made during the ’80s and ’90s in the Mayan regions of Mexico and Guatemala, Rome, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Turkey, as well as Oaxaca.”

Cy Lehrer has been photographing since 1957 and has shown his work publicly since 1983, with more than 115 solo and major exhibits to his credit as well as participation in numerous group shows.

Working for many years in the “fine print” black and white mode, Lehrer has recently been employing digital color imagery. His photographic interests have ranged across the social documentary essay form, traditional landscapes, satirical aspects of the urban and suburban landscape, monumental ancient ruins and the contemporary street life surrounding them, and candid environmental/situational portraits conveying a range of feelings from irony and humor to solitude and isolation.  A recurring theme of his work addresses in various ways issues of mortality, impermanence and the brevity of life.

From 2011 through 2014 he added substantially to his collections of street and candid photographs “(Medley” groups), produced several series of dark and contemplative images (“Noir” and “Equa” groups, and is now creating a whimsical group of pictures highlighting red objects seen in parking lots.  His recent work, drawn from four projects, was shown at the Tucson International Airport from September through the end of 2013.

To learn more about Cy and his work, visit


Dan Weisz

Bedazzled Feathers

“The Sonoran Desert hosts more varieties of hummingbirds than any other region of the United States. One of the more stunning hummingbirds is the male Broad-billed Hummingbird,


only in the deserts of southeastern Arizona commonly in the summer. The male Broad-billed has a bright red/orange beak, a dark green body and a brilliant blue gorget that takes one’s breath away.”

“I am a native Tucsonan and grew up in a house west of Alvernon, near Speedway when Speedway was unpaved east of Country Club.  I remember playing with lizards and ants in the yard and building forts made of tumbleweeds. To me, Tucson has always been the sounds of doves waking me in the morning, the smell of a summer rain, the mountains and desert, the beauty of our sunsets and the equally mesmerizing sight of our fleeting sunrises. I love Tucson for its rich diversity of peoples, cultures, and traditions.

After a career in Public Education, I retired and am able to spend more time outdoors. I took up photography and I now volunteer at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum with their renowned Raptor Free Flight program, both as a narrator and as a bird handler.

The Sierra Club’s “Daily Ray of Hope” has featured numerous images of mine on their e-newsletter and social networks. Tucson Audubon Society has used my work and images in their web blog, in the Vermilion Flycatcher newsletter and for various communications including print, e-mail newsletters and social networks. I have images on permanent display at Agua Caliente Park’s Ranch House and at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia. My images are part of the RAPTORS! program featured at the Saguaro National Monument- West. Tohono Chul Park used one of my images as a cover of their 2019 Map Guide and a page in the 2019 calendar.”


Douglas Taylor

Earth, Moon, Saturn and Mars

“The cool, crisp and clear winter skies do not hold the colors of sunset for long.  As twilight fades to dusk, the lingering glow of the sunset on the horizon also fades to the deep blue of


the desert night skies.  It is that moment of transition, when the planets and the brightest of stars became visible; a solitary cloud appeared high in the western sky, reflecting the deep red of the distant sunset.  Soon the light faded, the cloud dissipated, and the quiet desert night sky was filled with countless stars.”

Douglas Taylor was born in Washington, D. C., but has spent most of his life in the American West.  His photography career began in motorsports, and he worked his way through college as a self-taught freelance photographer.

The demands of raising a family and an extensive involvement in auto racing put a damper on his artistic creativity for a prolonged period. Life’s changes saw Douglas venture to the American Southwest in the 1990’s. The beauty and grandeur of the region compelled him to retire from auto racing and return to photography, his other life-long passion.

Douglas has traveled extensively throughout the American West since then, and while still holding down a full time job has been able to assemble a large portfolio of some of the great landscapes and wonders of this remarkable land.  What has sustained Douglas as an artist is the success he has had in providing many hundreds of large-sized, fine art nature, architectural, abstract and landscape prints to various businesses, hospitals, clinics, resort hotels, offices and homes throughout the Southwest.  Along with these clients, Douglas has been honored to share his photography with dealers and fine art photography collectors from all over the world.

To learn more about Douglas and his work, visit


Ed Warner


Emily Dickinson wrote:

The lovely flowers embarrass me,
They make me regret I am not a bee –


“These few perfect words have special meaning for we who call the desert home. I do not believe that any of us who live in Tucson cannot feel the wonder of seeing flowers blooming in our desert. I have certainly felt the exhilaration of the first flowers after the winter rains, and I never tire of watching flowers blossom when the monsoons disappear. The image I have made is a celebration of this blossoming, and confirm for me that I could have been that bee.”

“I grew up in New York City, left at 18 and never looked back. At 19, I joined the U.S. Navy and served two years in Vietnam. While there, I discovered photography and became a Navy Photojournalist writing stories and photographing for Navy publications. After leaving the Navy in 1970, I attended Rochester Institute of Technology. Upon graduation in 1974, I took a faculty position as Chief of Medical Photography and Instructor of Photography at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, a new medical school in Springfield, Illinois, and designed and managed the medical photography department.

In 1979, I had the opportunity to start a department of Bio-communication, including photography, medical art and video production, at the Technion School of Medicine in Haifa, Israel. I spent five years on the faculty teaching photography, and designed, staffed and ran the newly formed unit.

After returning to the U.S. I was hired by the Eastman Kodak Co. and held various positions around the country including Professional Photography Specialist and National Sales Manager. Throughout my career, I never gave up my personal interest in photography and have continually photographed as I traveled. I am currently working on various imaging projects, providing stock photos, and photographing all over the world.”


James Burton


“I was taking photos in a ghost town near the Mexican border when a strange dog, named Kaida, approached me from some distance and made it plainly obvious that I was to


follow her. She led me cross-country, waiting when appropriate for me to catch up, across a long tailings pile, down a ditch, under a fence, up another wash, and into an abandoned cemetery with unnamed graves. She then returned me to where she found me.

If a human had taken me on that hike into nowhere and shown me the graves, I might have found it interesting and taken photos, but that an unfamiliar dog insisted I see the graves left me compelled to find out more. Using online databases, I was able to locate 19 death certificates for this location, almost all of which, 16, were young children. Upon close inspection of the certificates, most died in childbirth, prematurely, c. 1935. Lead being the obvious malefactor causing premature births; is it coincidence that this small community in 1935 was Arizona’s largest producer of lead? In the pre-Columbian traditions, children would be among those ‘who have not tasted corn’.”

James began using a film camera when he was eight and began doing his own darkroom work as a child. Later, at college in Tempe, Arizona, he fell deeply in love with the American Southwest.

His career as a geologist and archaeologist took him across four continents, but Arizona remained, by far, his favorite place on the planet. When he retired in 2015, he returned to Arizona and found time to use a camera again. Since then, he has had numerous exhibits in galleries and public venues in the Tucson area, and in Scottsdale, Portland OR, and Athens, Greece. His work has been published in the Jefforsonian Review and in the July issue of Sun Magazine. He is currently interested in modes of remembrance by which some sense of identity, if not agency, is restored to those on the extreme margins of anonymity.

To learn more about James and his work, visit


Jeremy Frey

don’t be long

“From the north side of Babad Do’ag, a cool view to the Pinals through a slow decomposition of a live oak, who points north-by-northeast, a direction of death, of endings and byes, good or


otherwise. A wishing, a longing for decision, a desire to know what’s next, a reaching out, a missing amidst lightness. The storyteller often deludes itself, that it is home and other is not, that perhaps with the passing of time another will return to where one was, including it’s self. The poet-monk Kukai, via Hirschfeld’s translation, reports that “all things change when we do.” Especially stories.”

Poet and visual artist Jeremy Frey lives in the city of South Tucson and serves on the faculty of the University of Arizona. With a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Eastern Mennonite University (1992), he received a Dean’s Fellowship to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona (2006). Published in print and digital anthologies, journals, and single-run publications (, Virginia Humanities Foundation, Center for Mennonite Writing), his poetry/dance collaborations have been performed in Philadelphia, New York and on video (DanceWorkspace, Group Motion Multi-Media Dance Theatre, Ausdrucktanz Dance Theater), and his chapbooks include a visual aesthetic pushing the bounds of where poetry arises.


Manuel Fontes


“The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an ever present image in Mexican homes. To Catholics worldwide, this image represents the love of Christ for all humanity, but for


many Mexican people this image is symbolic of the love and long-suffering of the Mexican mother. Known as ‘marianismo’ (The Nature of Mary) by sociologists, marianismo is an archetype of Mexican womanhood. Traditionally in Mexican culture, it is the mother who is responsible for the proper religious upbringing of her children which in turn imbues her with saint-like qualities. As such, she is venerated for her virtues of purity, moral strength and long-suffering for her family.

In this photograph, I take the traditional Sacred Heart image and represent it with the Mexican pan dulce (sweet bread). I chose the pan dulce to represent the Sacred Heart because I remember fondly my mother making this bread regularly for me and my brothers. Making this bread was an act of love for her and she would often say, ‘I made this for you with my heart.’ My mother suffered a great deal as an immigrant, as do many Mexican immigrants in America today. The texture of the pan dulce with its scars and imperfections is symbolic of the immigrant’s difficult and often heart-breaking life. The flames rising above the pan dulce are made of corn husks used to make tamales. Tamales are a staple in almost every Mexican home. The pattern of these flames is reminiscent of the milpas of Mexico, the small family corn fields in which the stalks reach up towards the sun, providing sustenance for the Mexican family. Because the corn husk flames spring from the pan dulce, we are reminded how pan (the staff of life), our mothers and mother earth are the source of life – the givers of life. The crown of thorns is made from the branches of the Velvet Mesquite representing – the Sonoran Desert, the desert that claims the lives of many Mexican immigrants trying to provide a better life for their families. In recent years, it is the Mexican mother who risks her life crossing the border with her small children. I chose the title Corazón for this piece because that is what my mother always called me, Corazón (My Love).”

Rebecca Bish


“I live on a ridge-top above Finger Rock Wash. I have hiked down into the wash, almost daily, to seek inspiration for my sculptural clay work, and more recently, to


photograph its amazing beauty. I am astonished by how quickly trees, shrubs, cacti, and even rocks can change in a relatively short period of time. The ongoing process of growth and decay affects everything – even boulders, over time, will shift, crack, and become weathered in subtle but noticeable ways. Photography has enabled me to capture and preserve the fleeting and often overlooked beauty that I find there. I am more interested in the minutiae – in objects that can only be seen through close and careful observation, than in the broad, sweeping vistas. I frequently collect ‘artifacts’ from the wash – bones, rocks, seed-pods and bits of weathered wood, which I haul back to the studio to photograph and ultimately use as reference for texture and form in my sculptural clay work. The wash has been the single most important influence in my work and, for me, serves as a powerful symbol of both constancy and change.”

Rebecca Bish was born in Louisiana in 1958. She was raised in East Texas and, after graduating from the University of Texas at Tyler, lived in Austin, Dallas and New Orleans before settling in Tucson in 1995. She is a self-taught artist whose sculptural clay work has been exhibited regionally since 2004.

Susie Gillatt

Spiced Wood

“Chiles are an essential ingredient in southwestern food and we are the fortunate recipients of years of cultural and culinary influences from our southern neighbors. One of my


favorite things to do when traveling is to visit foreign markets. I love the chaos of the Mexican markets – the colors, smells, and sounds are thrillingly overwhelming to my senses. The amazing variety of chilies, both fresh and dried, is a feast for my eyes and for my imaginary future meals.”

“I began photographing and experimenting with different types of media in college, perhaps secretly wanting to become a painter.  But the camera was, and still is, my first love and so photography continues to be my primary artistic medium. As I visually and emotionally respond to a subject, I sometimes imagine how to add other mediums to transform my photographs into even more personal and unique works of art. Many of my digital paintings are created to look like dreamy, watercolor landscapes. When I composite multiple images of photographs with watercolor or acrylic paintings of the same subject, it creates even more visual surprises.  I really enjoy this visual chemistry! A series of my abstract photographs becomes a dynamic display of the beautiful and intricate designs found in nature.

I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona.  My education also included studying photography at the Banff Centre in Canada, and under Louis Carlos Bernal at Pima Community College. I worked as a photographer and in different capacities in the field of video production. In 1989, Terra Chroma, Inc. was created as a multi-media studio. After initially specializing in the production of educational videos, my focus is now on photography and scientific illustrations for academic books and journals. For my own art, I especially enjoy combining photography with other artistic mediums. My award-winning art has been displayed in galleries in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.”

To learn more about Susie and her work, visit


William Lesch

Ray Mine Montager

“My aerial photographs were inspired by the aerial work of Emmett Gowin, which I first encountered when he began shooting Mt. St. Helen’s in the late 80’s, and his later work of mines


and bomb sites in his book Changing the Earth. The impetus to actually begin taking aerial photographs came about when my son got his pilot’s license in high school in 2001. I began flying with him over Southern Arizona and naturally, I began to photograph from the plane. We flew over mines and as I looked at them I understood why Emmett had photographed them, the shapes and colors were amazing, like abstract paintings thrown onto the earth.

From the very start, I made the decision not to follow what many other photographers had done with mines and make documentary photos about the destruction of nature. I felt that had been done a

nd besides it seemed too obvious. Of course, these mines were a blight upon the earth, all you had to do was look at them to see that, but they also contained a terrible sort of beauty. They were like road maps of our way of life, the results of the decisions we had made to extract these minerals for our steel and copper, and in their own way, they were huge abstract earth sculptures, the sculpture of our time displayed upon the canvas of the earth.

I made digital scans from the film I shot and once the work was in digital format I realized I could piece these together. I saw no reason I could not work with them like a puzzle, pieces of earth, of shape and color, lines of roads and road cuts, the circles of the open pits and holding ponds. The mines had certainly paid no attention to the earth so I saw no reason to pay attention to factual recording of the mines, if they could move the earth around so could I. The mine photographs are montaged, pieced together from various mines and sections of desert, made into a composition the same way an abstract painter or a mapmaker might work with shapes of color and form.”

William Lesch is a meticulous craftsman and has always made his own prints, from his years of film and silver prints to the digital darkroom.  Photography is the language William Lesch speaks, it is his way of interacting with the world.  He finds this world a miraculous place, and photography a means to explore it.

To learn more about William and his work, visit



Things to Watch, Read, Listen To, and Think About

Stu Jenks’ Fezziwig Press

Mini Interviews | William Lesch

Keith Marroquin Zocalo Feature

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Las Sombras / The Shadows: Photograms by Kate Breakey

Kate Breakey’s ‘Creatures of Light and Darkness’

Mark Klett Behind the Lens

William LeGoullon : Unintended Targets

LeGoullon: Rediscovering the Desert

Frederick Sommer, 1981

Wilderness Photographer Michael Berman

New Mexico Photographer Michael Berman

Richard Misrach


Day 5 – Weekend Inspiration

Backyard Sun Prints!

Construction Paper Sun Prints

Sunprint with Construction Paper

How to make a Cyanotype

Photography in Quarantine

10 Ideas for Photography In Lockdown

13 Creative Exercises for Photographers

Photos for Online Plant Identification

Next Week’s Theme