It’s almost 10:00 PM, and I’m just winding up a full day of quality time with the hubby and the Nikon. Since the weather in Sedona was going to be mostly cloudy and quite cool today, we decided to spend the weekend around the Valley instead. Today our destination was Tempe.
We started our excursion with a trip to Tempe Camera. I wanted to look for a new camera bag that would hold all my equipment comfortably, and I also wanted to check out their tripods for a future purchase. Tempe Camera is a photographer’s paradise for those who are really into their equipment. We spent probably 45 minutes in there trying on different camera bags and backpacks, inspecting the tripod legs and heads, comparing different cleaning kits, and poking around in all the other goodies that the retail establishment offers. The sales floor is located on the second floor of the building, and the first floor is devoted to repairs and rentals. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t live so close to Tempe, or I could quickly become very well acquainted with the people that work there. I came away with a new Tamrac Adventure 7 backpack, a cleaning kit, and the February issue of “Outdoor Photographer” (because it has an article on HDR that I want to read.)
After leaving the store, we drove (yes, drove) across the street to Mucho Gusto, a Mexican bistro, where we had a scrumptious lunch. I had the Gringo quesadilla, and Andy had carne asada tacos, and we both had Dos Equis Amber to celebrate dining outdoors on such a beautiful day (after all, it was sunny and in the high 60’s here, while all our family members are dealing with ice and snow back east/southeast).
After lunch, we drove to Tempe Town Lake, parking at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Andy was my official “Tripod Carrier”, and we spent the next couple of hours strolling along the lakeside, stopping to take lots of photos along the way. The first thing we came across was the area below the dam where the egrets were hanging out. I pulled out my old 300mm Quantaray zoom lens (which is not auto-focus) and tried to get some shots of the egrets. I did manage to get a few decent ones, but many of them were just a little blurry.
Next, we stopped in front of the TCA, which has a cool fountain and some very neat architecture. The light wasn’t optimum for great pictures, but I took some bracketed shots for HDR processing, hoping that I could make them work. Further along the lakeside, I got plenty of shots of the three different bridges that span the lake, as well as some of the sculpture and the gazebo in the park. In addition, we got shots of ducks and kayakers–things that like to float on the water.
We finished up the photo shoot with some closeups of some wildflowers growing next to the path.
After leaving the park, we hit Starbucks for an afternoon shot of caffeine, and then headed home, where I’ve been on the computer ever since. I’ve spent about five hours editing photos through the HDR process and I have them uploaded to my Flickr account (click here). I’ll be posting the non-HDR shots tomorrow…I’m just about wiped out right now!
We’re planning to visit the World Wildlife Zoo tomorrow, and I’m anxious to see how the telephoto lenses work in that environment. In the meantime, it’s time to get some sleep!