Our Lady of GuadalupeAmateur photographer Mark Anderson says he was in the right place at the right time when he snapped this shot of a church in Guadalupe, one of his favorite places to find wild art. A monsoon storm spurred him to make a spontaneous drive to the church. “I like to chase storms as they blow through, and my eyes are always on the sky,” the Gilbert resident says. As he waited, the clouds parted, allowing the waning sun to artfully back-light the scene.
Rugged A Georgia native who recently relocated to Santa Monica, Charles-Ryan Barber was hurtling toward the Valley when a pretty stretch of Interstate 10 near Tonopah impelled him to pull over and take this photo. “I was on my motorcycle... just screaming across the desert and enjoying the gorgeous scenery, when this scene suddenly captivated me,” the professional photographer says. He captured the unique image on a 1980s-era Nikon lens adapted to fit a digital Canon body.
Photo By:Charles-Ryan Barber
Photo By:Rick Vincent
The Old Church On Highway 88 A rare winter storm inspired amateur photographer Rick Vincent to drive up Highway 88 to the Siphon Draw trailhead, where he hoped to shoot the Superstition Mountains blanketed in snow. En route, the Mesa resident observed fresh sunlight pouring over the cloud-swept mountain, so he snapped this shot of the Elvis Memorial Chapel. “I knew I would miss the opportunity to capture the moment if I continued toward the trailhead,” says the frequent photo contributor to HikeArizona.com.
Buffalo at North rim To capture this lovely shot of buffalo near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, semi-professional photographer Chico Lopez had to get a little too close for comfort. The Phoenix resident was exploring the area with his wife when they happened upon a small herd in between Jacob Lake and the Canyon. “Much to my wife’s concern, I ventured out to a closer vantage point, roughly 40 feet away from the herd,” Lopez says. He stood in a three-foot depression in the ground to get the angle he wanted.
Photo By:Chico Lopez
Photo By:Kayla Day Machado
WINNER! Peace and Quiet, Miami, AZOn her way to Top-of-the-World, Arizona, semi-pro shutterbug Kayla Day Machado stopped in Miami, near Superior, to do some antique shopping. Though Miami’s not known as a picture-postcard destination, Machado captured the essence of the now-sleepy erstwhile copper boomtown. “What started as a hobby has developed into a passion for exposing what others might not see right away,” the Phoenix resident says.
Parks While scouting out relocation options in Arizona, New Jersey resident Bill Hillermeier was hiking in Sedona’s Cathedral Rock area when he took this shot of Chavez Ranch, a homestead established by early pioneers. “Arizona has an amazing amount of opportunities to get up close and personal with nature,” Hillermeier says. “It’s hard not to get a good photo with the warm golden light Arizona has.”
Photo By:Bill Hillermeier
Photo By:Chris O’Connor
A Road To Explore After an unpleasant night at a remote motel with no food and no running water for showering, brushing his teeth or flushing the toilet, Chris O’Connor was anxious to hit the road. This stunning sight of Northern Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs was the first thing the Phoenix resident saw as he drove away. The semi-professional photog says the view through his Canon 5D was “equally welcoming as the view in my rear view mirror.”
Icing on the cake Semi-pro photographer Tom Houtz isn’t afraid to put his camera in peril. While hiking through the snow by Watson Lake after a late snowstorm, he put his Canon 7D on a short tripod and placed it in the freezing water to get this shot, something he says he does often. “Watson Lake is right near my house and is one of my favorite places to hang out for photography, kayaking, fishing and hiking,” the Prescott resident says.
Photo By:Tom Houtz
Photo By:Dan Hollingsworth
CHURCH DOUBLE EXPOSURE DRIVE THROUGH Advanced amateur photographer Dan Hollingsworth accidentally double exposed this shot of Phoenix Baptist Church, making it appear as if Interstate 17 runs through it. “This might be the first drive-in church in Phoenix,” the Mesa and Indianapolis resident says. He took the photo in 1965, the same year he and his late wife were married at the church. “I took many daylight and night photographs of this church. It was one of my favorite subjects in Phoenix,” says Hollingsworth, who processed and printed the film photo himself.
Desolate Desert Sign Amateur photog Robert Bruce waited for the perfect backdrop to get this photo of a sign on Apache Trail. “I had stopped to take pictures of this sign before, but the colors and background were never as engaging as this unique sign deserved,” the Gilbert resident says. After noticing an ominous storm brewing one day, he hurried to this spot at the foot of the Superstition Mountains to get the photo before the rain erupted. Bruce says he combined over-exposed, under-exposed, and properly exposed photos to “convey what the eye can capture.”
Avert your eyes! For our fifth annual reader photo contest, titled “Illumination,” you submitted your most blindingly beautiful images of fireworks, starlit desert flora, radiant neon and – of course – that trustiest of Sonora...