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#LAPC #138: Natural Light in California and Arizona

This week Amy challenges the Lens Artist Community to focus their efforts on the natural light coming from the sun. That gives us all the variety we need to create what photography is all about, capturing the light. If you want to join in, cut and paste the “natural light” link to Amy’s blog and walk into the light.

All of my pictures this week come from either Arizona or California where I have called home and enjoy sharing.


“I don’t paint people and things; I paint the way light reacts to people and things. This brings me to the basics about light and dark.”

Harley Brown

This photo came from one of the resorts where we stayed in Sedona. I love the way the sun casts shadows on the maze making it even more amazing. I love all the contrasts. The sky is such a pastel blue and the trees trunks are so white in spite of the overall darkness of the body of the photo. The frame blocks out 100 percent of the light adding another dimension of texture.

“We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves.”

Arthur Dove

I chose this picture because the sun is not the obvious protagonist. Our focus turns to the rocks, the broad valley, and to the ethereal layers of foothills and the group of dormant volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks beyond the Granite Dells. Humphrey’s Peak, the highest of the peaks located eleven miles north of Flagstaff is 120 miles away from my home in Prescott, and I could see it that day.

“The light in winter is most varied; there are days when it’s clear and bright, carving the earth into light and shadow like a razor. Yet, at times, the light can be soft and quiet as a whisper, with color of the most intense chromatic variations anyone could ever need.”

Peter Fiore

When I went out to take pictures after our first day of snow in Prescott, my mouth dropped open at the color of the sky dripping and reflected in the snow turning everything salmon. I did not photoshop this picture to change the color at all. Amy, I finally experienced the “golden hour.”


To illustrate stark differences in winter photos that caught Peter Fiore’s attention, this picture taken January 16, 2008 “which carved the earth into light and dark like a razor,” can never be replicated. Even if there happened to be another crystal day with that much snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains, the old Visalia Electric railroad bridge burned several years ago leaving a only black scar.

“Why is it called ‘after dark’ when it really is ‘after light’?”

George Carlin

Maybe most of you know George Carlin, “American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, and author.” Wikipedia. Unlike so many, my television hours were limited as a child, and I grew up liking that lifestyle – so, basically uncultured. But since I started hosting Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays, I’ve run into his sharp humor about several topics.

I took this point and shoot of a gorgeous sunset from our California home, Bellavista.

Most people would guess that the sun is fifty or a hundred times brighter than the moon, but it’s a half million times brighter โ€“ evidence of the amazing capacity of our eyes to adjust to light and dark.

James Elkins

Of the ten or twelve pictures I have of the moon, this is the only interesting one. I’m not sure why. It might have been a blue moon, or I might have been shaking as I held the heavy telephoto lens, at its most extended position. Or possibly the clouds make it dramatic. But as bright as it is, the rest of the sky is black. It obviously does not have the power of light that even the little dab of sunshine in the picture above has.

“Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else โ€“ by color.”

Paul Cezanne

This dazzling burst of color came from the Woodlake Botanical Garden, which I have talked about so often. I fell in love with these zinnias, but when I planted zinnia seeds in my yard they were much more spindly and not so vibrant. This is a perfect picture for a digital puzzle because of the many colors.

“The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything.”

John Constable

Artists have an “in” when it comes to light. So do these sun worshipers. I chose this picture to go with the quote because sunflowers turn constantly following the sun. It makes them look like spectators at a race.

My Reading Material This Weekend

Amy has over 200 comments on this challenge. Amazingly all four Lens Artists visit everyone who participates. According my my rough estimate that’s about 800 visits a week! The amount of time this takes boggles my mind, so I try to visit 25-50 of them. I’ve been listing them to make it easier for myself, then I cut and past the links to my blogging journal. You are welcome to use my journal or my list if that makes it easier to visit people. If I miss you, feel free to leave me a link in my comments.

  1. Lindy
  2. Showers of Blessing
  3. Rambling Ranger
  4. Pearls
  5. One Letter UP
  6. Geriatrix
  7. Mazeepuran
  8. Jardin
  9. Restless Jo
  10. Erlyn
  11. John
  12. Cee
  13. Susan
  14. Nature
  15. Dutch Pink
  16. Wanderlust
  17. Philosophy
  18. Laura
  19. Brashley
  20. Chris
  21. Jez
  22. David M
  23. Bushboy
  24. Cornwall
  25. Window Box
  26. Janet
  27. Trekkies
  28. Rusha
  29. Woolley
  30. Hammad

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

93 replies »

  1. This was my all time favorite. I tried to reply, but they sent me on a rabbit trail of password needs. It happens sometimes.

    You amaze me!!!


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, my! I couldn’t find the bottom. So many replies and compliments. I don’t have enough of the right words to refer to each of your photos. I consider this blog to be the best you’ve ever done or at least close to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Must be the natural light! Thank you so much. I love the compliments. I’m looking through old posts and photos, and I have improved over the years a little. Or at least I can pick and choose the best ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful light in all these shots, Marsha. It interesting how light can look very different on various places and climates, part of what keeps life interesting. Itโ€™s the same for plants, grass, trees, etc. After a short time in Arizona, I understood why my parents exclaimed over all the trees when visiting us in Ohio and Illinois. But the desert and high desert have their own beauty as well, although I still find mountains that arenโ€™t wooded strange.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I find that strange, too, Janet. I grew up in Indiana where trees/green were beauty. Period. When I moved to CA, we had brown hills. I grew to love them, but my mom struggled to find the beauty in them. I think she would have to admit that the AZ rocks are gorgeous, but I don’t know that for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. You captured the light so beautifully in many ways, Marsha! Arizona and California are such “lit” states, where good natural light is found almost any time of day. The snow image with the salmon golden light is quite amazing! You should get that framed! I loved what you shared about our beloved Sierras, too, whose name means “saw” in Spanish, and yes like a razor they cut through the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Terri. We have been blessed to live in some photogenic places. Thanks for the kind comment. That one photo would go nicely in my office. Maybe I will. The color was so unusual and it lasted a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful images! Your “golden hour” photo is quite spectacular in that you didn’t do any post production on it. The maze is a”mazing”! LOL! Really loved the shadows. Was it easier to put this post together since you began organizing? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great photos Marsha – lots of variety yet all linked to the theme ๐Ÿ™‚ The golden hour one is lovely, but I also love the California sunset and the view towards the San Francisco Peaks. Craggy rocks like those in your foreground just epitomise the American West for me – I love those landscapes!

    And you make such a good point about the commitment our organisers make to visiting everyone’s posts. I always appreciate their comments, and the visibility they (and the organisers of other challenges) provide for my own efforts ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I don’t ever take their commitment for granted. But the commitment of the others who participate, like us ordinary people, is also something that is a huge block of time for people.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the photo of the snow covered mountains and the moon.

    Loved the use of another George Carlin joke ๐Ÿ™‚

    and thanks for the fun fact about how much brighter the sun is than the moon; I would have never guessed such a difference…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a brilliant interpretation of Amy’s photo challenge, Marsha. I like how you mentioned that the sun is not the obvious protagonist in your San Fransisco peaks photo. You don’t need to see the sun in the sky to realise that there is light around. On a cloudy day where you don’t see the sky, the world still lights up around you.

    That is amazing the sun gave you a salmon backdrop in Prescott. It must have been amazing with your own eyes. Great capture.

    I also like your moon photo, and especially like the stark contrast between the light of the moon and the darkness that enshrouds it. It reminds me of how light shines through even in the darkest of moments. Great photos all round ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great presentation Marsha. Love ’em all. George Carlin is always a favorite. “Give back?! I didn’t take anything! I earned everything I have !!” …to paraphrase. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing my link and I hope you enjoyed the read! As a snowbird and part-time Arizona resident, I especially enjoyed your pics of Arizona. One of my colleagues just moved to Prescott. I’m going to have to make a visit there one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John, If you come here, let me know. I’d love to meet up for coffee. It’s always good to meet other bloggers. My husband and I have had three vacations with my blogging friend from Australia and her husband. Without blogging we would never have met them. BTW, I finished my post at midnight including inserting all the links. I will go in today and tomorrow to read them all. I saw yours quickly, but only to check the link. I’ll be back. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Impressive framing in the top shot – the curve accentuates that in the tiles. Also, you have some excellent quotes to match your images – a memorable one for me is the Carlin, so evocative of your photo. p.s. thank you for the link-up – I often do not have the time to visit all the blogs I want and have to settle on visits now and then

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your visit, Laura. Reading blogs, even photo challenges takes so much time. This helps me, first because I’ve publicly committed myself, and second because I don’t have to switch from reader to blog, to reader, and it’s just happenchance whether I see the blogs I want to see., and third because I start to know people a little better if I have to write their name several times. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the inclusion, Marsha. I usually return to the main post a couple of days down the line and visit the links from there, having already been to those who’ve commented on mine. There are days when I wonder how I’m ever going to get out of the house, but this global network we have is a thing of beauty. As are your wonderful illustrations of natural light this week. Sending hugs ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jo. A Year of this is unprecedented, and I think we are all a little antsy. However, it would be much worse without our ability to talk online. I’d go nuts, and this way I have a ton of interaction with people that I’ve come to know, in some ways better than physical friends. I’ll be by to visit soon. I have to get a COVID test in Scottsdale (1.5 hours away) today in spite of having had both shots!


    • You are right Erlyn. It is NOT humid. We lived in a very dry part of CA, but by this time there would be green and wildflowers on all the foothills. Here there are only rocks. So summer or winter it is brown here. We live on a street called Blooming Hills. I’m anxious to see how pretty that is.

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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