Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tucson and Tumacacori Historical Visit April 2011

I accompanied my colleague Dr. David Rubi’s Paradise Valley Community College Spanish 245 class again for his Southern Arizona field trip of historical places... and some great Mexican food.  Why me?  I spent many many years in Tucson, first as a student at the University of Arizona, and as a resident of Tucson, working at the UA as first a reporter then instructor in the then Radio and TV Department, still later as an education specialist with the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Huachuca.  So my Southern Arizona roots are deep.

For many of our student at PVCC, located on the north side of Phoenix, Tucson seems far away, even though it is only two hours south by car.  This is a chance to show them some of the architecture, history, and culture of Tucson, a much older city than Phoenix. 

All along the way, students were exposed to the old downtown/barrio architecture.  We visited the La Casa Cordova and art museum area, the Presidio museum, La Pilita and the interesting shrine to a murdered sinner El Tiradito.

We then travelled south of Tucson to the Mission at Tumacacori then on the way back to Tucson we visited the world famous “White Dove of the Desert,” the Mission San Xavier del Bac.

Saturday morning we went to the Ted DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun art studio, located on the north side of Tucson off of Swan Road.  We then finished our trip with a visit to the Pascua Yaqui Ceremonial Grounds.

The photos you see here were shot this time with my trusty little Canon SD950.  You know my main camera of choice is the Canon 7D, but this was a trip I decided to travel light and take the little guy along.  The photos aren’t too bad for a 12mexapixal “point and shoot” that only takes jpg’s.  I edited with Lightroom. 

Happy Shooting!

Jim Patterson

More photos from my Flickr page!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finals of the Cave Creek Rodeo on 10 April 2011

Located minutes north of Phoenix, Cave Creek hosts a professional rodeo in April as part of its “Fiesta Days” celebration.  I had the pleasure of photographing this years finals on Sunday 10 April 2011.  I used both my new Tamron 200-500mm lens (maybe TOO MUCH reach for this rodeo since I was so close to the action) and the Canon 28-135mm lens, which worked very well!

The rodeo website says it was started to honor its long time “Rodeo Boss” Wayne Wilson.  Wayne believed every child in our community deserved an opportunity to become successful and have a better life than his parents.  To further his wishes, the Desert Foothills Community Association began the Wayne Wilson Children’s Charity Rodeo & Carnival with a goal of support our community and its youth’s needs.  Other charities supported include the Desert Hills Food bank, Ride Rank for a Cure (Cancer), Cowboys for Kids, Starlight Foundation, Queen Creek Junior Rodeo, Arizona Wrangler Junior High School Rodeo and several local area elementary schools and after school programs.

I’m a long time veteran of the Tucson Rodeo held every year in February.  That’s a pretty big time rodeo.  The Cave Creek Rodeo is smaller, but still professional rodeo.  AND, for a photographer, you can get pretty darn close to the action and only pay ten bucks at the door!  I must say, for a community organization, this was a professionally RUN rodeo too. 

I plan on taking a class there next year to photograph the action.  If you want to know more about the rodeo, go to 

Happy Shooting!
Jim Patterson

Photographs of the Cave Creek Rodeo:

Shooting the Relay for Life at Paradise Valley Community College

The American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” event on 8 April 2011 provided a nice charitable event to cover for a Paradise Valley Community College continuing education class I taught on evening event photography.  Eight shooters joined me on that Friday night, capturing the dusk and night scenes around the PVCC track, where the Relay for Life has been held over the last few years.  The photos will be donated to the North Valley Relay for Life.  Photographers shooting for a good cause!

As it got darker, we needed to rely more on a tripod.  I used a Canon 7D with a Canon 28-135mm lens for most of these shots.  A few of my shots I used the Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens.  Some of the shots of the candles were actually hand held.  I had a great student question: "How do you stop people blur in the evening?"  Answer:  Make them stop.  Sometimes the blur can be called "art" remember!   

According to the Cancer Society, the international relay began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Washington, ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Since then, the relay has grown from a single man’s passion to fight cancer into the world’s largest movement to end the disease. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, gather to take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

The local PVCC Relay had 43 teams, 479 participants, and raised (so far) over $41 thousand dollars for cancer research. 

If you or a team wants to get involved in next years Relay for Life, click here

Happy Shooting!
Jim Patterson

Flickr Slideshow from the Relay for Life: