Monday, January 14, 2013

Tucson Visits from Late '12 and Early '13

I visited Tucson, my old stomping grounds (University of Arizona graduate and longtime resident), two times; once at the end of the year and the second time in the new year.  In November, Professor David Rubi and I took a group of Paradise Valley Community College students to the Tucson area for Mexican food and culture.  In early January, I went to Tucson by invitation of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum to visit the Warren Aquarium. 

At Presidio of Tucson
Our first stop in Tucson was the downtown area and the Presidio of Tucson.  They were filming while we were there so there are a few photos of a lady dressed as a Presidio resident would be dressed in the 18th century. 

Mural at La Pilita

We had lunch at El Minuto in Tucson's Barrio Historico neighborhood.  Just south of El Minuto is the shrine to a murdered sinner, El Tiradito.  And next to that is a little museum of early Tucson history called La Pilita.  On the south wall, there is a beautiful mural.    These three stops, right next to each other, are musts if you want a flavor for early Tucson history. 

San Xavier Del Bac, The White Dove of the Desert
We also visited Tumacacori Mission south of Tucson and on the way back to town, we stopped at San Xavier del Bac, the White Dove of the Desert,  still an active Catholic church.  A huge part of the story is the painstaking restoration work that went on that saved this history church. 

Fish Friend from the Warden Aquarium
A month later, we re-visited Tucson, this time to go to the new Warden Aquarium, part of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum located west of Tucson in the Tucson Mountains and attend a University of Arizona basketball game.  Cats won in overtime 92 to 83, whew!

Senior Kevin Parrom #3 Shoots and Scores!
You can view a slideshow of all of my photos from the late 2012 visits below.

Happy Shooting,

Jim Patterson

Cave Creek Balloon Festival 2013

I spent the late afternoon and evening of Saturday 12 January at Rancho Manana golf course in beautiful Cave Creek, Arizona.  The reason was the Fourth Annual Balloon Festival.  The good news is the wind was still to about 5 mph.  The bad news is it was CCCCOLD!!!  One of the coldest weekends I can remember in the Phoenix area as it dipped well below freezing.   There was still a fairly large crowd enjoying the festivities.  One thing I noticed was how hard it is to control a camera wearing gloves.  By the way, this was the last event I’m shooting with the Canon 7D and Tamron 18-270mm lens.  I traded them in for the Canon 5D and a few “L” class lenses and I should have them by Wednesday.  My next photography event will be a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game with my new gear!

Officials said the balloons would light around 6pm, so before then the band Remedy performed and I had a chance to get close and take some photos.  You can learn more about Remedy by going to their Facebook page here.  Nice folks and quite happy to have photos taken.  So it was nice to enjoy a gourmet dinner put on by the Tonto Bar and Grill in Cave Creek while Remedy entertained. 

Sure enough, by 6 pm they started to inflate the balloons. 

Enjoy all of my photos of the balloon festival below.

Keep shooting and stay warm! 

Jim Patterson