DP590 New Years Snow Pano

When I am out making photographs I tend to make a lot of exposures (something new since going digital). This is exaggerated even more when I am presented with a unique situation like sea smoke, wildflower bloom, unusual fog in the desert and more so when there is snow in the desert.

It was  5:30 am New Years Day 2015 and as I was walking down the hall to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee of the day I noticed what appeared to be a light dusting of snow in the yard. Considering I had spent almost thirty years in snow country it was a sight I used to, then it dawned on me that I was now living in the Sonoran Desert and this was very unusual. While downing my coffee I got dressed and quickly decided where I was going to photograph this event.

According to www.timeanddate.com sunrise was 7:24 am so I knew that I needed to be on location long before then. I made a travel mug of coffee and wrote my wife a detailed note of where I was headed (this is a standard safety procedure). It was about 6:35 or 6:40 am when I pulled out of the driveway heading out into Tucson Mountian Park.

Years of living in snow country my mind started identifying all of the places that I was going to photograph that morning. It did not take long before I  realized that I was going to get one location in before the sun got high enough to melt the dusting of snow.

I chose a location off of Gates Pass road where I knew I could get a multitude of different looks within a short distance. The view towards Golden Gate Peak (often seen in movies filmed at Old Tucson Studios) was absolutely incredible. There was some light fog that was trying to lift and some low clouds that were hanging around Golden Gate and they were both undulating constantly giving different looks.

There was a variety of cactus and other plant life to place in the foreground, I just kept composing and making exposures. Looking around I notice that behind me the desert slowly rose to meet the Tucson Mountians off in the distance, So I made sure to make some images as the sunlight was beginning to shine.

I always archive all usable RAW files on multiple hard drives for use in the future. I make a regular habit of revisiting these files to see what images I have stored away. It was during a recent visit that I came across the image that you see featured with this post.