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Tramp Spotlight: Apache Lake

Apache Lake, Arizona

Hey there everyone!  Here's an installment of Tramp Spotlight.  It's rare that it snows here in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, but last week, it did just that!  It actually snowed on the streets of Scottsdale, where I live.  It's something I've never seen in the decade that I've lived here.  Not only that, but the surrounding mountains were blanketed with snow, and I knew the opportunity was ripe for some great images.  The following day, I grabbed my gear and hit the Apache Trail, a 40+ mile winding dirt road through the Superstition/Four Peaks Wilderness east of Phoenix.  When it snows here, it only remains for two to three days, so I had to act quickly.

I was treated to some amazing vistas along the Apache Trail.  However, being the middle of the day, the light was fairly harsh when it made it's way through the clouds.  As the afternoon came, the light began to become more favourable.  All I needed now was the right scene.  I was also running out of trail.  I could see the end quickly approaching, which is the Roosevelt Dam.  The dam creates several lakes along the Apache Trail and I was at the last one, Apache Lake.  

The scene before me was magnificent!  In the background was the snowcapped foothills of the jagged Four Peaks mountains.  The middle was Apache Lake, and the lush desert vegetation with a solitary Saguaro cactus anchored the foreground.  As I set up my tripod and composed the scene, some nice, soft light played across my foreground and side-lit my Saguaro.  Click.  I had my favourite image from the day.  I didn't have to hike too far from the road for this.  I just needed to get close enough to the Saguaro so that I had a stronger foreground focal point.  I like the juxtaposition of this scene.  The light warms the desert elements, reminding us that it is indeed the desert, yet the snow on the background foothills provides a contrasting, cold, wintry feel to the scene. 

I captured this with my Nikon D700 and my Nikkor 24-70mm lens @ f8.  I also used my polariser to cut the glare off the lake and snow.  Seeing snow in this part of Arizona is a rare treat and I thoroughly enjoyed getting out and seeing it!  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you all again soon:)