In a Rut: It’s More Than Shooting

Don’t laugh or scoff if you are reading this in Canada. I know its cold there. It’s been cold here in Arizona, too. Yeah, cold! Freezing in fact. Zero Celsius is no laughing matter when you expect weather for shorts and you didn’t pack winter woolies or other necessary cold fighting articles of clothing.

Ok, you’re right. I’m getting soft! But it has served as a good excuse for not getting out as often as I should to keep my camera in action. It’s been easier doing other things.

Hopeful of finding hanging clouds or even snow at the higher levels I visited the Superstition Mountain area earlier this week. I settled for a few rain squalls that produced one or two interesting images. Generally though, I haven’t had the overwhelming urge to get out regularly and shoot.

But, I haven’t turned into a couch potato. Other aspects of photography need to be considered: planning, learning, working on images. While I spent a lot of time shooting in Victoria prior to traveling to the ‘Valley of the Sun’ I’ve been spending many afternoons working on images, reviewing my Lightroom library in search of images that will replace those on my webpages and experimenting with my new Topaz plugins.

The Arizona Highways Magazine presents an impressive array of workshops each year. From 3 or 4 day workshops at the Grand Canyon or other well-known locations to an evening seminar there are many choices in a variety of price ranges. Last year, I took an excellent one-day workshop on Lightroom presented by well-known Arizona photographer, Suzanne Mathia. It was well worth the time and money.

This year, I’ve signed up for an evening seminar titled ‘Getting Published – Catching the Editor’s Eye.’ I thought this seminar would be interesting from an image evaluation point of view. In March, I will be attending workshop called ‘DSLR: Focus on Photography at the Desert Botanical Gardens.’ I’ve visited the DBG twice. Both occasions were beautiful experiences. I’m really looking forward to this new learning opportunity.

I’m also planning a few serious photo shoots. Flower season on the desert is a special time of year. This can start in early March and extend into April. Butterflies and hummingbirds can be found in abundance at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in the early spring. And I’d love to travel up to the Grand Canyon and the red rock area of Sedona, Arizona.

So while it sometimes feels like I’m in a photography rut I have been active. Just not on the shooting part. That will soon change.

Chesterman Beach is a magical place at sunset. This family is enjoying a special moment as twilight sets in.

Chesterman Beach is a magical place at sunset. This family is enjoying a special moment as twilight sets in.

This image has been buried in my library for  five years. Taken at Chesterman Beach near Tofino, B.C. It is one of many that I loved at the time but seemingly disappeared. As I reviewed my library it showed up again. I love it.


This entry was posted in Education, My Work.


  1. Suzanne Mathia February 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    Was reading your latest blog post with interest and came across my name! Thanks so much for the shout out. Hope to see you again soon.

    • Stu Dale February 5, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Suzanne! I really enjoy your work and the Lightroom course last year was very helpful to me. Cheers,

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