Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Tag

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix   2 comments

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, puppets, Chinese

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona offers a huge array of handcrafted instruments from around the world. The instruments are largely arranged in geographic exhibits including Africa/Middle East, Asia/Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean,  United States/Canada, and Europe. The figures above are puppets from the Chinese exhibit. The puppets were  part of a larger setting which included some massive tubular drums.

As part of the tour, each visitor gets a set of wireless headphones which activate as the visitor approaches an exhibit so you not only get to view the instruments, but you get to hear them too. It’s a very engaging experience. You can easily spend hours engrossed in the exhibits. Once you’ve seen and heard your fill, you can go down to the Experience Gallery where you can try out a small selection of the instruments for yourself. It’s mostly percussion instruments in this gallery, so you might brace yourself for the cacophony of enthusiastic drumming from a crowded room.

After the Experience Gallery and just before closing, we stopped in Artist Gallery where you can hear the music and see the instruments (and sometimes the clothes) of iconic musicians from Elvis and Lennon to Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area and even the slightest interest in music, you’ll love the MIM.

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Taking a Small Step Back   4 comments

Lake Powell, Arizona, Page, panorama, lake, marina, boating

I forgot all about Lake Powell. Many of my recent posts showed shots from Upper Antelope Canyon which sits just outside Page, Arizona. The bigger attraction in Page is actually Lake Powell. Lake Powell, the second largest (in terms of total capacity) artificial lake in the United States, was formed with the development of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1966. The Dam restricts the flow of the Colorado River with the purpose of producing hydro-electric power.

We only over-nighted in Page, so this is as close as we got to Lake Powell. The lake, for the most part is not readily visible from land. If you really want to experience the lake, you have to get out on the water. As you can see in the distance, boating is very popular on the lake. For the experienced Lake Powell visitor, it seems the right approach is to rent a houseboat for a week or two, or maybe even for the whole summer.

If you really want to explore the lake, you’ll need to set some time aside. The lake is nearly 300km (186 miles) long and has 96 major canyons to explore.

That Pueblo I Promised   7 comments

Arizona, pueblo, pueblos, puebloan people, Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff

Yesterday, I mentioned the pueblos north-east of Flagstaff in the Wupatki National Monument. This rock dwelling is in the ballpark of 800 years old. It’s one of several that can be found in the area. The main pueblo (the Wupatki Pueblo) had over 100 rooms!

This is an easy stop off the main highway heading toward Flagstaff from Page or the east exit from the Grand Canyon. It’s a nice walk, some pretty cool buildings, and a good break from the long drive to Phoenix.

Struggling in the Desert   3 comments

Arizona, desert, Wupatki, Wupatki National Monument, Nalakihu Pueblo, scrub, tree

It’s time I bid farewell to Upper Antelope Canyon. It was good while it lasted, but I think I’ve posted enough (unless, of course, I change my mind and post some more later). Moving on from Page and heading south back toward Phoenix, we take a little turn off Hwy 89 before Flagstaff to check out some pueblos in Wupatki National Monument.

Wupatki National Monument was established to protect ancient dwellings of puebloan people. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll actually post an example of one of these ancient dwellings, but before I do, I wanted to first share this portrait of a desert tree. Something about trees in the desert really work for me. I don’t know if it’s the isolation, the determination, the shape of the branches, or something else, but when I see one, I’m almost immediately lying in the dirt with my camera down low grabbing a shot against the desert sky.

Canyon Reflections   8 comments

Antelope Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Abstract, digital art, reflections, reflection, patterns, texture

Back in January, I had a series of “Reflections” photos; images that I’d taken and reflected one or more times in Photoshop. Here’s one I tried using an image from Upper Antelope Canyon. Take any one quadrant and that’s the original image. I liked this one for the lines and textures, especially the dark waves around the outside. As usual, with these reflections, I see a face. How about you? What do you see?

Howling at the Blog   8 comments

wolf, Arizona, Page, Upper Antelope Canyon, Antelope Canyon, slot canyon, canyon

Sorry, I’m a bit slow with the posts at the moment. I’ve been laid up on the couch the past few days with a bad cold. I’m working on getting on the mend, but it’s taking a little longer than I’d like.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the tour guides in Antelope Canyon love pointing out the faces and shapes that you can see in the walls of the canyon. Can you see the wolf in this one?

To get this shot in a fairly tight space, I lay down flat on my back with my head on my camera bag to help keep me steady. I took this at 1/10s with image stabilisation helping me out. The only thing I did to this image is fix the white balance and crop it.

Monument Valley Comes To Antelope Canyon   10 comments

Antelope Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, slot canyon, canyon, page, Arizona, Monument Valley, silhouette

I can’t speak for the rest of the tours of Upper Antelope Canyon, but our tour felt like a bit of a frenzy of must-have shots. Everyone else probably thought it went at a nice leisurely pace, but I was trying to squeeze every shot I could out of this short one-hour tour. The guide tries to make sure that you get every great shot they know about from George Washington’s face, to the eagle, to the wolf, and to many other shapes and images that you can imagine emerging from the rock. While you listen to the tour guide’s suggestions and try to see what they’re seeing, you try to see some of your own images in the canyon before you’re led to the next stop on the tour.

This image, was one of the tour guide’s suggestions and is shot straight up to capture this silhouette which is somewhat reminiscent of a sunset in Monument Valley. I’ve left this image virtually as shot. The auto white balance didn’t choose wisely, so I shifted it and I also cropped out the deep, dark shadows to make this a wide shot.