Photoessay: An Arizona Spring in Color

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Colorful Cactus Blooms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

When most people think of Arizona, they picture dry dusty deserts and sprawling cities. It’s hot. It’s brown. It’s inhospitable. There are endless rows of look-alike stucco homes. Many people might be unaware that the desert bursts with color in the spring. Arizona isn’t just brown, there are vibrant greens, blues, reds, yellows, purples and other colors, especially in the spring, which is my favorite season in the state.

Arizona isn’t all desert, either. While it may be best known for the Grand Canyon, you might be surprised to learn that the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world is in Arizona. There are tall mountains and even winter skiing. The state is full of surprises. It’s one reason why I love Arizona and appreciate visiting whenever I can.

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Yellow Palo Verde – Black Canyon, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

I used to live in Arizona. Back when I was barely an adult, the Air Force sent me to live in Arizona. I met my wife there. My first two kids were born there. I have a deep fondness for the state. I would love to live there again someday. It’s a wonderful place for photography. I highly recommend grabbing a subscription to Arizona Highways magazine to see many wonderful pictures of the state. A fact that you might be surprised to learn is that Ansel Adams was frequently published in that magazine back in the day. Many great photographers were, and still are.

The photographs in this article were captured a few weeks ago. I used my Fujifilm X-T30 camera with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens and a Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens, which are both excellent examples of Fujifilm’s great glass that they’ve become renown for. I hope that you enjoy this variety of photographs that demonstrate there’s more color in Arizona than one might initially think.

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Pine In The Sky – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Green Leaves – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Agave Green – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Cactus & Blue Sky – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Palo Verde In The Windy Blue – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Palm – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Vultures In A Tree – Wickenburg, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Wildflowers & Stone – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Impatient? Stop & Smell – Sedona, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Yellow Rose of Arizona – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Little Bloom Design – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Yellow Blossom Flowers – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Splash of Red Among Green – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Bougainvillea Bloom – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Bloom In The Rocks – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Blooming Cactus Landscape – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Red Prickly Pears – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Beginning To Blossom Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Desert Landscape – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Spring Saguaro – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Yucca Bloom – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Cactus Blooming Red – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Red Ball Fruit – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Barrel Cactus – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Cactiscape – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Prickled – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Pops of Yellow – Black Canyon, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Yellow Desert – Black Canyon, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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One Barrel Cactus Bloom – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Red Spiky Blooms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Red & Purple Desert Blossoms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Salt Lake City: Temple Square Spring Splendor

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Vibrant Flowerbed – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

It’s spring, and of course that means spring blossoms. Flowers are in full bloom. Vibrant colors can be found everywhere. One of the more impressive places to see the spring splendor is Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. Temple Square is an icon of the city, and a tourist attraction, with visitors coming from across the globe. In the spring the grounds are covered with blossoming flowers.

At Temple Square you’ll find well-kept grounds and interesting architecture. It’s a religious site, and there’s a chance someone might approach you regarding that. I’ve had that happen a couple of times, but it was only slightly awkward and it only happened a small number of times compared to how often I have visited. In other words, most likely you’ll be left alone. This is the church’s property, so be respectful should someone speak with you. It’s usually somewhat crowded, so you’ll blend in with all the tourists snapping pictures.

When I captured these pictures last week, I used a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to the front. This is a good lightweight combination that’s great for walk-around photography. I spent about forty five minutes strolling the grounds. Temple Square is a great location for flower photography in the spring. Being an urban environment, it’s a bit unexpected. If you find yourself in Salt Lake City, it’s worth visiting.

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Singular Red Flower – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bright Red Blooms – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red & Yellow Blooms – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Color of Spring – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Field of Flowers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Touch of Purple – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Church Grounds – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pink Bloom – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens (Part 2)

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Caladium Leaves – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s photoessay of the Thanksgiving Point tulip festival, in which I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and 16mm lens to capture blossomed flowers in the beautiful Ashton Gardens. This post has a Part A and a Part B. The first part features just a few photographs that I captured last fall at Ashton Gardens inside Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. The second part features photographs that I captured of the tulip festival last year using a Fujifilm X-E1 with a Rokinon 12mm lens and an X-Fujinon 135mm lens.

Early last fall I visited Thanksgiving Point with my family. We went to a couple different museums and then, since my wife and kids had yet to see Ashton Gardens, we made a quick stroll through it. We didn’t stay long and I didn’t take a whole lot of photographs. The camera I used was a Fujifilm X100F, which I had only owned for a couple of months at that time. These photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

I went to the 2017 tulip festival alone because my family was out-of-town. I was using a Fujifilm X-E1 at the time (this was several months before I purchased the X100F), and I had one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens, although I used the 12mm lens twice as much as the 135mm lens on that trip. Carrying around two lenses was much less convenient than having just one lens attached to the camera (such as the X100F or X-Pro2 with the 16mm lens), but it allowed me to capture some images that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. These photographs were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure and Nik Collection software.

I shared this year’s Ashton Gardens tulip festival photographs yesterday, so I thought it was fitting to also show these other photographs captured at the same location. Enjoy!

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Delicate Pink – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Koi Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 2017:

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Tulip Blossom Monochrome – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Tulip Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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One Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Tulips By The Creek – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

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Garden Statue – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

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Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

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Pink Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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The Secret Garden – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Tulip & Wall – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Thousand Origami Cranes – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Forest & Falls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

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Colorful Floating Umbrellas – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival With Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm Lens

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Tulips In Acros – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Lehi, Utah, is a suburb of Salt Lake City. Within Lehi is Thanksgiving Point, which is a not-for-profit farm, garden, museum, sports, food and entertainment complex. It was founded by Alan Ashton, who invented WordPerfect software back in the late 1970’s. Within Thanksgiving Point is Ashton Gardens, an incredibly beautiful 55 acre oasis that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city that’s outside the gate. The largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere can be found here.

Every year in mid-April through early-May there is a tulip festival inside Ashton Gardens. It’s reminiscent of spring in Holland. In fact, the nearly 300,000 tulips found at Ashton Gardens are imported from Holland. It really is an amazing sight to behold!

As you can imagine, if you are a landscape photographer or love photographing flowers, there are very few places that are better for capturing great images than Aston Gardens in the spring. It’s such a lovely place! There is so much beauty around every corner. If you are in the area during spring, be sure to plan a visit to Thanksgiving Point.

I went to the tulip festival at Ashton Gardens with my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens. It’s a very good lens that I’ve been very happy to use, and its 24mm equivalent focal-length is great for this type of photography. The X-Pro2 and 16mm combination proved to be perfect for this photographic endeavor. All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I used Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome and Acros film simulations for these pictures. Yes, the same recipes that I use on my X100F also work on my X-Pro2.

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Bright White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Orange Blossoms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Cherry Blossom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Sun Flower – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Looking Up – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Color of Spring – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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European Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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And It Was Called Yellow – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blue Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Poppies Among Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Garden Flowers – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowing Water Feature – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Paper Wings – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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3 Waterfalls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 16mm

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Secret Garden Door – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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White Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm