Cottonwood, Arizona, USA by Laura Zirino

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Picture Story

I was both taking a photography class and exploring towns to retire in with my husband when I took this photo. The class instructor was very free form, encouraging her students to experiment and interpret. My husband and I went to check out Cottonwood, Arizona in the middle of winter. The trees were barren, but a winter storm was moving in and the late afternoon light was incredible. I spent the time taking photos using the "wrong" settings just to see what they would look like. I tried intentional camera movement, using a superwide aperture on landscapes, using a slow shutter speed on moving objects, etc. This photo was slowly panning the camera downward on a tripod (seems counterintuitive but a tripod is important for ICM) just as the light was hitting this sycamore.

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