Watson Lake, Arizona, USA by Leslie Key

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Arizona ventures are the best! We started our weekend by setting our sites on Watson Lake. It was a cloudy day in Phoenix, and I knew the cloudy weather was reaching across the state, so the chance of capturing a colorful sunset over the lake was my intention. It's funny how our intention, as clear as it may be at the time, sometimes is modified by Mother Nature. This is when we need to stay open for opportunity, right?

I grabbed my rain gear before we left for good reason. When we arrived at Watson Lake, I realized the clouds had thickened and were filling with water. The cool thing was, they were perfect shades of gray with hints of gold, providing a natural filter for photos. The light was evenly diffused and made a nice gray cast....no filter needed. We hiked around the small lake for about 5 hours stopping at the edges of the round boulders to capture the stillness and contrast of the dark gray water, and reflective light off the gold/orange boulders. The mist from the clouds turned the light down for a perfect opportunity to use my tripod for slower exposure.

I have learned to always carry two camera bodies and though it may be a heavy rig, I bring wide angles and a telephoto in case I want to capture a compressed image. For this image I used my Canon 16 to 35 mm and used 16mm for my final composition. This image is one of several that I was pleased with achieving. I loved the way the boulders move from dry land right down into the still water. This place is incredible and I would recommend experiencing it for anyone, photographer or not. I love to think of it a Earthly Architecture!

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