Shoulder Tap Photography
It’s not convenient, nor is it glamorous.
It is late nights, early mornings, and blazing heat.
It is freak rainstorms, and double rainbows.
It’s big fat nothing burgers.
It is AWESOME!
It is going out into the desert when you would rather not.
It is a thought provoking curiosity with calculated risks to capture the shot.
It is a keen awareness to your environment in the midst of creative ecstasy.
It is running faster than you knew you could run when you heard the pack of coyotes getting closer.
It is also good training to discern between what I think I need to do versus a shoulder tap from God that puts me in the right place, at the right time, on the mountain with a surprise rain storm (to me), that produces a rainbow right where God told me to stop.
The Sonoran Desert landscape and lighting are always changing. Shots that I thought would lose interest over time, became priceless. In 2020, the first year of the “The Scourge”, in mid-summer we had the Bighorn Fire which burned through the vegetation and saguaros in many of my photos. Instead of boring saguaro photos, they are never again shots.
The city center saguaro with the low arm graciously offering its bloom, a long time resident that I assumed I could also photograph in 2022. Instead it gave its last blooms when it perished from the 2nd year of drought in 2021. If it could have held on a few weeks longer, the heavy rains two months later would have saved it.
As a result, many of my photos are now once in a lifetime photos.
The changing nature of the desert reminds me of the always unstable nature of life. In the middle of a world turned ugly, the “divine shoulder taps” inspire me to continue documenting the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
Before Bighorn Fire of 2020