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Keep America Beautiful

July 10, 2012

Here’s me and my Sherwood Park-based amigo Peter Carroll (left), pointing out the secret ingredient for keeping America beautiful — bring down some Canadian photographers! 🙂 We’re clowning around a bit for the camera of travel photographer extraordinaire, Ken Ross, of whom both Pete and I are somewhat in awe for his “people whispering” photography skills.

Pete & Royce Keeping America Beautiful / Copyright © 2012 Ken Ross

Pete & Royce Keeping America Beautiful / Copyright © 2012 Ken Ross

Yes, America the beautiful and Canadian photographers… Pete & I were just down in Arizona for nearly two weeks in the blazing desert heat. No, it wasn’t insanity… though at times we wondered, as the thermometer kept topping above +40 C for day after day. Our mission was the first leg of field work for the inaugural photography exchange project between sister cities Phoenix and Calgary, as part of the program of the Phoenix-based group Through Each Others Eyes. Our hosts Ken and Colleen Miniuk-Sperry took us on a whirlwind tour of many locations, from urban scenes around Scottsdale, Tempe and a road trip to Tucson, out to the iconic landscapes of Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon North Rim and much more.

(As I post this, Pete & I are in the middle of returning the favor. We’re showing Colleen & Ken a range of Alberta sights, including dawn at Moraine Lake this morning. Getting on the road at 4:00 isn’t any easier at home than it is abroad.)

I’ve been to Arizona several times, mostly to the southeast part of the state around Tucson, while Pete was making his first ever photographic foray into the state. Both of us had some expectations, having seen many photographs of the areas we were to visit. But seriously — the reality was far more impressive. I think I can speak for Pete when I say our heads are still reeling from everything we experienced… and that’s only in part because of severe sleep deprivation!

Our “serious” photography from this trip will remain under wraps for awhile. We continue our field work in Alberta locations over the next couple of weeks, along side our Arizona teammates. Once we’ve completed all the photography, the work of selecting, processing and curating a collection of several score images can begin. Stay tuned for some exciting news about print exhibits to be held in both Phoenix and Calgary, starting in Q4 of this year.

Meanwhile, here are a few Instagram photos that I snapped on my camera phone while we were out & about in Arizona. (I have a Samsung Galaxy Note, for those who care about such things.)

Cowboy Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Cowboy / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Elvis Chapel Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Elvis Chapel / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Cathedral Rocks Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Cathedral Rocks / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Monument Valley Mittens Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Monument Valley Mittens / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Monument Valley Totem Poles Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Monument Valley Totem Poles / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Lake Powell from Alstrom Point Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Lake Powell from Alstrom Point / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Grand Canyon North Rim Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Grand Canyon North Rim / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Orchard at Lonely Dell Ranch Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

Orchard at Lonely Dell Ranch / Copyright © 2012 Royce Howland

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