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Handicapped photographer
  
 
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Handicapped photographer


Although I have had 60+ years shooting as a pro I now find myself handicapped. That is, I am limited to shooting out of the car, or very near it. I have a 4x Jeep and am not afraid of sand or rough stuff. Been doing it for years. I live in the middle of Arizona - Payson - and am willing to travel.

Now, does anyone have some great suggestions of where to shoot?



Nov 06, 2016 at 10:45 PM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Handicapped photographer


Suggestions, anyone?


Nov 07, 2016 at 04:57 PM
jdc562
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Handicapped photographer


Handicapped or not, a vehicle is a a good blind for photographing roadside birds and other wildlife. Good candidates are hawks, burrowing owls, marsh birds, flycatchers, shrikes, and other birds that have favorite hunting spots. Mammals also like to forage along roads, ditches, and fencelines. Scope the area and note where birds habitually perch. Return when light is good at these spots. Try driving very slowly, even passing by the birds several times so they get used to the non-threat of your vehicle. This also works for coyotes, pronghorns, deer, bison, etc. Google search for locations where these animals are more abundant.

You can enhance the blind qualities of your vehicle by putting up white-faced sheer curtains for the driver's side window. Add some black sheer curtains behind you in the vehicle. This makes it darker on your side and harder for birds to see you, but allows you to see out. I've found the best curtains of this type are in the auto accessories section of Walmart: they sell auto curtains that are black on one side and white on the other. For your purposes, white needs to face out--towards the birds. Depending on your door frame arrangement, you can use masking tape or gaffer's tape to secure the material. Poke your lens out through a slit or hole in the curtain or under the curtain. Always move slowly and try to block any view of your face.

I've found a big bean bag on the vehicle window sill is the best support for a big lens--it's the most adaptable to quickly re-position your lens. If your jeep has crank-type windows, all the better for adjusting the height of the support. When in position, turn off you engine and fans to eliminate vibration.

Good luck.
---John



Nov 07, 2016 at 10:24 PM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Handicapped photographer


Wow. Thanks. I really am not into birds and I have a ton of wild life already - ranging from close-ups of elk and buffalo to squirrels.


Nov 08, 2016 at 12:53 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Handicapped photographer


I'm not from your part of the country, so I cannot offer specific location suggestions in your area, but bird photography was the first thing that came to mind after I read your post.

I often photograph at wildlife refuges, and quite a few of them have "auto tour routes" that can get you to where you can photograph from your vehicle. In fact, some require us to stay in the vehicles while we photograph, so that we don't disturb the critters quite so much.

By the way, if you and asked me about photographing birds ten years ago I also would have given you a very bored look. The idea did not interest me at all. However, since that time I have become quite passionate about the subject... so don't write that possibility off prematurely!

Good luck.

Dan



Nov 08, 2016 at 01:48 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Handicapped photographer


I see from your profile you are in Arizona. There are many great photographic opportunities depending on how far you can drive. Tombstone, Chochise Stronghold, "Old Tuscon" movie set, Petrified Forest, Northern AZ,....Davis-Moffett airplane graveyard.....Tri-state area.
Good luck!
Dan



Nov 08, 2016 at 03:38 PM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Handicapped photographer


Thanks, Dan. Question: Can I shoot out of the car window on any of these sites? I would love to do the airplane graveyard. I wonder if I can take my semi-off road utility scooter (20" wheels). Can I call them?


Nov 08, 2016 at 04:14 PM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Handicapped photographer


We have Bear-a zona wild animal park near Flagstaff. Thanks for the reminder.


Nov 08, 2016 at 04:32 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Handicapped photographer


I'd start with the backroads in your back yard.
The Senator Highway is one of the more well known roads, but there are many dozen to explore.
Get the 'West' and 'East' maps from
http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/prescott/maps-pubs
and start exploring. I know many of the views will be of "More Trees!" or "More desert scrub!," but some of these roads ascend to summits and ridges that offer nice views. Install Google Earth and look for photos taken by other people along potential routes.

Look for a 4-wheeling group in your area. Not all of these people are wild-eyed rednecks.
Here's a local bunch... https://www.meetup.com/The-Off-Road-AZ-No-Club-Club/

Plenty of forest roads in the Flagstaff area offering great drives in and around the SF Peaks mountains.

Further north, in the region south of Vermillion cliffs, NW of the river, and east of North Rim GC, there are a number of places you can drive right to the edge of Marble/Grand Canyon.

North Shore of Lake Powell has Alstrom Point and many other similar overlooks that need a 4x4 to reach.

And north of that is the unlimited playground of Grand Staircase.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/60092457/GSENM/07brochurefinal05-02.pdf
Alstrom Road, Smoky Hollow Rd, Croton, Cottonwood Canyon and side roads, and many more will take you through some of the prettiest redrock country in the world.



Nov 08, 2016 at 07:03 PM
 

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Steve Bingham
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Handicapped photographer


I live on google maps! Love the earth views. I have been to Coyote South, but never down to the Canyon rim. I will have to give that a look see. Never thought of Alstrom Point. Good suggestion! Grand Staircase was also on my list. What wonderful suggestions. Thanks!


Nov 08, 2016 at 07:21 PM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Handicapped photographer


Steve Bingham wrote:
Thanks, Dan. Question: Can I shoot out of the car window on any of these sites? I would love to do the airplane graveyard. I wonder if I can take my semi-off road utility scooter (20" wheels). Can I call them?


I believe they have Handicap exemptions.. .http://www.dm.af.mil

Tombstone YES..visit the grave yard. The headstones are a "hoot"!
Cochise Stronghold...yes but to get to the elevation that shows you how dynamic the range of vision is, you may need your scooter.

Good luck and good shooting!
Dan
PHONE NUMBERS
For directory assistance, please contact the Base Operator at the number below.
520-228-1110
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
520-228-3406



Nov 09, 2016 at 01:21 PM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Handicapped photographer


Wow. Thanks. I called them and sure enough - my utility scooter with 20" wheels is welcome! What a great tip!


Nov 09, 2016 at 06:23 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Handicapped photographer


Steve,
If you are interested in landscape, places like Locket Meadow, the scenery along Rt.191 from Alpine down to Morency, Little Painted Desert, some areas in Petrified Forest (such as Blue Mesa) can be explored without getting out of the car. You can get a fitting for the car window to support the camera, or use a bean bag. Please take a look at my Flickr albums, maybe it'll help you with the ideas.

Sasha.



Nov 12, 2016 at 08:12 AM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Handicapped photographer


Thanks, Sasha. Great ideas. I photographed Little Painted Desert two weeks ago - from the car. Turned out well. Alpine is a little cold right now - maybe next spring. I have a bean bag but found my hand/arm works well. Now, off to look at your Flicker albums!

Blue Mesa is also on my list - even know how to get there. The Hopi want a fortune for their guide and 3 hrs of driving ($320 for two). Think I will just sneak in from the highway outside of Tuba City?



Nov 12, 2016 at 02:57 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Handicapped photographer


Steve Bingham wrote:
Blue Mesa is also on my list - even know how to get there. The Hopi want a fortune for their guide and 3 hrs of driving ($320 for two). Think I will just sneak in from the highway outside of Tuba City?


Steve, I actually meant Blue Mesa as a formation in Petrified Forest.
As about Blue Canyon (on Hopi reservation), it can be easily photographed from the car. There is a road that goes around the main formations. The best times are mid-morning and mid-afternoon, as on sunrise/sunset most of the canyon is in shade.

Coal Mine Canyon also can be photographed from the car (but not from the day visitor parking.) Research the area on Google Earth - most of the back roads are quite passable when dry. Do not drive/park close to the rim as the soil is unstable.

Sasha.



Nov 23, 2016 at 07:37 AM
Steve Bingham
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Handicapped photographer


Thanks Sasha,

Your advice is excellent. I was born in Phoenix 80 years ago, and having owned a Jeep Rubicon, there are few places in Arizona I haven't visited. Here is a photo I took three weeks ago of the Painted Desert outside Winslow. I wish I could have hiked down the stairs - what's left of them. Whoops. Having problems with my web page.



Nov 23, 2016 at 05:59 PM
MrPeteH
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Handicapped photographer


Hi Steve,
I've been chair-bound before although not anymore (for now )... not sure how far you're able/willing to travel, but here are some possible ideas to consider...

- Deserted mountain roads typically have no barriers between the road and the scenery... and little traffic to interrupt you.

- Remember that your tele/zoom lenses often make a great macro lens at a very reasonable from-the-car distance!

- My wife the biologist has taught me to observe in new ways... we generally think about the obvious "big" and "bright" flowers in nature... but if you look carefully you may find tiny flowers closer than you imagine. (My extreme example was in the middle of the desert at an outhouse/rest stop. Completely bleak... then she yelled "Pete -- LOOK!"... I saw nothing, until I noticed she was staring at the hot/dry sand. There between the sand/gravel grains were tiny flowers, about 1/8" :-D

- Have you been to the slot canyons in SE Arizona? Some amazing hummingbird and other wildlife sites... and very accessible. A favorite: The Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Blue Heaven Road, Patagonia. It's actually just a backyard... with a shade cover. Easy accessibility and friendly people.

- I'm more familiar with Colorado than Arizona... We have lots of mountain roads well worth wandering, huge fields of wildflowers in early/summer. Ohio Pass, the Million Dollar Highway, and high roads near Ridgway are some favorites.

- An unusual spot... I still consider this the most beautiful on-the-beach road on the planet. It's in remote coastal northern California. Take Mattole Rd from Petrolia to Ferndale... literally on the beach, amazing at sunset. And nobody around. (So nobody else who reads this is allowed to go there until Steve has a chance )



Nov 26, 2016 at 02:25 AM







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