Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Canyon Lake

with 20 comments

Canyon Lake, Arizona 1896

I’d never heard of Canyon Lake, which is about an hour down the Apache Trail (which I’d never heard of either) heading northeast from Phoenix, but this is how a portion of the lake looked on September 29th. Notice the extensive yellowish lichen on the rocks in the distance, as well as the photograph’s square format.


This is another entry from the saw (as in the past tense of see) part of the see-saw that’s been oscillating between pictures from my trip to the American Southwest in late September and more-recent pictures showing what’s been going on in central Texas.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 22, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Nice photo!

    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    November 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

  2. You fooled me with the title. I read “Canyon Lake,” and immediately thought about “our” Canyon Lake. Then I looked at the photo and realized it’s quite a different lake. Did you achieve the square format by cropping, or by camera settings? I just figured out the other day that a 1:1 ratio’s a possible setting with my new camera. Live and learn.

    I like the way you’ve included a view deeper into the hills on the right, and I especially like the way the reflection of the cliff reaches across the water to touch the bushes.


    November 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    • I took pictures from this spot in both vertical and horizontal orientations (my camera’s sensor has a 3:2 ratio). I originally had a vertical photograph here, but yesterday the mood came upon me to swap it out for a horizontal one. Then, following a whim, I cropped it into a square. I’ve now gone through the three possibilities (at least for rectangles) and I still don’t know which works the best.

      As you point out, some cameras allow for square cropping at the time a picture is taken. I don’t think my camera has that option, but even if it did, my preference is to use the full frame to record as much information as possible, and then if necessary or desirable crop the image after the fact.

      In this picture, it was the reflection of the cliff on the water that most appealed to me.

      Knowing that I was in Arizona, I never even thought about the Canyon Lake in central Texas. I probably need to go to the local one to see what I can do, because I don’t recall having any good pictures of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM

  3. Like Shoreacres above, I too was tricked by the intro, until I read Phoenix. Never heard of Canyon Lake in AZ, only the one in TX.


    November 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    • One similarity is that both lakes are artificial. The one in Texas arose from the damming of the Guadalupe River, and the one in Arizona from the damming of the Salt River. As I said to shoreacres, I’ve been remiss in photographing the Canyon Lake that’s a little over an hour from home.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      • So, to be sure, both of them are just plain ole’ dam lakes.


        November 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        • You said it. You may be aware that almost all lakes in Texas are artificial. The glaciers didn’t get down this far south to carve out depression in the land.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

  4. No canyon lakes near here. so I wasn’t confused….I have no idea where it is aside from your description. OTOH, I do know of Lake Powell which is the former Glen Canyon dammed up….some might say damned up.
    It looks like a lovely spot for a vacation stop or stay.

    Steve Gingold

    November 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    • Like you, I had no sense of that area till I spent three days there. That’s not a lot of time, but at least I know the broad outlines of the place now.

      Given that Phoenix is in the desert, Canyon Lake is apparently a big attraction for city dweller on weekends. I’m glad I visited on a weekday morning, and beyond the end of the main tourist season.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

  5. Beautiful. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    November 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

  6. Now, this looks like a place I could enjoy visiting. I wonder, is there any sort of park associated with the Lake? Are their amenities which would allow one to spend the day, for example. D

    Pairodox Farm

    November 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

  7. That’s the nicest photo I’ve seen of Canyon Lake!


    November 24, 2014 at 9:36 PM

  8. Beautiful photo, Steve. I find the diagonal band of foliage (? Don’t have my glasses on) on the rock, below the yellow lichen. Very satisfying, all that texture and color.


    December 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    • Thanks, Melissa. That diagonal band caught my attention too. I guess there’s not enough of a foothold on the almost vertical surface above for those plants to take root. The plants’ loss, the photograph’s gain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 2, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: