We’ve been keeping ourselves busy as summer fades here in Phoenix. In addition to being occupied with client work, Patrick Darby has been working on an internal project for tonic photo studios. We’ll spare you all the details, but the project recently required a quick road trip to the towns of Cottonwood and Jerome, and he headed over to Apache Junction as well.
Both Cottonwood and Jerome are delightful destinations for Arizonans and out-of-state visitors. Located in the high deserts of northern Arizona, they’re full of interesting history and quirky treasures. Jerome started in the 1870’s as a mining town clinging to the side of Cleopatra Hill, but fell into hard times as the mining industry changed. At one point Jerome was a ghost town with less than 100 residents. It has now reinvented itself as an eclectic artistic community and tourist destination.
Cottonwood was settled around the same time as Jerome, but took a different path to local notoriety. Founded on the banks of the Verde River, the town became known for an adventurous spirit and a lax attitude toward law enforcement. It earned a reputation for having the best bootleg alcohol in the state and attracted drinkers from as far away from Los Angeles. Cottonwood is a quieter and more law-abiding place today, but it’s full of museums and other places to discover Arizona’s past.
So why was Patrick gallivanting around these towns, camera in hand? He wanted to capture images of classic Arizona landscapes and buildings. Since both towns are full of historic places, old artifacts and gorgeous high desert panoramas, Patrick was able to find plenty of subjects for his photos.
He also wanted to work with high dynamic range (HDR) techniques to enhance the textures of his photos. HDR brings a tremendous amount of life and energy to an image. When shooting photos which feature fantastic surfaces like rusty truck bodies and aged wooden wagons, HDR can take a great image and make it pop in ways no other technique can.
Have a look at a few of the images Patrick produced from the road trip and be on the lookout for the full gallery on the tonic studios website and facebook!