Portfolio - Les Longino

Roots, White Sands, New Mexico, 2010

While wandering the white sand dunes on a windy day, I came across this bit of root that had become exposed. The wind was whipping it back and forth across the surface of the sand, creating arced pathways.

Opuntia engelmannii, Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, 2010

I was hiking along the Oracle Ridge Trail, and had taken a side trip down an abandoned mining road. These prickly pears with giant pads popped out against the shiny gray rock behind them, and the dried up trunk added a bit of abstractness to the composition.

Pines, Sunset Crater, Arizona, 2013

I could not resist the color combination when I saw this: the black-gray of the lava, the luminous green of the pine needles, and the hazy blue air in the background.

Sandstone, White Pocket, Arizona, 2016

The White Pocket was a bucket list item for a long time. The formations are so varied, and spread out over such a large area, that it was impossible to completely take it all in on my two-night visit. So I did not try to see it all, instead I took the time to lay under a tree at the bottom of this formation and just soak it in.

Sandstone, Grand Canyon, Arizona, 2013

This was taken early on a January morning, during a cold snap perfectly timed to coincide with my visit to the canyon. Ironically enough, although I experienced cold temperatures growing up in Ohio, I've actually experienced the coldest and hottest temperatures in my life while living in Arizona. The coldest temperature was one of the mornings here at the canyon, up early for sunrise shots.

Sandstone, Colorado River Canyon, Utah, 2009

I was essentially taking this picture blind: it was nearly dark, so I put the camera on a tripod and took a long exposure to see what the result would be. After trying a few different exposure times, I ended up with this shot.

Tragopogon pratensis, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, 2010

This was taken while hiking in northern New Mexico, but looks like it could have been set up in a studio. Everything came together: the soft side lighting, the slightly unfocused bark in the background, and the touch of green to accent a nearly monochromatic image.

Sandstone, White Pocket, Arizona, 2016

One of my favorite spots in the White Pocket, unofficially called The Cove. I returned to this spot many times in my short visit to capture it during different light throughout the day. The spongy plants growing out of the sandstone to the left were some of the few plants in the entire formation.

Agave parryi, Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, 2010

This was taken along an old mining road in the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona. Often while hiking, I'll find specimens of plants that look better than a garden-grown specimen of the same plant. The warm tones of the dried grass provide a nice contrast to the cool blue Agaves.

Pines, Sunset Crater, Arizona, 2013

This lone pine tree looks like it is internally illuminated, glowing softly in the black craggly lava field.

Petrified Wood, Petrifed Forest, Arizona, 2013

The way this single piece of petrified wood was sitting all alone attracted me, as the simple composition highlights the interesting textures of the eroding soil around it. Most pictures from the Petrified Forest are very petrified-wood-centric, but the colors and textures of the eroding soil are equally interesting.

Unidentified Tree, Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona, 2013

I had been standing at the edge of the south rim of the Grand Canyon for a while, when suddenly the sun broke through the clouds and this tree burst into flame. The first thing you notice is the tree dripping in golden light, then you realize the Grand Canyon is right behind it. The frustration and challenge with an over-photographed site such as the Grand Canyon is finding a new perspective, and this picture makes me feel like I achieved that.

Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree, California, 2014

I could spend days just taking pictures of the Joshua Trees here. This area is a bit more barren than some of the more (relatively) lush plant communities in Joshua Tree, so it provides a great opportunity to isolate individual trees in this way.

Rock and Concrete, Hoover Dam, Arizona, 2013

I have driven between Phoenix and Las Vegas many times, and a highlight of the drive is passing the Hoover Dam. The view from the recently completed bridge to bypass the dam is incredible. This day I walked all the way across to the dead end on the Arizona side, and loved this view of the dam just starting to peek out from behind the rocky canyon walls.

Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree, California, 2014

One of the things I enjoy most about exploring the Southwest is the varied rock formations. Joshua Tree's formations are not as surreal as some places, but their soft, rounded forms provide a great backdrop to the spiky, barky Joshua Trees.

Sandstone, White Pocket, Arizona, 2016

The challenging thing about photographing the White Pocket was editing out too much distraction. The formations and colors were so varied that it was difficult to frame a composition that captured the surrealness of the place but left out enough to not be a jumbled mess of an image. This moment of soft light was short, as there were not many clouds in the sky, and I had to wait a while for one to start blocking the sun and create this wonderful soft light. I like that the foreground is dark and shady, so the striated texture is still visible, but your eye is attracted to the lit up formations in the background.

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