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Last Light on the Superstitions

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 6 May 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


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I am currently in Northern Arizona teaching a workshop, so as a tribute to this beautiful state, I decided to dip back into my archives for an image I created in the Spring of 2004 at Lost Dutchman State Park located 40 miles east of Phoenix. As I recall, this was one of the first digital landscape images I made (prior to that I had shot chromes) with my Canon 1Ds camera. I'm amazed at how well the technology worked as this was created six years ago!

The Park is located in the Sonoran Desert and surrounds the famed Superstition Mountains. Several trails lead from the park into the Superstition Wilderness and surrounding Tonto National Forest. The Superstition Mountains have been a source of mystery and legend since early times. Numerous Native American groups inhabited the area up until the 1800's.

During the 1840's the Peralta family of northern Mexico supposedly developed a rich gold mine in the Superstitions. According to legend, an Apache ambush ended the family's last expedition, and the gold remained in the area. In the 1870's Jacob Waltz ("the Dutchman") was said to have located the mine and allegedly hid one or more caches of gold in the Superstitions.

Many treasure-seekers have tired to find the hidden gold over the years and have met with foul play and even death, which contributes to the superstition and legend of these mountains. The legend of the "lost mine" exists even today, but to date, no treasures have been found.

My treasure would be this image as last light of the setting sun bathes the Superstitions in warm light. This image brings back many memories of my time spent in the desert. Early and late light was (and still is) beautiful, and paints the desert in a way that brings all its subtle features to life.

Canon EOS-1DS 1/4 second F/22.0 ISO 100 28 mm

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