I remember the overwhelming sense of anxiety and adrenaline coursing through me when I took the photo of the downtown Phoenix skyline off the 1-10 and Washington onramp. Some, would argue this was dangerous and for lack of better word, idiotic on my behalf. To them, I'd say you're absolutely right--only a crazy person or an overzealous photographer would attempt such a feat. The thing is, when I have an idea in my head I tend to obsess and surge forward with it, refusing to look back.
Being native to Arizona, it wasn't until recently that I started taking photos of my home. I work as a videographer/producer, so it was only natural my passion for capturing moving images would spill over into the still territory as well. I've been taking photos for years on the fly, but have been fortunate enough in the past couple of years to really hone in on developing my eye for details through more advanced equipment. I feel photography, much like video, can really tell a story and evoke emotion for the viewer.
For this particular piece, I wanted to hang a new picture above my couch and the first thing I thought of was our city and my home. I recently visited one of my mother's really close friends in New York and I remember this beautiful panoramic shot of the city hanging above the bed in her guest bedroom. I thought to myself, "Now why don't I have something like that?" I've seen some really wonderful shots of Phoenix, but since I possess the equipment to get the job done, I thought it might be more personal and more of a story to take the shot myself. The problem was finding the right location. It took a bit of time and a couple nights of scouting around town as paranoid cops would wonder what I was up to, but I finally found the shot I wanted most. You can find more information on the details of the shot on my site.
The "602" was incorporated by a technique called light writing I added in post from a shot I had taken in my backyard when it was dark to give this piece the personalization for me. I'll always consider Phoenix my home, particularly the "602" area code because it has been home to my parents and now myself.
Julia Rajchel is the winner of the Arizona Office of Tourism’s June monthly photo contest.