Sunday, July 26, 2009

Earp/Holliday Mustache and Beard Contest

Earp and Holliday Mustache and Beard Contest - Images by Pat Shannahan

It was a proud day for facial hair. Men young and old came from all over The Valley to show off their chops, soup strainers, and Wyatt Earps in the Earp-Holliday Mustache Contest at the Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction. The contest was part of AJ's celebration for National Day of the Cowboy. What a collection of characters. I set up a white background and lights and tried to make portraits of all the contestants. Everyone had their own style. Some were dressed in costumes, others came as themselves. This was so much fun to shoot. I tried to capture a bit of their personality, as well as the detail and texture in their faces and mustaches. Who would you have picked as the winner?

Pat Shannahan

Saying Goodbye--- Troop Deployment

Troop Deployment - Images by Pat Shannahan

On Thursday I photographed the Phoenix-based 3666th Support Maintenance Company as they deployed to Iraq. I grew up an Army kid. While my dad never had to deploy to war, I do remember what it was like for him to leave for weeks at a time to go on maneuvers. On this assignment I tried to concentrate on capturing moments of families saying goodbye.

Pat Shannahan

360 Degree Interactive Kayaking Photos


The Colorado Rive is well known for it's white water rapids and rafting trips that can take several weeks to finish. Most people don't know that there is a place near the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River runs smooth and calm through towering canyons, and you don't need a permit to enjoy it. Just north of Lees Ferry, where the Colorado River rafting trips through the Grand Canyon start, is Glen Canyon. For $40, Colorado River Discoveries will take you and your kayak up-river from Lees Ferry to the Glen Canyon Dam. From the dam it's a 14-mile trip back to Lees Ferry. The trip can be done as a day trip or as an over night camping trip. My friend Chris and I decided to take our time and camp at one of the six camping spots. Each campsite has a bathroom and fire ring. We stayed at a spot that was on the south side of Horseshoe Bend, which we had seen the previous day from the top of the cliffs. In the morning, the calm water reflected the cliff walls making it feel as if I was gliding on top of a mirror. It was several hours before we encountered any other people. One of the thing I like about this trip was that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Other than the occasional tour or fishing boat we didn't run across many other people. The roughest water we experienced was the wake from passing boats.

For more information about activities at Glen Canyon click here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Step Inside the Tovrea Castle

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of photographing and exploring one of Phoenix's most interesting and mysterious buildings, the Tovrea Castle. Most people from The Valley know it as the house shaped like a wedding cake near the 202. The castle has recently be renovated by the City of Phoenix, part of their plan to open it up to the public. Over the past several months I have been playing with taking 360 degree photos. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to take people inside, before it is open to the public, and allow them to look around. The link below will take you to 5 interactive panoramic images. The tour starts outside the house and then take you from the basement up. The highlights are the basement and the top floor. The basement features tunnels that lead off to the surrounding garden, a textured ceiling, and a walk-in vault. The top floor is surrounded by windows and has a great view of the Phoenix Valley.

We will have a story soon in the paper about when it will be open to the public. When the story is online, I'll update this post with a link.


Pat Shannahan
@pshannahan twitter