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Best of Arizona 2013: Excellence Marks the Spots
There are a lot of scenic photo ops in Arizona — the Grand Canyon alone has about a million. But what are the best? The very best? For the answer, we asked some of our most talented landscape photographers to reveal their single favorite place to make a photograph. Here's what they had to say.

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Natural wonder

LAKE POWELL
Gary Ladd

Camera: Tachihara 4x5 with 125 mm lens

Why is this your favorite place? Because fog on Lake Powell is rare, and witnessing a golden beam of sunlight spotlighting a butte on the lake is even more unusual. I was very lucky to have been on an ephemeral island east of the mouth of Face Canyon at the right moment.

Best season to photograph this location: I’m always trying to photograph the lake when there are clouds that produce changing light, cloud shadows, reduced contrast on the landscape and interesting skies. This makes the winter storm and the summer monsoon seasons best for shooting. This image was made during a storm in mid-December.

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Best time of day to photograph there: Almost always, it is sunrise and sunset. This image was made at sunrise.

How many times have you been there? I’ve been there hundreds of times, because the location lies along the main channel of the lake.

How did you discover this location? No “discovery” was needed. The view is a common one; being there to photograph the scene during a rare moment was the key.

Directions: The route is mundane but does require a boat. Begin from Antelope Point Marina or Wahweap Marina, and follow the buoys to about Mile 26, just up-lake from the mouth of Face Canyon. Then, look northwest.

Information: Lake Powell, www.powellguide.com

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