Born in Missouri and having lived in Utah and Michigan over the years - Florence artist Roger Degler became captivated by Arizona's majestic sunsets four decades ago after moving to the Grand Canyon State.
"In 2007 I moved to the Anthem community in Florence. Right from my backyard -- and also driving to-and-from work each day I'd see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets across the desert.
This led me to purchase my first digital camera - a pocket-sized point-and-shoot; I began literally pulling over to the roadside during my commutes to and from work, shooting pictures of the rising or setting sun out the car window. I was hooked -- soon I was hiking into the desert every colorful evening for new sunset pictures."
"What I love most, and try to capture in my pictures, are the beautiful and daily artworks that God paints in our Arizona skies. Sunset photography has become a planned destination, instead of just incidental. Yes, I still pull over for a particularly opportune roadside snapshot - but each day I find myself keeping an eye on the sky, watching the cloud formations, paying attention to the wind direction -- planning ahead, deciding where I can side-track during my evening commute; what time I’ll be able to get there to best take advantage of the surrounding landscape features and conditions above in the troposphere -- for yet a new perspective on the setting sun. I plan special outings in order to get to places that I wouldn't normally pass on my daily commute.
I'm also photographing closeups of flowers -- and desert landscapes, buildings -- and rusted relics of vehicles abandoned to the ravages of the sun, wind, rain - rust and oxidation."
Framed works in the exhibit range from $30-$200; a wide selection of matted prints - 8x10” ($10), 11x14” ($20) and 16x20” ($30).
Roger's story echoes many other artists -- starting as a kid with a Kodak Brownie camera; graduating to more serious photography with a 35mm SLR film camera in the 1970s and learning about photography as an art form.
"I'm an electronics and software engineer. I started learning electronics at age 11, fixing radios and TVs. I was soon building electronic kits and designing my own circuits. At age 15, I began programming computers. And that has remained my interest to this day. I work in Mesa, for Telonics, Inc., a company that makes radio tracking collars for wildlife."
"The technical side of photography has always intrigued me; but I also had in mind the beautiful pictures I had seen taken by others, and wanted to be able to replicate those in my own way. But, with the cost and complexity of processing film and making prints, my dedication eventually waned; a 35mm point-and-shoot became my camera-of-choice for those occasions that simply needed a quick picture -- my SLR sat mostly unused for decades. Digital cameras rekindled my interest in photography. To see the results right away, to make small adjustments to make the pictures appear as I remember the scene actually looking; to upload the files and order prints -- ready for pick up the very next day -- and to post them to online web-based albums on Facebook and Picasa right away so that others may enjoy them too -- that makes photography such a wonderful experience!"
Email the artist at Roger.AzSunsets@gmail.com
Or browse galleries of his work
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. From May-through-August visitors are admitted from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and the Arboretum closes at 3:00 p.m. . New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit.
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