Photographer & Author: Francesco Stumpo
Camera:  Bell & Howell Auto 35/Reflex 35mm (Film)
Film: N/A
Processed: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and VSCO.

Date: June 11th, 2018

Photo Essay:
Colors of Arizona
Car bound adventure between Arizona’s iconic landscapes, from the Grand Canyon National Park to Phoenix, AZ.

One of the shortest roadtrips in my recent travels was a recent car-adventure that started in San Francisco, through Yosemite and Central California and ended up in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona.

While on the road, and leaving Las Vegas behind, through the Hoover Dam we made our way east to the Arizona Canyons. Through it all, I could not help to think of the typical “all American road trip” as it was fast-paced, packed with immediate gratification and no traffic on a Monday morning. Without many obstacles, we made it to South Rim of the Grand Canyon overlooking at the layered monument afloat of the Colorado River by noon, and we could not believe the beauty of it all. We were quick to park and start our hike along the valley, from Yaki Point all the way to the Desert View Watchtower.

If anything, these landscapes continuously reminded you of the passage of time, with the rock stratas and layers of nature one on top of another. Skies were particularly crips blue, providing a perfect contrast to the orange of the ground and rock walls; right there and there, this site appeared as something out of this world. “This National Park deserves all the notoriety it has” my friend Laura mentioned, as we remembered scenes from Thelma and Louise, the Acme Coyote running in the desert and some random stories from old western cowboy movies. We stayed until dusk, watch the star filled sky and heard some wild wolves in the distance that remind us it was time to hit the road again and say goodbye to this god like place.

“My favorite color… the seam of a desert horizon.” - Eileen R. Tabios

Next couple of days were spent driving south towards Phoenix, while stopping around Flagstaff and Sedona. As we were going through I often felt we were adding filters to our sun glasses, as the sun, the earth and the warmth of the place changed in tones and intensity. Like different types of cheeses or citruses, the Arizona landscape had all the color ranges from yellow to orange, all while clear skies in the background.


  1. Stop a local ranger and ask them about their favorite spot and why.
  2. Bring hiking shoes, a hat and flip flops for afterwards.
  3. While in Sedona, stop by Chapel of the Holy Cross.
  4. The Desert Botanical Garden outside PhoenixInternational Airport is a must.

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