Arizona has a long history, steeped in Native American settlements, wars, gold mining, the wild west and stunning geology. That all makes Arizona’s capital a pretty special place for photographers. But with so much to offer, it’s all about finding the right place.
Photographers are spoiled for choice in Phoenix, from the vast expanse of the Sonoran Desert, to the breathtaking mountain ranges of The Superstitions, to the faces and architecture of Phoenix itself.
The way I’m writing, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve been there – unfortunately not. Instead I’ve used our photography locations search enigne to find the most photogenic places, which hopefully should give you a good idea of what Phoenix has to offer.
Let us know your thoughts on the spots, and of course what we’ve missed.
Dobbin’s Point is the highest accessible peak of South Mountain Park. The park has a lot else to offer, but the views from the peak are stunning. The good news is it also has a decent road leading up to it, so no need haul your gear too far or risk hypothermia on an epic expedition.
The view at the peak covers downtown Phoenix, including the Airport and is a must if you’re visiting the city. The drive up is bound to have you pulling over and reaching for the camera, so make sure you factor that in when planning your journey.
If you’re into your action photography head over to Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They play host to other events as well as baseball, including monster trucks and motor cross. Check out their website for a full events listing.
Tempe Town Lake is a huge reservoir in Tempe, and you’ll get a great view if the Mill Avenue Bridge.
Camelback is the busiest and most crowded trails in Phoenix, but it does have some spectacular views. Head out early for sunrise if you want some unspoilt shots. If you visit be wary of the strict parking restrictions.
This is one for the flora fans. There’s a wide variety of desert plants and cacti, and a great abundance of wildlife. It’s also home to huge sandstone buttes that rival Sedona’s. We’ve added the Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo separately to this list although they’re part of the park, so be sure to pay them a visit if you’re visiting the park.
If you’re traveling with kids you could kill two birds with one stone at Goldfield Ghost Town. This former mining town turned tourist attraction has mock gun fights, and plenty of original buildings. Sure, it’s touristy and gimmicky, but you’re guaranteed some interesting subjects. There’s plenty of other ghost towns in Arizona, some which are largely untouched, check out our list for more: Ghost towns in Arizona
If Camelback is too touristy for you, try Phoenix’s second highest point; Piestewa Peak Park.
I always prefer shooting animals in the wild, but if you can’t afford the time zoo’s are the next best thing. Phoenix Zoo’s 125 acre grounds are home to hundreds of different species, who have lots of space to roam – great for the animals but you might need a telephoto lens and monopod.
If you like candid or architectural shots, the Victorian Heritage Square is the place to be. It’s home to refurbished British restaurants, shops and museums some of which date back to 1895.
Why not dust off the macro lens and head to the Garden, home to tons of desert plants and bugs. The trails are adorned with colourful Chihuly Art, which also make great subjects. If you can, hang around till sunset and you’ll get some great shots over the hill.
Built in the 20′s, the theatre is an architectural beauty, inside and out.