• Sun, 07 Nov 2021 06:17:00 +0000

    Waiting for Fall to Fall

    Fall in Arizona can be both tantalizing and elusive. Take today, for example: While we've had a few cool days, and summer is definitely over, it's going to hit 90º in a few minutes — much hotter than many of us would like. Sure, our blood is thin, and we've staggered through the summer heatwave, but enough is enough, already!

    Everyone has their own special way of coping with the heat of summer. Some folks go to the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, while others prefer to join the horde of "Zonies" that invade the beaches of San Diego and Southern California every year. Some folks head for Flagstaff, and some leave the state entirely, most to cooler climes.

    Me? I left the country. And yes, with the pandemic in full swing world-wide, there were several more hoops to jump through, but going to London for a couple of weeks, snuggling under layers of blankets, wearing a jacket or a raincoat, and actually seeing water fall from the sky on multiple occasions (yes, I swear it's true!) can reset one's whole attitude towards the weather in particular and life in general.

    All that being said, there's nothing that signals the onset of fall in Arizona like seeing the splendor of the fall foliage as the leaves change color on the West Fork of Oak Creek. It's a destination for photographers from all over the world, with majestic red canyon walls, and maples, cottonwood, ash and oak creating explosions of color all in a cool fall setting combined with a lazy creek the wends its way slowly through this spectacular canyon.
    And yes, I just happen to have a few image I'd love to share. Hope you enjoy them!

  • Wed, 22 Sep 2021 23:29:00 +0000

    London Bridge Isn't Falling Down
    Well, actually, that bridge isn't even in London, it was auctioned off and moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona in 1968, where it is to this day. I have it on good authority that the bridge is doing fine in it's new home, but since Lake Havasu City isn't famous for it's fish and chips, I decided to go to the original location of the bridge, the city of London itself.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a few more hoops to jump through to get there, but it's well worth the effort. London is an exciting and vibrant metropolis with oodles of history and tradition, much like the Big Apple. I spent ten days there recently, and came away with over 3,000 images, from Chinatown to the Regents Canal and Canary Wharf to Piccadilly Circus. Getting around London is a breeze, So if you want to go to the British Museum, Kew Gardens, The V & A, or wherever, the tube is often the fastest and easiest way to get there. add rail, bus, cycling, train, and water transport, and you have a virtual magic carpet that will get you from one end of London Town to the other, and far beyond – even Paris!

    Here ar a few of the shots I recorded on this last trip. For more, please visit my other website at 

  • Fri, 09 Jul 2021 18:19:00 +0000

    What's So Special About Shawmut?

     Shawmut: no, not a literary Irish mongrel, but rather a mostly forgotten whistle stop near Gila Bend, Arizona, where pusher locomotives used to help freight trains ascend the Maricopa Grade out of the Gila River Valley. Sadly, however, with the advent of much more powerful diesel locomotives, the steam powered pushers became obsolete, and so the little community of Shawmut slowly sank into oblivion. 

    Apart from its historical interest, this spot has some other major advantages going for it. It's very secluded, plenty dark, and Tucson is so far away that the light pollution isn't much of a factor, if you happen to head out that way during the new moon and point your camera and tripod south to get some shots of the Milky Way in the summer season. 

    The first time I visited Shawmut I was hard at work positioning and adjusting my camera to take advantage of the magnificent and silent setting, when I began to hear a low hum off in the distance. It slowly increased until I saw a blinding flash of light and as the sound rose to a roar, the ground began to shake! Suddenly, a massive, roaring presence engulfed me as the huge engines followed by what seemed like an endless stream of double decker freight cars thundered past in a cacophony of noise, light and vibration. 

    As you can imagine, the experience was intoxicating, and I have gone back several times, mesmerized by the amazing roar and presence of these massive behemoths that thunder past on their way to distant destinations. And yeah, I got some great images of the trains, if not the Milky Way.

  • Tue, 06 Jul 2021 23:33:00 +0000

    One Evening in Paris

     I grew up in Hong Kong, and it was a wonderful and fascinating experience. Hong Kong truly is an international crossroads, with people from across the globe. In addition to being exposed to a myriad of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds, I had the good fortune of attending The Peak School, where we started learning French and Latin in 4th grade. The seed was planted, and my love for England and France grew and as a result, I have made my way many times across the pond to visit those places I imagined in my childhood.

     Paris, also, is a is a beautiful and fascinating city. As a result of my early exposure, I speak the language well enough to get along and I'm comfortable in every part of the city. I know Paris pretty well, and love the Metro for getting around. It's the number one tourist destination in the world, and for good reason. It is steeped in cultural heritage, has some of the best museums in the world, great ambiance, stunning architecture; even the graveyards are amazingly beautiful!

     Here is an image from a recent visit: it's the Cafe Palais Royal, catty-corner from the Louvre Museum in the 1st Arrondissement, as friends chat and lovers cuddle late into the wee hours of the night. After all, c'est Paris, n'est ce pas?

  • Sat, 14 Mar 2020 21:47:00 +0000

    We're Ready When You Are!

    When you're tired of looking at this:

    Kirkland Bath Tissue,
    6 Rolls, 425 Sheets per roll, 2 ply, 3187 Sq. Ft, 4.5" x 4.0," Septic Safe

    We have some real artwork to show you:

    Bartlett Lake Wake,
    by Julie Gilbert Pollard, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30"

    Hey, we get it. Everyone is stressed, and rightfully so. This next period of time is going to be challenging for all of us. So wash your hands, get plenty of sleep, stay away from big crowds. Do all the things to keep you and your families safe and sound. Maybe you had to cancel a trip, but here's a tip: looking at great artwork can reduce your stress levels, like this beautiful image of Bartlett Lake by Julie Gilbert Pollard. Lowering your blood pressure and your stress is great for your immune system. We are a small local veteran-owned business, and honestly, we depend on your continued patronage to keep our doors open and pay our staff, who have served this valley faithfully for over thirty years. We'll get through this, together. We're ready when you are. Come see us. Peace out! Pat, Robert, Ron, Rosie, and Stella.

  • Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:01:00 +0000

    Ever Wonder What Goes on in the Back Room?

    Chances are, that if you bring in some artwork to be framed at Esprit Decor Gallery, you will be greeted by Robert Hilton, our amiable and hard-working Gallery Director, who helps guide our clients thru the myriad decisions that are a natural part of having a piece of artwork framed.

    It's much less challenging than it would seem, what with thousands of frame samples, hundreds of mats, filets, fabric and glazing options to choose from, but Robert's superb eye for great design, his ability to listen to our client's needs and desires, and his friendly manner put everyone at ease, as he deftly guides them through the framing solution process, ensuring that the finished product will be a treasured addition to your home!

    After the order is finalized, an incredibly complex choreography begins. The due-date of the artwork is recorded and added to the schedule. The artwork is safely tucked away in one of over twenty different locations depending on its state, size, type, and condition. Special instructions are included and double-checked, materials are sourced, stock is verified. Orders are placed, most often from multiple vendors. The wheels begin to turn as the orders are filled at suppliers' warehouses, both near and far. Messages go back and forth noting exceptions that must then be addressed. Is the item out of stock? When will it be back in stock? Can we wait, or do we get it from an alternate vendor, and is one available? What's our deadline? What is our deadline?

    Now multiply this recipe a hundred times, have it all happen simultaneously, and you begin to understand the choreography that goes on behind the scenes as each order is shepherded through the actual framing process, which has yet to begin.

    Once all the materials have arrived and been checked in and inspected (sometimes a mat will have a flaw, or moulding will be warped, or have imperfections, which will trigger a flurry of other actions) the framing process can begin. First, an entirely new set of measurements is taken, down to 1/16th of an inch. Special instructions are noted which might change the process entirely.

    Moulding is cut on a custom double-miter picture framing saw using special carbide-tipped blades to ensure a perfect cut, at the perfect angle.  After the cuts and moulding are re-inspected, the frame is glued using special PVA glue and joined on a pneumatic-powered underpinner, which leaves no marks or nail holes on the sides of the moulding.

    Meanwhile, museum-grade archival mats are cut on a computer-controlled mat cutter to a precision of one-thousandth of an inch. The artwork is then either mounted using heat and vacuum in an oversized vacuum press, archivally hinged, stitched or pinned using stainless-steel pins, special mounts are fabricated – each technique selected for the hundreds of different types of images and objects that pass through our workroom in any given month.

    One of nine different types of glazing material (all with an ultra-violet blocking component) is cut for the artwork (clear UV blocking, reflection control, different types of plexiglass, and yes, museum glass) and matched up to the matted artwork. Sometimes hand-made spacers are prepared to separate the artwork from the glazing.

    Finally, the components are lovingly assembled, the back of the frame is closed up, backing paper applied, hanging hardware, plastic coated wire and protective felt discs are added, and our gallery sticker is put on the back of the dust cover. The finished frame is put inside a protective bag and carefully stored on fabric-lined shelving, separated by individual dividers. The work order status is updated, and an email goes out, followed by a phone call to let you know that your piece is ready to go.

  • Fri, 19 Jul 2019 04:20:00 +0000

    Summer Is All About...Museums?
    One of my kid's fondest memories, and a standing family joke, is all the museums I dragged them through. Even when they grew up and we got to travel together, no vacation was complete without a visit to the Louvre, the Prado, the De Young, the Met; honestly, I could go on and on. 
    Eventually, however, the tables turned. My son Nate and I did Italy. His fave? The Galileo Museum in Florence...and it was his idea! My daughter Angela texted me about a major Hockney retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and of course, I couldn't resist. Elitist? Maybe, but you could do a lot worse. At least it's not Nickelback.
    One of the most amazing things I got to see on a visit to Getty in Los Angeles some time ago was the stunning painting of Irises, by Vincent Van Gogh. The color, luminosity, and composition almost allowed the long-passed master to reach out through the canvas, across the centuries and grab me by the heart, to demonstrate the magnificence and power of his vision.
    So here's a small suggestion: It's summer; take a vacation. You deserve one. And take your kids, they deserve some of your time. Visit a museum together, you might be surprised at your kids' taste, and that they have opinions! It's safe, and after all, it's not politics. 
    Museums are a vast storehouse of our humanity. They are a secret passageway, a wormhole, if you will, to a past we can only imagine, with the help of their treasures. One through which we can learn much about ourselves, and perhaps rediscover, and share, our own humanity.

    An image of Irises by Vincent Van Gogh
    Irises – by Vincent Van Gogh, Saint-Remy, France, 1889.
  • Fri, 24 May 2019 21:32:00 +0000

    Angelic Relief
    When you think of custom framing, most people think of oils, watercolors, prints and the like.  True enough, but at Esprit Decor Gallery, we are often asked to frame dimensional objects: rugs, sports jerseys, military medals, pistols, swords, tickets, and other decorative memorabilia.

    Here's a case in point. A client brought in an alabaster angel musician that had languished outdoors for a number of years, and upon consideration, she decided to bring it indoors, spruce it up a bit and hang it in a place of honor indoors.

    In consultation with Robert, our Gallery Director, she chose a lovely heliotrope ribbed fabric for the angel to float on, complemented by a tasteful and understated dark burgundy oval frame.

    Dare I say that it turned out heavenly? You be the judge:

  • Sun, 05 May 2019 03:10:00 +0000

    Manly Pier
    This is an image from my recent trip to Sydney. What an amazing place! Their rapid transit system is unified and consists of light rail, trains, busses and ferries. You purchase an Opal card that works on everything, and “top it up” as you go, so getting around the city is a breeze. A short half-hour ferry ride from Circular Quay next to the Sydney Opera House brings you to Manly Wharf on the North side of the harbor. This is an image of the wharf, processed as a watercolor. It printed up beautifully, and I laminated it rather than putting glass in front of it. I added a simple charcoal wire brushed frame to work with the weathered elements of the pier, and ended up taking it home, to remind me of all the fun I had on the trip. More images to come. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

    Manly Pier, NSW Australia
  • Thu, 04 Apr 2019 20:31:00 +0000

    A Close Call in Paris
    One evening in Paris, I found myself staring transfixed at the full moon and the Eiffel tower. The Iron lady, or "La Dame de Fer" as she is affectionately known across the pond, is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Would it even possible to get a unique and creative shot? 

    As the full moon rose and sailed silently above the dome of Les Invalides to the east, I could see that its trajectory would take it across the tower itself, but where? Would the combination of moon and tower be compelling? Where was the shot? The clock was ticking...
    Soon it became obvious that the moon would pass right through the opening between the first and second floors of the tower. Awesome, except for one small problem: the only place to get that shot would be standing in the middle of the street on the Pont d'Iéna which connects the Trocadero to the Champs du Mars – in rush hour traffic.
    Go or no go? Here's the answer:

  • Tue, 12 Mar 2019 05:46:00 +0000

    Standing on A Corner in Winslow, Arizona...
    If you have ever found yourself "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," then you'd be just a hop, skip and a jump away from the subject of today's post, which is La Posada, one of the most important buildings of 20th-century American architecture. It was a Harvey House, designed by the legendary Mary Colter, and restored by Architect Allan Affeldt and his wife, Tina Mion, working in concert with Marie LaMar of the Winslow Historical Society and Janice Griffith of the Old Trails Museum. Together, along with the cooperation of the City of Winslow, They saved La Posada and made it a living museum for the world to enjoy!

  • Wed, 06 Mar 2019 18:47:00 +0000

    Ten Little Indians
    Dorothea Lange, one of my favorite photographers, once famously said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." How true! Photographers are trained to notice details that others might overlook. In the same way a musician's ear hears sound differently than most of us, so too, a photographer looks at the world consciously in terms of light, contrast, composition, tone, rhythm and detail in a way that most of us look at automatically and sometimes unconsciously. Here's a case in point: in the image below, which was taken at the Tres Rios Wetlands (the confluence of Salt, Agua Fria, and Gila Rivers in Maricopa County Arizona) the casual observer might see six or seven great blue herons standing in their nests. A trained photographer would see all ten! Can YOU pick them all out? Good luck!

    Great blue herons nesting in a cottonwood tree at the Tres Rios Wetland in Maricopa County, Arizona.
  • Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:41:00 +0000

    One of my Side Hustles
    By now, most of the people around me know that I'm passionate about photography. There's always new stuff to learn, new places to photograph, and new ways to do it, not to mention all the new gear and software coming out on a daily basis. Sometime it seems to be a never ending stream of learning curves, trial and error, adjustments and the like that keep photographers on their toes, and keep our avocation fresh. My primary focus has always been travel and landscape photography. I love to go, and pretty much anywhere. See new places, meet new people, share adventures and discoveries. However, practical matters like running a small business for the last thirty years have made the vagabond life impractical. There's a lot of logistical work involved in going half way 'round the world, and fortunately I have an amazing crew who covers for me and makes it possible for me to indulge my passion. For the last several years, I've been working with Interior designers and real estate companies doing architectural and interior photography. It's a whole different discipline, choosing angles, creating and telling stories through sequential images, blending daylight, incandescent, fluorescent and now LED light sources to achieve a harmonious balance, bracketing exposures and making HDR composites, focus stacking and lots more. The bottom line? It's actually made me a better landscape photographer.
  • Fri, 07 Oct 2016 20:56:00 +0000

    Opera Garnier – Photography by Pat Kofahl
    Opera Garnier - Paris by Pat Kofahl on

    Opera Garnier is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Hyperbole, perhaps, but spectacular, nonetheless. It is the inspiration for one of the most famous contemporary operas, Phantom, by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Which is based on the Novel by Gaston Leroux, published in 1910.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sun, 02 Oct 2016 17:17:00 +0000

    Heatwave – Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Heatwave by Pat Kofahl on

    Vertical view of Upper Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona. Light cascades down from above, illuminating the Navajo Sandstone formations carved out by thousands of years of water action, creating graceful and dreamlike forms. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:45:00 +0000

    Misty Morning at Manorhamilton – Pat Kofahl

    Misty Morning at Manorhamilton by Pat Kofahl on

    On a cycling trip to Northern Ireland recently, one of our stops was the tiny village of Manorhamilton, in North County Leitrim, with a bustling population of 1500 souls or so, and all the charm and friendliness one comes to expect from the Irish people. While touring by bike provides some challenges to the photographer, It allows a perspective and immersion that is much more intimate and personal. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sun, 22 May 2016 20:58:00 +0000

    Sahara – Photography by Pat Kofahl
    Sahara 614 by Pat Kofahl on
    Taken last week on our camel excursion into the Sahara desert at Erg Chebbi, near Merzouga, Morocco. These are the some of the highest dunes in the entire Sahara, some reaching over 120 meters in height. The wind, which can often exceed 180 kph can completely reshape the terrain, and so a particular "view" can vanish virtually overnight. Chances are that this particular configuration doesn't even exist anymore.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:22:00 +0000

    Clearing Storm - Sedona. Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Clearing Storm - Sedona, Arizona by Pat Kofahl on

    Late afternoon sunlight breaks through a clearing storm in Sedona, Arizona. This view is from the Airport looking North.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:38:00 +0000

    Dust Storm – Monument Valley – Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Dust Storm – Mitten Butes by Pat Kofahl on

    Arizona is actually pretty famous for dust storms. We even borrowed the Arab term "haboob," because they're so similar to what's often seen in the Saharan and Arabian desert. Triggered by monsoon thunderstorms, these massive walls of dust often reach heights of 10,000 feet, engulfing and obscuring everything in their path. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:19:00 +0000

    Palazzo Publico & Torre del Mangia – Siena by Pat Kofahl

    Palazzo Publico – Siena by Pat Kofahl on

    The outside of the structure is an example of Italian medieval architecture with Gothic influences. The lower story is stone; the upper crenelatted stories are made of brick. The facade of the palace is curved slightly inwards (concave) to reflect the outwards curve (convex) of the Piazza del Campo, Siena's central square of which the Palace is the focal point. The campanile or bell tower, Torre del Mangia, was built between 1325 and 1344. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Mon, 02 Nov 2015 04:16:00 +0000

    Clouds – Monument Valley – by Pat Kofahl

    Clouds – Monument Valley by Pat Kofahl on

    The view from Hunts Mesa is the quintessential vision of the West: vistas as far as the eye can see, human habitation almost an afterthought, and dwarfed by the enormity of the landscape. Arroyos, canyons, mesas, draws, washes, tanks. A place so alien that it even requires its own language to describe it. A land with its own rules and laws, completely impersonal, and universally enforced, without rancor or a second thought.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:26:00 +0000

    Silent Sunrise – Grand Canyon by Pat Kofahl

    Silent Sunrise – Grand Canyon by Pat Kofahl on

    A bitterly cold winter morning, but with amazing visibility. The crunch of snow as your boots sink into the new fallen snow while you search for the perfect perspective, the perfect frame. The legs of the tripod disappear into the blanket of white. Steam pours out of your mouth and nose as you fumble with the tripod and the controls of your camera. you check your settings and composition – all good to go. Finally, you smile as you lift the cable release and prepare to squeeze – gently, silently, almost reverently, because you know that there's no place on earth you'd rather be. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Wed, 28 Oct 2015 05:16:00 +0000

    Snowfall at Sunrise – Watson Lake by Pat Kofahl

    Snowfall at Sunrise – Watson Lake by Pat Kofahl on

    Ask most people what they think of when you say the word "Arizona," and chances are you'll hear the words "cactus," "desert," "dry," or "flat," yet, behind these red rocks that surround Watson Lake in Prescott stands Humphreys Peak, towering 12,637 ft. (3852m). With 194 named mountain ranges, the state is hardly flat. In addition to the sub-arctic tundra found on the San Francisco peaks, The state also has more deserts than any other: Sonoran, Mojave, Painted and Chihuahuan. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:08:00 +0000

    Clearing Storm – Cimarron Ridge, Colorado by Pat Kofahl

    Clearing Storm – Cimarron Ridge by Pat Kofahl on

    Here near Cimarron ridge in the high country of Colorado, Mother Nature shows off her fall colors, which can easily be swept away at moment's notice by an early winter storm, high winds or hail. I's truly a precious window to catch early morning light as a storm clears and the colors seem to dance across the landscape.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:16:00 +0000

    First Snowfall at Owl Creek – Photography by Pat Kofahl

    First Snowfall at Owl Creek, Colorado by Pat Kofahl on

    First snowfall in the high country of Colorado heralds the coming of winter as the blanket of gold inevitably changes to white. The annual cycle turns toward completion, somnolence and slumber, but deep inside is buried the promise of spring and rebirth. And so the wheel turns...This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!

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