After two weeks of incessant rain I am finally making the time to post some sunny photos - it seems the only antidote! Hare a few shots I took while in Phoenix in January for the World Photographic Cup awards. Most of my time was spent in the conference centre or hotel (that's my hotel room below), as I was only in the States for three nights before flying back home (extravagant I know, but some things just have to be celebrated). I did manage to squeeze in one sight-seeing trip, to the Desert Botanical Gardens. I should have taken a photo of the cab driver who took me there and back, as he was as much a part of the experience as all the gardens themselves. We covered all the big issues, including immigration and homosexuality and gun control, with all of his contributions shouted at full volume and with much wild gesturing. He was awesome. It was winter in the US, and still hotter than the summer I left behind in Wellington! I was at the gardens at high noon so the light was harsh and contrasty and I found myself gravitating towards close-ups and abstracts. The cacti were gorgeous and I can imagine they would have been even more beautiful at dusk. The gardens were dotted with art glass installations by Dale Chihuly; not to my taste but it they were very interesting nonetheless. Still, I think the award for High Art must go to the company selling "everlasting pieces of art" at the photographic expo that was part of the ImagingUSA conference. Why oh why have I not thought before of slicing my clients into segments??