Papago Park is a well known place in Tempe that people go to hike, bike, and sight see.  It’s also very popular with Photographers because of the scenic backdrop and beautiful sunsets.  I have been here 3 times so far.  Below are 1-2 posts from each of those.  Gives you a good idea of the different looks and types of images you can take here.

EOS 70D, ISO 320, F/2.5, 1/2500


I did hike up on the rocks for this one. I wore hiking boots with this dress- quite the fashion statement I must say.  The sun was directly in my face so I was squinting slightly (and I look so serious).  There is a shadow on the side of my nose. Other than this, I think the lighting was okay.


EOS 70D, ISO 2000, F3.2, 1/4


On this image, the sun was nearly set.  I had a pretty high ISO, but my shutter speed was really low. I’m surprised there wasn’t more blur on this photo. Next time, I will need to increase the ISO even more. With more expensive lenses, you could open the aperture to F1.2 on a 50 mm lens or a F1.8 on an 85 mm.   This lets more light in which results in a faster shutter speed. The shutter speed is the amount of time that the aperture opens and closes.

When your aperture is smaller (higher F number), it lets less light in and so the shutter speed has to compensate. And in my case- it was much slower to let more light in to accurately expose the image.


EOS 70D, ISO 320, F/8 1/1250


A very different type of photo that I’ve taken. I thought, hey why not?  The rock was super uncomfortable but this was breaking out of my comfort zone.  There were some hikers and MTB’s passing me by so I had to just keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter what people think.  🙂    So far one of my go to outfits is black.  This color is easy to put together and I think it works well in the outdoors.


Three different types of photos in one location.  I hope this post gave you a better idea of the types of images you can take here.  The possibilities are endless. Overall, I had a difficult time with getting the correct color for my skin tone.  It seems like it took on some of the orange from the rocks.

This is a beautiful place and for now it’s free. I definitely recommend Papago as one of your go to places for pictures. Afterwards, you can head down to Mill Avenue or Tempe Marketplace for a nice meal.


Do you have experience with taking photographs at Papago?  Would love to hear your experience. Thanks for reading- and Have an Amazing Day!!

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