Florence artist Roger Degler became captivated by Arizona’s majestic sunsets four decades ago after moving to the Grand Canyon State; prior to that he’d lived in Missouri, Utah and Michigan. “In 2007 I moved to the Anthem community in Florence. Right from my backyard — and also driving to-and-from work each day I’d see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets across the desert. This led me to purchase my first digital camera – a pocket-sized point-and-shoot; I began literally pulling over to the roadside during my commutes to and from work, shooting pictures of the rising or setting sun out the car window. I was hooked — soon I was hiking into the desert every colorful evening for new sunset pictures.” Degler’s Sonoran sunsets and other desert scenes are featured during June-July at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, hosting a solo exhibition of the artist’s photography. Visitors and guests are invited to meet-the-artist at his gallery reception June 21.
“What I love most, and try to capture in my pictures, are the beautiful and daily artworks that God paints in our Arizona skies. Sunset photography has become a planned destination, instead of just incidental. Yes, I still pull over for a particularly opportune roadside snapshot – but each day I find myself keeping an eye on the sky, watching the cloud formations, paying attention to the wind direction — planning ahead, deciding where I can side-track during my evening commute; what time I’ll be able to get there to best take advantage of the surrounding landscape features and conditions above in the troposphere — for yet a new perspective on the setting sun. I plan special outings in order to get to places that I wouldn’t normally pass on my daily commute. I’m also photographing closeups of flowers — and desert landscapes, buildings — and rusted relics of vehicles abandoned to the ravages of the sun, wind, rain – rust and oxidation.”
Framed works in the exhibit range from $30-$200; a wide selection of matted prints – 8×10” ($10), 11×14” ($20) and 16×20” ($30). Roger’s story echoes many other artists — starting as a kid with a Kodak Brownie camera; graduating to more serious photography with a 35mm SLR film camera in the 1970s and learning about photography as an art form. “I’m an electronics and software engineer. I started learning electronics at age 11, fixing radios and TVs. I was soon building electronic kits and designing my own circuits. At age 15, I began programming computers. And that has remained my interest to this day. I work in Mesa, for Telonics, Inc., a company that makes radio tracking collars for wildlife.”