Opening to the Sky – Studying Light and Shadow

Opening to the Sky

Opening to the Sky © 2011 Bo Mackison

I love Arizona.

I can almost always count on blue skies and sunshine. I just did some research and discovered that Tucson has 350 days of sunshine per year. In comparison, Madison, Wisconsin has 89 really sunny days and 96 partly sunny days (approximately half the sky or less is cloudy) for a total of 185 sunny days.  I knew there was a difference, just didn’t know there was THAT much difference.

With this in mind–all these sunny day opportunities–I have been doing a lot of light/shadow studies with my camera. Lots of exploration, comparing light sources at different times of the day. I’m having more fun than anything, not really keeping too many of the photographs. And it provides a great reason to be outside in the sun instead of working inside.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  She is living in Tucson for two months – exhibiting her photography in art shows, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art fairs, and living life “solo”. Oh, she is also having lots of fun in the sun.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    Wow, Bo. Does Tucson have enough rainfall during the remaining 15 days of each year to supply enough water? That’s a lot of sunny days!

    I checked my area after reading this, and found that we have an average of 287 sunny days per year. Being a sub-tropical area, we have plenty of rain, usually duing the summer.

    I’m pleased to hear that Tucson is keeping up her averages of sunny days for you while you’re there. You won’t want to leave! 😉

    • Bo Mackison says:

      No. I will want to leave. While I love the landscape of Arizona, I don’t think I would tolerate the severe heat that comes in July and August – 120˚F is not uncommon. I think I may have turned into a snowbird–something I never thought I would say.

  2. This time of year those sunny days are wonderful (we could use a few more right now), but come July and August in Arizona, be careful what you wish for!

  3. Very interesting contrast in sun. I would have expected a differential, but that is an amazing disparity.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It is rather mind boggling, isn’t it, Gandalf? Now I know why it seemed I noticed so many gray days — it’s because over half of the the days in a year ARE gray!

  4. QuinnCreative says:

    We treasure our overcast days–like the Northerners do their sunny days. We talk about all the work we get done when it is overcast. I guess each group adapts to what it encounters. In about a month, we’ll have the first 100-degree day. Sigh. Then we head into estevation–the summer equivalent of hibernation.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Sigh, for sure. I don’t know how you manage through the hottest days. But your winters are very lovely, indeed.

  5. Sunshine brings creativity to your soul, lightness to your feet and happiness to your heart. Enjoy this moment in time, Bo. We, as your audience, certainly are!

  6. Bo, your lessons learned through your photography & your thoughts, are precious. Thank you so much for sharing them.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Wendy. It’s not often one can step away from their day-to-day life, and experience everything anew. I am very grateful for this time.

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