During the Summer months here in the Sonoran dessert going out to photograph means a bit of extra planning. Since I camp out my SUV some areas that I visit and hike often with cooler temps can be dangerous when the heat is on. My trips are limited a bit but I still want to keep practicing my photography so I'll often head to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.
I'll get there early to catch the muted light and cooler temps. I'll wander around in search of intimate landscapes and hidden pockets of light. I'll give myself some sort of homework assignment, like symmetry or depth of field exercises. I'll practice abstracts, macros and test out camera settings and experiment with lenses. Great thing about shooting in this urban paradise is that at any time I can go sit in the restaurant and have a cold drink and read a photography magazine to cool down. Then head back out.
Even as the temps climb, it's fairly easy to find running sprinklers to stand in or a fountain to dip my baseball cap in. I'll take my treasures home and then continue practice and studies in post-processing. What I love about the botanical images is that they lend themselves well to abstracts and creative interpretation.