"Visions of Arizona"
Shows Just How Far Some People
To Get That Perfect Picture
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
Fortunately, if the beholder also happens to be a great photographer,
others are privileged to share that beauty. Visions of Arizona, features
three master photographers Adriel Heisey, Jerry Jacka, Barry
Goldwater who have spent their lives exploring the state's natural
beauty, its rich cultural history and its native peoples. Each
man chose a different path, but they all had a dream a vision
The magazine-style program opens from Adriel
Heisey's perspective. Strapped into an ultralight aircraft he
built himself, he photographs remote landscapes of remarkable
complexity and beauty.
"How I see the Earth while I pilot my
plane is unlike any other kind of experience," he says. "I'm
fascinated by how the land develops elaborate patterns and forms
as a response to natural forces and elements."
KAET producer Don Hopfer wanted viewers to
share Heisey's experience. He planned to have a cameraman fly
with Heisey but the extra weight was a problem. So they mounted
a tiny digital camera on the plane and moved it around to get
"Besides the flying, it was a challenge
to find the right way to present Heisey's photos on television,"
says Hopfer. "I never use the word 'unique' in a script,
but his work truly is exceptional. People have never been able
to see the landscape from this perspective."
Back on the ground, the program shifts to
the camera artistry of Jerry Jacka who, as a teenager, dreamed
of having just one of his pictures published in Arizona Highways.
Over 30 years, the magazine has published more than 1,500 of Jacka's
photographs and devoted five full issues to his work. In this
segment, a KAET camera crew follows Jacka to some of his favorite
places in northern Arizona to learn how he works and what inspires
"When I look at a landscape, the camera
becomes my easel," he says. "I may set it up, I may
walk a mile and never take a photograph, but when I find the right
spot and the right composition ... hopefully, I've painted that
picture on film."
In nearly a half-century of photography, Jacka
has created more than 50,000 images, giving the rest of the world
a glimpse of Arizona's scenic beauty and rich native cultures.
"Arizona is so diverse, there's something for everyone,"
he says. "And for a photographer, there's everything."
Barry Goldwater was a world-famous political
leader and statesman. In this segment of the program, viewers
learn about the man behind the camera and how his passion for
photography and Arizona shaped his life.
"When we were kids, my mother would pack
up the car and take us camping in the desert," Goldwater
said. "She took me for my first visit to an Indian reservation.
And there was always a camera around to record those family outings."
What began as a hobby became a pictorial legacy.
The photographs Barry Goldwater took in the 1930s and 1940s are
images of a young Arizona and a way of life that has all but disappeared
with the passage of years.
"I crossed this state by airplane, on
horseback and on foot taking pictures of the land and the people,"
Goldwater said. "I wanted everyone to know what Arizona looked
Thanks to the adventurous spirit of these
three gifted photographers, television audiences can share views
of Arizona that most people never get to see.