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Sedona


Well I finally got through editing my pictures from Sedona, AZ! I took a little trip there a couple weeks back and it was really awesome! The trip was just 4 days including travel time, so I only had 3 sunsets to work with, but it turned out great anyway. I'm pretty pleased with the results (especially considering the strong winds I had to contend with). Below are the results along with some notes and experiences in getting the shots.




The sunset of the first day was the only day we had clouds - thanks to the strong winds I would guess. I had just arrived in Sedona a few hours before sunset so I wasn't able to get to any prime spots, but I did manage to snap a few shots from outside my hotel and at the Coconino National Forest Visitor Center. I used my 70-200mm to crop out the surrounding buildings and trees so I could focus on the red rock at sunset.






The next day my brother and I drove north a little bit into Oak Creek Canyon to see what kind of fall color was available. There was definitely a lot more color than south of Sedona, or near my home in Southern California for that matter, but it was no East Coast display. I really enjoyed the backlighting of the sun on the yellow and green leaves and tried to take advantage of that. Oak Creek proved to be a great subject. I hadn't photographed any creeks in awhile - been mostly beaches for awhile - so it was real nice to do that again. My Singh-Ray warming circular polarizer was on my lens most of the time.



I went to a scenic spot near my hotel for sunset later that day. Yeah, it was touristy, but it served up some great shots of Courthouse Butte at sunset. This little sunset sesh destroyed my neck for some reason. I was in excruciating pain for the rest of the night. Still worth it, though.






My brother, my dad and I went to the Palatki ruins the next day to check out the old dwellings and petroglyphs. I was pleasantly surprised by this place. I was a little put off at first because the ruins and petroglyphs were heavily protected by ropes and rangers, so I didn't have all the freedom I would have liked. I guess that's the price we all have to pay for jackasses that decide to add their own "petroglyphs" and think it's fun to destroy historical landmarks. But after hearing all the enlightening data the rangers had on these ruins and petroglyphs, I was really glad they were there. Some of the information they offered regarding the petroglyphs was intensely interesting. It really made me appreciate what I was looking at.


The petroglyphs pictured above are estimated to be over 10,000 years old!



After Palatki, we headed over to Red Rock Crossing to photograph Cathedral Rock over Oak Creek. Yeah, this is easily the most photographed scene in all of Sedona, but I still had to check it out. This place was a lot of fun. I took off my boots, rolled up my jeans and spent most of the time photographing knee-deep in Oak Creek. The water was freezing and I really had to fight to keep my balance on the slippery bottom, but it made for a little more unique shots. My Gitzo tripod held up like a champ in these conditions, too. I would have really liked to have had my photo vest and I wished I had worn convertible pants, but live and learn.

On a side note: We rented a Nissan Xterra for the trip and I am officially back in love with that car. I wanted one for awhile and changed my mind to a Subaru for the better mileage, but I don't care anymore. That Xterra was way too sweet. I can't wait until I can afford one...

Sedona Teaser

Cathedral Rocks over Oak Creek

Took a little 4-day trip to Sedona over the weekend with my dad and brother. Sedona is gorgeous. I think it'd be even more beautiful without all the human development, but the red rock formations, ancient petroglyphs and Indian dwelling ruins still made for amazing photo subjects. I'll be a doing a full-length post with all sorts of details and tidbits about my trip, but I wanted to post one picture up partly as a little teaser but mostly because it's been way too long since I've posted anything on my blog.

Enjoy and keep an eye out for the next Sedona post!

Bodie Ghost Town


I took a little day trip to Bodie State Park with my brother and his fiance to get some portraits about a week ago. I needed to blog about it because this place is insane with awesomeness. Seriously, it's out of control. There is no other place like it on the planet. It's a ghost town. But not like one of those Knott's Berry Farm going panning for fake gold after eating your funnel cake type of ghost towns - this place is legit. It's tucked away in these gorgeous rolling hills right near the just as insanely gorgeous Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's not restored, it doesn't have any novelty gift shops, there are zero modern structures (except the bathrooms) and no paved roads. It's in a state of "arrested decay." Think "There Will be Blood" frozen in time. There's a crazy-looking church, houses, a mill, a saloon - utter craziness. Check out Bodie.com for more information.


So anyway. We went there to get some engagement shots for my bro's wedding coming up in November. Now the thing about my brother and his fiance, they're olde tyme (that's "old time-ee"). In fact, as my brother has so accurately put it, Carver's are built to be olde tyme. Now when I say olde tyme, I don't mean we won't use cell phones or we think camera's steal your soul. We just appreciate the music and the culture of the late 19th century to early 20th century. And let's just say I look smashing in newsie's hat. Hell, my dad can play the banjo like nobody's business! So basically, this was the perfect backdrop for this couple.

I think the pictures turned out pretty great and my bro and his fiance were stoked with them (which is the most important part). Plus, I got an unexpected benefit from this trip. We drove through Bishop (Galen Rowell's stomping ground) and right past Mono Lake on the way to Bodie. I'd never been in this area before. I'd been to Lone Pine to the south and I've backpacked through the Eastern Sierras, but nothing beyond that. I am so glad I drove through Bishop and around Mono Lake that day. I was having eyegasms left and right. I couldn't get over how beautiful it was up there. The scenery is unbelievable. It really rekindled my fire to take a photo trip. I can't wait to go back to Bishop for a few days to shoot Mono Lake, Yosemite and Bodie. Just goes to show how beneficial scouting can be!

Enjoy the pics!