Sedona, Arizona is a popular tourist destination that is renown for its classic western scenery. The red rock buttes of Sedona have appeared in many western movies. This first series gives an overview of the typical terrain around Sedona. A broad hilly valley bordered by numerous buttes and cliffs. The spot for these shots is on the Brewer Trail just 1.5 mi. from downtown Sedona, very easy to get to. We are looking south past the side of the hill for the Airport Mesa Vortex, across the valley of Oak Creek, toward Twin Buttes.
Two cameras with four lenses were used. A Canon 50D with Sigma 10-20mm and Tamron 17-50mm plus a M4/3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Panasonic 12-32mm and Sigma 19mm prime. The focal length for the shot is usually noted. Both cameras use “crop” sensors, the figure in parenthesis is the full frame effective value for that shot. Post processing was done with the ACDSee Pro 9 program.
Click on any photo for a larger view, with slideshow for all of the images.
For this section we will look at the age old question of horizontal versus vertical frame. These were taken at various locations around Sedona.
Next we will have a look at another challenge in composition, juggling multiple objects. In this case a yellow field, plus fence, plus mill shed, plus big tree (on the left), plus Cathedral Rock. Both shots were taken with the Sigma 19mm (38).
Shadow Boxing: Next up deals with light, rather than the geometry of composition. On a day with patchy cloud cover your are left to try and catch sunny spots, as they come and go. This scene was taken from the Dry Creek Vista, located about 3.5 miles NW of downtown Sedona. The view is toward the NE, Capital Butte on the right, with the high Wilson Mountain (really a big mesa) off on the horizon. All 3 shots were taken with the 12-32 zoom. The first at 22mm (44), the other two at 27mm (54).
In #1 there is nice light on the right side of Capital Butte, but an awful lot of the rest of the scene is in shadow.
With #2 we finally get some light on the red rock feature in the middle, and a different pattern on Capital Butte.
#3 really lights up Capital Butte nicely. “Oh well” for the rest.
Now for a look at how much to offset the center of interest for a picture.
Next look will be at arranging foregrounds for depth. Not one of my strengths. The subject is Bell Rock. A rather small feature in the Sedona scheme of things. It’s located to the east of Cathedral Rock. The vantage point is an easy trail not too far from the Yavapai Vista trailhead. Note vortex cloud over Bell Rock (local joke).
Besides my nattering on about composition, I hope these photos convey my enthusiasm for the scenery of Sedona. It is unique within Arizona, if not the world. Now to close out with a few links that may be helpful –
|paper map for Sedona area (Amazon)|
|Larry Lindahl – Sedona photographer, author, guide|
|Forest Service site for the Wilderness reserves|