Friday, November 26, 2010

Scenes from Sedona

On my most recent road trip to Arizona several weeks ago I went to Sedona to visit this exceptionally beautiful region. My regret is that I was only spent one day there. I had to drive about 90 miles north to get there and, and left before I really had a chance to explore and see it well. On my next trip to Arizona I plan on spending several days in Sedona to better explore and photograph the area.

Bell Rock,  Sedona AZ
As a photographer you want to be there at first light to get that beautiful soft light of that golden hour. Unfortunately with having to drive a great distance from my base, and traveling with non-photographers who would not want to get up at 4:30 am to drive there before sunrise, I arrived like most other tourists in the late morning when it was already crowded. 
Red Sandstone Rock Formation, Sedona, AZ
So I had to crawl through the bumper to bumper traffic to get around the area and see the main attractions and sights. During the time I was there the light was extremely bright, but you just have to deal with it and try and do the best you can with the very limited time you have. 
Rock Formations and Clouds, Sedona, AZ.
I love Black and White photography and have started converting some of the shots I took on this trip to B&W. Luckily the light was very bright but not to harsh and I had great clouds to add texture and depth to the beautiful blue skies. Many of those shots look better after being converted.

A View of the Valley Below
 If you are planning a trip to Arizona, I highly recommend spending at least a couple days here. The beauty of the landscape is just amazing. I will be back to more throughly explore and photograph the landscape in Sedona.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photographs From The Road

Hwy. 88 in the Superstition Mountains
 Recently I went on an 18 day road trip to Arizona and Utah. I had intended to post photos and information on my blog every few days as the trip progressed. I drove about 5000 miles in that time through 8 different  states. I was trying to squeeze what should have been a 3 month trip into that small window of time that I actually had. The good thing about a trip like this is you get to see a lot of scenery and visit many interesting places. The downside is that you do not have the time at any place to really stay and explore it totally. When I visit somewhere new I would much prefer to have more time to throughly explore and learn all that I can and photograph the location.

A bridge on Hwy. 88 climbing into the mountains

With all the places I wanted to visit on this trip, and so little time to do it, I did a lot of driving and quick visits to many locations. I took more photos on this trip that I care to reveal because many people would laugh and tell me I am crazy unless they were a serious photographer. I did some wildlife photography, but the vast majority of my photos on this trip were shots of the amazing landscapes. Although I shoot digital, and always in color, I love to convert manyof the southwest landscape scenes to Black and White.

Abandon Building Outside Roswell New Mexico

I was driving into Roswell New Mexico when I noticed this abandon building sitting alone in he middle of no where. There were no signs to indicate what it may have once been. I stopped and photographed it from several angles and bracketed some exposures for an attempt to do an HDR image. My problem was it was in the middle of the day and the sunlight was extremely bright with not a cloud in the sky. When I was looking at the images, I was not real happy with them. Plain and boring to me. Then I tried the conversion to B&W but was not happy with the plain sky. In a stroke of creativity I darkened the blue and cyan channels to create this totally black looking sky. With some further tweaking in the various color channels, it now appears that it was taken at night with a bright moon light. A good Photoshop save of an otherwise drab photograph. No idea what happened here, but I think the aliens from nearby Area 51 may have been involved.