Saturday, January 12, 2019

And now...Sedona!



The weather was a bit dreary, and quite frankly,
more cloud cover than I would have liked for photography.


But ohhh...the colors of this desert oasis!


Our day began at the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park.
"A Stupa is one of the oldest forms of sacred architecture on earth, dating back to the time of the Buddha, 
26oo years ago."
They are quite rare here in the Western hemisphere 
and generally found in the East.
"A Stupa is considered to be the living presence of the Buddha 
and as such represents the Mind of Enlightenment...
Their sole purpose is to bring benefit for all living beings,
and the mystical accounts of the healing powers of stupas
are well documented."


Prayer flags were strung from the Stupa itself, 
to surrounding trees.


This statue of the Buddha sits on a low hill 
overlooking the Stupa.


I can't help but get "Red Rock Fever" whenever I'm in Sedona...
and even going through my photos!
Red Rock Fever is the feeling of wanting to drop everything
and move to Sedona!


Can you blame me?


We missed the cactus flowering season...
but what's left is certainly interesting!


The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of the most beautiful
and serene I've ever seen.  As you can see, it is quite small,
yet still magnificent...built in the buttes of Sedona.

Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a local Arizonan rancher and sculptor was inspired by the Empire State Building in 1932.
She first attempted to build the chapel in Budapest, Hungary,
but WWII broke out and halted the project.
She later decided to build it in Sedona and selected architect
August K. Strotz to construct the chapel.
The chapel was completed in 1956, took 18 months to complete,
and cost $300,000.
Arizonans voted it as one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona in 2007. 


The altar is graced by this extraordinarily beautiful
crucifix.
 

This small chapel really is a stunning bit of architecture 
and you can't help but feel the magnificence of God
when there.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

More at the North Rim!




Sooo...I submitted some of my pics to be critiqued in my 
photography club...
...one suggestion was to convert some of them to B&W...


Sooo...what do you think?
(This is the same pic as the banner photo.)


Cape Royal...look through the window...then look above
and find the people...gives a bit of perspective doesn't it?!!


I did several of these when nearing sunset...
some show sun spots, others sun rays.
In this one, the shadows and light really took on a blue hue 
and brought out the sun spots.


This one has more of the rays and a more purple tone... 
...I thought I'd try it in B&W also!


Which one of the 3 do you prefer?


This is one I had also submitted at the Photo club...
...after I tweaked it according to the suggestions...


...and then I tried it in B&W!


Believe it or not, I didn't touch the color saturation!


And again in B&W. 


Call me crazy...this angle made me think of the Coliseum in Rome!


No clouds for sunset, but lots of interesting shadows!


The colors kept changing...and the dust in the air 
gave the sunset more color!


Our last night at the North Rim, we got to upgrade to a cabin...
right on the edge of the Canyon rim!!!
It was the very last night that the lodge would be open,
so the next day was my last day to do sunrise...
I was hoping to have some of the expected snow in the morning!


Yeah...well...there was definitely snow!!!
This is sunrise on the canyon rim from the door of our cabin...
that grey on the right...yep...that's the canyon!!!
The canyon was utterly and completely socked in with clouds.


We were the last cabin on the rim edge on the way to 
Bright Angel Point.
The bench has a beautiful view of the canyon....
...well...it did the day before!!!

The lodge was closing up, and we were headed to 
Sedona so there was no waiting out the day for the 
clouds to dissipate and let the sun come out.

Loved the North Rim!  Absolutely stunning!
Yeah...I'd love to go back!



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Friday, November 23, 2018

Now...the North Rim of the Grand Canyon!



And I thought Zion was a tough place to photograph!!!


Ohhh My Gosh!!!
Harsh light...deep, deep shadows...


...I was either overexposing or underexposing...


...I have a vastly greater appreciation for any photographer
who gets the really fabulous Grand Canyon shots!


Thank Goodness for Lightroom!!!


The North Rim is spectacularly beautiful.


Staying at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge was a wonderful
experience!  The main lodge is right at the edge of the Canyon.
You have to get reservations a year in advance for the cottages.
Our first night was in the newest part of the lodge...a typical
small motel room...
Then we had an opportunity to upgrade for the second night...
which you'll see in the next post!!!


Suffice it to say...we enjoyed hanging out at the edge.
Dining in the original dining room...built in 1928...
with spectacular views of the canyon!


We didn't have far to walk for beautiful views all around the lodge.
But we did take a drive visiting Point Imperial, Vista Encantada,
Walhalla Overlook, and Cape Royal.


I didn't do the canyon justice...it's just so "grand" photographs
just don't compare!

More of the Grand Canyon to see in the next post!!!


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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Road Trip!!! First Photo Day...Zion National Park!




Disclaimer...
This trip was my first attempt at shooting
the gorgeous canyons of Zion and the Grand Canyon!

That said...OMG!!!
These canyons are sooooooo hard to photograph!!!


One of my very first "test" shots...when I imported them to 
Lightroom, the first 4 were totally black...
this was the 4th one!!!
Thanks to LR tweaks...I managed to resurrect this enough
for online pics!!!


OK...here comes the first challenge...
totally bright light...it was in the mid-late afternoon...
but still harsh light...


I loved the trees against the rock formation!
Again, very challenging as the camera was hand held...
lens was not a long telephoto...
and I cropped the bejeezus out of this to get what I wanted. 


Second and biggest challenge...
shooting extreme shadows against bright light!
Yep...in my original import, the shadows are practically black...
the brightly lit mountain, practically white...


Darned shadows and light!


I found the contrail rather comical!
Here you get a feel for the dark shadow/bright light challenges.


The shadows grew darker fast in the late afternoon.


...and yet...that bright sunlight stayed soooo bright!


I was very intrigued by these single trees springing 
up on the side of these austere canyon walls...


I think this is my favorite shot!


Challenge number three...
balancing the contrast between the bright light and deep shadows, 
without affecting the sky...


We were only in Zion for the afternoon...
our stop for the night was in Kanab Utah.
This was the sunset we got to watch while washing away the dust
with a cocktail at our B&B!!!


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