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Oak Creek and Cathedral Rocks

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 8 June 2009 in Landscape & Rural.

If one was forced to sum up the beauty of Sedona it would have to be its incredible red rocks. Nowhere is this evidenced more than at Red Rock Crossing. The traditional location most photographers use is west of the main parking lot. Because I was leading a workshop, many of our participants wanted to walk Oak Creek and check out other possible locations. I had spotted the potential of this location two years ago and made a mental note to re-visit.

I came across this image the other day while editing potential selects for Getty Images and loved many aspects of this almost forgotten photo. The obvious is the warm sunset light on Cathedral Rocks. There was also the bend in Oak Creek and I played with an extremely low perspective with a wide angle lens to allow the lines in the slickrock to take the eye towards to creek, which in turn leads the eye up towards Cathedral Rocks. I'm not sure what type of twig is growing out of the crack in the red rock, but certainly green and red are complimentary colors and worked well together.

A friend of mine once told me I use the term "making an image" as opposed to "taking an image," and it is true that we "make images" by utilizing all the elements cohesively in a scene - including light and color. The more elements work in harmony, the more successful the image becomes. If something is not in harmony with the scene, it serves to work against the wholeness of the scene and it should be eliminated - and I don't mean by Photoshopping it out. Most times, it requires the photographer to move and recompose the image. Simplify the scene to its bare essentials and see if your images don't improve.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 2 seconds F/22.0 ISO 200 18 mm

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