Seeing Red

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Today the subject is pretty much photography, because I’ve got so many other things on my mind that I cannot concentrate on writing. I’ve been trying to gather some images which convey the near-mystical beauty of this part of Arizona. It’s no wonder that Sedona has become a magnet for new age folk. I have to admit that I’m running up against the limitations of my Canon G11. I’m looking for a new camera. It will definitely be a Canon, because I think the brand delivers the biggest bang for the buck in each category.

Anyway, until I get some new gear, I’m still squeezing every bit of lemon juice out of my G11. Here is a High Dynamic Range shot of some red rock:

We’ve had some very blustery weather lately. These late summer storms are referred to locally as monsoons. I find that amusing. A big dust storm is now called a haboob. That term is mildly controversial, considering its origins. The sky has often been dramatic. Here the late afternoon sun strokes the top of one of the huge red rock formations with wine light:

I took that shot from Grace’s car as we were returning from Sedona to Oak Creek Village, a distance of about six miles.

At a family gathering at Red Rock Crossing I snapped this shot of lovely little Tana with a very famous red rock in the background:

Red Rock Crossing has appeared in many western films. You can find a very interesting list of them here.

Did I mention that the weather has been frisky? Here is an image of a huge Cumulonimbus Incus which we drove right through on the way back from a shopping trip to Cottonwood, Arizona:

It seems that Grace’s hobby is power shopping. I find it disconcerting. Shuffling around The Dress Barn for two hours does not thrill me. Next time I’m taking a book.

The weather is presenting me with some radical photo opportunities. Back in Oak Creek Village the late afternoon sun was valiantly drilling its way through the cloud cover:

The next evening presented a different sky from the same location:

Once in a great while I find a scene which makes me very glad that I travel always with my camera. If I had left it at home, I would have missed this seventeen frame panorama of the magnificent display of nature on the highway between West Sedona and Oak Creek Village:

The rainbow is real. I did have to increase the saturation to make it show up better. I’ve uploaded this to my server at 3000 pixels, but the original is over 18000 pixels wide. So, to give you a better view, I created a Microsoft Photosynth Panorama of the scene:

Being critical of my own work, I can see where my camera is letting me down. You can expect only so much from a camera in the less-than-five-hundred dollar price range. Maybe that is going to be fixed soon. It depends on how other things work out.

Life is about to become very interesting . . .

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10 Responses to “Seeing Red”

  1. kristy Says:

    The panorama is amazing!! I have never had much luck making one of those! Once again, you are inspiring me to try something new! Frantically, trying to get some add ons for my underwater stuff, heading off to Fiji and Tonga soon!!

  2. Georgi Says:

    Incredible panorama, Jan! I have returned from my trip, but haven`t had the chance to sit down quietly and answer e-mails. I hope I get the time this week!

    Wishing you the very best,

    Georgi

  3. Ali Says:

    WOW! Jan, you were not kidding about the panorama! Your shutter finger must be constantly itchy!
    Mind blowing combinations of scenery and weather…simply fabulous and serendipitous shots my friend. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. Your little G11 may not be top of the range, however it’s still squeezing very nice juice. But its really all about the clever eye that supplies the fruit hey?
    x Ali.

  4. Peter John Lyne Says:

    Fabulous shots Jan, brings back childhhod memories of those American wild Westerns. I sure as hell wouldn’t like to live there…rattler territory! And no palm trees and white (tropical) beaches with pristine waters to swim and dive in. Say, when do you return to Madang?
    ciao,
    Peter

  5. Walt Says:

    Very beautiful set of pictures, Jan! You’re certainly making the most of whatever limitations your camera is placing on you. Nice to see what you are coming up with in a different environment … it’s a whole different side to your pictures.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, have a good time in Fiji and Tonga. I have dived once in Fiji, but never in Tonga. I bet that you’ll like Tonga better. We’ll see.

    The tricks to getting a good panorama are using the right focal length for the scene, taking plenty of overlapping frames and using good software to merge them. There are a lot of choices available. Your Canon camera will help you to take the shots. There is a special program in the Scene settings.

  7. MadDog Says:

    I hope that you enjoyed your trip, Georgi.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I think I’m going to spring for a Canon 5D Mark II this week. I’m going to be shooting a lot of HD video in the future as a part of the “new life”.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Peter, I found a shed snake skin in the garage today. Grace freaked out. The snakes in PNG are much worse, as far as I’m concerned. I return to Madang in November, but I’ll be coming back to the USA by the end of January, probably.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Walt. Fish are rare here, but I’m getting along. There are plenty of beautiful images here. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.