West Fork Trail, Sedona

colorpano_IR.jpg

We went to Oak Creek to see Fall Colors, but we decided that during our visit and goal to see Fall Colors we should include West Fork Trail.

WaterX_IR.jpg

We have never done West Fork Trail.  The crowds and lines to get in have always been just terrible.  It seems to be like so many over-touristed places that become overcrowded taking away from the entire experience.

jj west fork trailvert_IR.jpg

So we got a hotel, went out to a nice dinner, and got up early to hit the trail before anyone got there.

rocktrail step_IR.jpg

I can tell you now from experience … that is absolutely the way to go.  We were the very first one’s there.  We arrived at 7am, and took one of maybe 5 parking spaces outside the gates that don’t open until 8am.

Bouldercreek_IR.jpg

We had the trail to ourselves.  We had 2 people pass us going up, (after they caught up to us).  It was great to not have to bob through people – which is what we did on the way back down.

westfork walk_IR.jpg

We felt like salmon swimming upstream as we had to side step the hoards of people once the gate opened… and we were headed back down the trail.

yellowfall trail_IR.jpg

We thought it would be difficult to get out of our parking spot way up front… but cars were more than happy to make way for us to get out as we pulled out into traffic, and passed an impressive line of cars waiting for a parking space to get in.

boulderflow_IR.jpg

Proper planning yielded a great day and a beautiful hike.

Oak Creek Fall

BoulderBed_IR.jpg

It’s Fall, so we are on our mission to collect Fall Colors pix.  When we think of Fall Colors in AZ one of the first places we think of is Oak Creek in Sedona.

SoapberryDrop_IR.jpg

Anytime you can mix fall colors with water it always makes for magical scenery.  The reflections, glow, and leaves littering the ground are all tell tale signs of winter coming.

leafgatherg_IR.jpg

Of course, all I have to do is look at my thermometer to know that winter is coming, as it was 3F this am.waterwash_IR.jpg

Check out more pix here … https://kritterspaw.com/2019/10/31/sunshine-gorgeous-scenery/

Change the Vision

FallStroll_IR.jpg

I love Fall.  The colors are stunning.  Though I do find it difficult to capture.

_40A7487_IR.jpg

This season, I decided to challenge myself and shoot ‘out of the box’.   It appears experts are always looking for something new and different.  It doesn’t even matter what the field.  Something edgy that hasn’t been done before often ‘wins’ over tried-and-true.

FernBurst_IR.jpg

I’m happy to learn techniques, composition, and style that I can apply and repeat.  But I suppose that one could argue that such a philosophy can yield predictability and common-place results.

ForestHi_IR.jpg

I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  That’s for the eye of the beholder… and the end user to decide.

FernBurst Vert_IR.jpg

 

Blue Ridge Shine

YellowTreeGlo_IR.jpg

If you’ve been following my blog you’ve noticed I’ve been on a somewhat futile quest to build a collection of photos of obscure lakes around Arizona.  It was Blue Ridge Reservoir that started the whole mission.

BRR ray turn_IR.jpg

We did an overnight trip to Blue Ridge and got some cool shots which got me to thinking about those awesome sunset / sunrise reflections in the water.

road beams_IR.jpg

So we visited a lot of dry water holes… and encountered a bit of smoke from prescribed burns along the way.  So why not combine the smoke and the lake photos by a re-visit to Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Sun Beam Blue_IR.jpg

BlueSquare_IR.jpg

I love it when a plan comes together!

Thanks to my friend Sue for sharing in this amazing experience.  It was a lot of fun!

Blue Ridge Fall_IR.jpg

Mood lighting

TreeBurst Vert_IR.jpg

As I continue to improve my photography, I think about what that means.  It’s all about the light – dawn & dusk, we are so often told.

BeamRight_IR.jpg

It’s complicated though.  Light is bright and shadows are dark, how does one even them out and still add emotion, mood, and interest?

Tree Shadow_IR.jpg

Light is the master of depth.  We need light to make our ‘hero’ shine, or our supporting cast fade into the background.  In this way we can isolate our subject so we know what (or who) it is.

LilTreeBurst_IR.jpg

Fog and smoke provide a fantastic mood factor, allowing us to separate the foreground from the background.  While our controlled burns up north can be dreary to look at… they can also make for some very moody exciting pix.

smokeflurry_IR.jpg

Light rays illuminate and become visible through the smoke or fog in the air, distinguishing different elements of the life in the forest.

rokfire_IR.jpg

The fog creates a diffusion through the harsh light, from which comes clarity.

Twin Fawns

SpotGaze_IR.jpg

I  wrote about the ‘Late Arrival’ of a small fawn with spots, our first we have seen of the year, back here… https://kritterspaw.com/2019/09/12/late-arrival/

That was month ago.  Fast forward to this past week, first week of October, and we were entertained by these fantastic little cuties.

Babenwoods_IR.jpg

At first, I was delighted to see just one little spotted gem… then, came another; the spots along their back almost identical.

Spotstand_IR.jpg

This precious couple laid down beside each other and cuddled and ‘fawned’ over one another like baby new borns.

Cuddle_IR.jpg

They rested as their momma grazed, and relished in their environment and their natural surrounds.

babes_IR.jpg

It was such a tremendous joy and gift to see this special sight.

Fawnlaff_IR.jpg

What a treat!

You Must Have A Good Camera

People often ask me, “what kind of camera do you have?”  Or my favorite statement, “you must have a good camera!”

_40A3440_IR.jpg

It reminds me of a story I heard some time ago, about the photographer who goes to a gourmet chef’s house for dinner.

IMG_0315_IR.jpg

The well known published photographer shows up at the woman’s house for dinner.  The home owner & chef goes on about how beautiful his photographs are and as she invites him in she adds, ” I love you photographs.  You must have a great camera.”

Greatapproach_IR.jpg

After a lovely evening and an amazing gourmet meal, as the photographer is leaving, he tells the woman how wonderful the meal was, and in parting “you must have a great oven!”

IMG_1046_IR.jpg

The right camera gear is essential, skill… is priceless.