Sedona, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend

The last 4 years Sharon and I have been going out to Phoenix to visit her sister and our dear friends the Vandermoon’s around her birthday.  This year I decided I wasn’t going to take my golf clubs and made this trip all about Sharon.  We spent day one hanging out with the Vandermoon’s and took a trip out to Tortilla Flats.  It was a very scenic drive and a nice lunch in a little saloon.  

Spent Saturday day 2 driving up to Sedona.  Beautiful drive and mountains around Sedona.  I could have spent several days hiking and exploring there, but we were on a quest to find unique Christmas gifts.  Spent five hours exploring almost every shop and had a nice wood fired pizza for a late lunch.  Headed up to Page Arizona for the night.

Sunday was my big day.  A photography tour to Antelope Canyon, which has been on my bucket list.  The tour guides take 4X4 trucks with the people in the back on benches.  Once we pulled in and started off road I understood why the truck.  They sand was deep in places and he would lock it into 4 wheel drive and just root through it. About a 20 minute ride from the tour operator to the canyon.  At first I thought Sharon was just being a good sport.  But about 10 minutes into the tour she was getting incredible shots with her iPhone.  The first 30 minutes in the canyon was super nice as we had the canyon to just us 5 photographers and Sharon.  Then the madness came and 250 to 300 people flooded in.  I messed up a couple camera settings about half way through and got frustrated.  

When we got to the other end of the canyon we went outside to regroup and let the crowds clear out.  One of the other Canon shooters had taken a night tour the night before and showed me the beauty of “Live View”.  I reset all of my settings and we headed back in with Live View and we shot the canyon rooms from the other angle. All in all, I am super happy with my results, but a little bummed.  The light beams only happen during the summer.   All the more reason to be going back in June to capture the light beams and also do the night tour while the Milkyway is over the canyon.  

We returned back to town a quick lunch and shedding a couple layers and we were off to find and document Horseshoe Bend.

Horseshoe Bend is a hike up about a 100 foot climb, then across a plateau.  Then a gentle slope down to the canyon’s rim.  After the first climb and Sharon’s looking the decent over, she almost decided to stay on a bench while I went on, due to her hip and knee.  After seeing an older couple I am guessing mid eighties to ninety, she declared what the heck.  Didn’t come this far to regret not going.

Once down at the rib I quickly realized I was scared of heights.  There were kids just jumping across cracks and standing on one foot on the edge.  Made me sick to my stomach.  If figured if Sharon could mustard up the strength to hike back up I must over come this feeling to get the shot at all cost.  I started about 8 to 10 feet back and did the military style belly crawl out to the rim.  Once I got there my hands were shaking so bad I had to brace the camera on the rock to keep it from shaking and messing up the shot.  After taking a test photo I realized I wasn’t dead center and had a rock outcropping in the way.  Crawled back and moved over 30 feet and repeated the belly crawl once again.  Sharon was laughing so far I could hear her.  I am glad she was there with my phone to call 911, but instead she documented the crawl.So I over came my fear to get the money shot.  I hope after that build up my humble offering isn’t a let down.I felt amazing to be back in the field with a camera in my hand,  We both truly enjoyed this trip!

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent

 

 

Week 28 of 2017 52 Week Project

Week 28: Female hummingbird with two babies in nestA good friend and co-worker came to work very excited to inform me he had a hummingbird nest in his yard,  He found it while mowing and the mom was not happy with him mowing under her tree.  He kept me informed every day the babies hatched this week.  So I grabbed my gear and headed to his house.  Pretty easy to get decent photos of the babies in the nest but the mom would not come into the nest with me in the yard,  I ended up having to shoot this while sitting in my car at over 60 feet away. Thus this is a SUPER heavy crop.  I would guess over 80%.  I am always amazed at just how good my Canon gear is.  

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent

Week 27 of 2017 52 Week Project

Week 27: Hummingbirds in my Backyard

I really thought this week would be fireworks, but was just too lazy to get out the tripod and do them right.  I am struggling to finish this 52 week project.  So that I don’t get lazy and reuse other photos from this week, here is the rest of this week’s hummers.

I have another lead on a hummingbird nest with two eggs!

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent

Week 26 of 2017 52 Week Project

Week 26: Male Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Finally caught up with a male hummingbird.  It is a Black-chinned.  Shot pretty late in the evening and crazy high ISO 12,800.  The noise reduction filter killed the details.  Wing blur at 1/4000th.

I’m on vacation this week so hopefully I can catch a full frame wall hang of a Ruby-Throated Male, or at least some fireworks.

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent