Daily nature/travel photographs will now be posted on benmessickphotography.com. (RSS feed). This website will continue be the place where I post random quotes and stuff.
I struggle with taking pictures of iconic areas. The views are amazing, but then the photographs of them are even more amazing. Walk in one of the many galleries in Sedona and you will find mesmerizing photos of the well known landmarks. The images will be in the perfect light from the perfect angle with a unicorn rearing in the background. Why even bother?
I bother for several reasons. The landscape is aways changing and a photo from the past isn’t the same as today. I also enjoy the process. Even if all the photos from an outing never get shared, I will still have enjoyed my time in nature making images. And sometimes, I get a picture like today’s that I really like and haven’t seen in the gallery. My perspective.
I took this photograph last week at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site in Sedona, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/3.2 S lens (1/125 sec at ƒ/3.5, ISO 100, 67mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
Crescent Moon Picnic Site
#MonochromeMonday – The Crescent Moon Picnic Site offers visitors an amazing look at Cathedral Rock. This sandstone butte is one of the most-photographed landmarks in Arizona. For being a cold evening, there were still several other people with me at the park after hours to see the sunset. There was a barefoot woman who hiked to the creek and was sitting beside it beating a homemade drum. There was woman with hands up to the rock who appeared to be praying. Another woman kept dunking her head in creek for as long as she could hold her breath. An interesting place with a beautiful view.
I took this photograph last week at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site in Sedona, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/50 sec at ƒ/3.5, ISO 100, 43mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
Sunrise and sunsets are different in the mountains. I suppose that is obvious, but for someone accustomed to "Indiana Flatness," it takes some adjustment. This morning, there was some beautiful pinks and purples after first light. This only lasted a couple minutes. Twenty minutes later, the clouds in the east were on fire with reds and oranges. We had five minutes of this show. The difference then is that you don’t actually see the sun for another twenty minutes until it rises over the mountains. By this time, the the color was gone. Still beautiful, just different. Spend some time watching a sunrise or sunset and have a great weekend!
I took this photograph on a pull-off on Highway 260 east of Camp Verde, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/640 sec at ƒ/13, ISO 100, 51mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
#ThrowbackThursday – We have always liked to escape to somewhere warm during the winter. And until this year, it has always been to Florida. A few winters ago, we took the camper down and spent two weeks at Wekiwa Springs State Park. The pool in this picture is the base of the spring and releases 42 million gallons of water per day. The clear water is a constant 72° year around and makes for excellent swimming and kayaking.
This was taken in December of 2020 at Wekiwa Springs State Park near Orlando, Florida. I used a Canon EOS M6 Mark II camera using a EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens (1/320 sec at ƒ/6.3, ISO 100). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
Just Click It
Do you love to take photographs? To capture your memories? To express your creativity? To share with family and friends (or strangers)? Or enjoy the process? I love taking photographs for all these reasons. As memories, my prints and digital files are my prized possessions. I love to creatively work around a camera’s limitations to create an image that most represents reality. I love to share. And I just love being out taking pictures.
I took this photograph near sunset on the Cedar Knoll Trail near Rimrock, Arizona.I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/125 sec at ƒ/4.5, ISO 100, 45mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
In yesterday’s post, I said how I liked to turn my camera’s viewfinder to black and white… Just as important is remembering to turn it back to normal. Saturday morning, I got up at oh dark 30 and went to my favorite look-out in Sedona to watch the sun rise. I took a few photos and they looked awful. No shape, no color. I assumed there just wasn’t enough color/light to make a good photo. I left shortly thereafter. When I got back and looked at the images on my computer, I realized that I had turned down the contrast and turned off the color on the viewfinder from an earlier shoot, but it was too dark for me to realize. Live & learn or is it shoot & learn? 🤦♂️
I took this photograph on a pull-off on Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/8 sec at ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, 24mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
Rights of Spring
#MonochromeMonday – I love black and white photography. It simplifies. It focuses. The lack of color can help focus your attention on the shape, form and texture of the subject. I often put my camera’s viewfinder in black and white mode. The camera still records all the color information but I can compose images with less distractions.
"Rights of Spring" is the original piece in the Rockport Sculpture Garden dedicated in September of 2000. It was created by @kentullbergstudios. I took this photograph on a foggy morning in February by the Harbor in Rockport, Texas. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/60 sec at ƒ/4.5, ISO 100, 51mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
I went out at around 4:30 AM to try for some more Milky Way pictures, but it turned out that some low clouds gave me problems. I stayed out for a couple more hours and the "problematic" clouds made for an interesting sunrise. Have a great weekend!
I took this photograph just before dawn last weekend on a pull-off on Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/500 sec at ƒ/11, ISO 100, 52mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.
I never heard of Montezuma Castle National Monument before arrival in the area. Theodore Roosevelt preserved this amazing slice of history over 100 years ago by creating the Monument. The Monument preserves a 20 room dwelling built in the side of the limestome cliff. Built and used between AD 1100 and 1400, up to 50 residents accessed it using a ladder system. It was then abandon for unknown reasons.
I took this photograph last Friday at Montezuma Castle National Monument near Camp Verde, Arizona. I used a Nikon Z5 camera using a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 S lens (1/320 sec at ƒ/10, ISO 100, 24mm). I edited the image in Adobe Lightroom.