Shots from the Edge

Two photos from yesterday’s hike.

Yesterday afternoon, I hiked up Doe Mountain, a mesa west of Sedona, AZ. The mesa has sheer rock walls on all sides except the northwest — that’s where you’ll find a 8/10 mile trail that climbs nearly 400 feet to the mesa top. The top is almost completely flat with stubby trees, bushes, yucca, and various types of cactus and desert grasses. It’s an amazing place at any time of day; simply walk to the side of the mesa with the view you want, sit down on a rock, and suck it all in.

I went up there around 3:30 PM; sunset was around 5:30 PM. It took nearly an hour for me to do the hike. I can hike on flat terrain or downhill all day long, but make me climb and you’ll be waiting for me. I was by myself, so I didn’t hold anyone back. When I got to the top, I was hot and thirsty.

I wandered around as the light continued to soften and redden. I found an excellent spot for photos on the north side of the mesa and shot the two you see here. These are unedited.

From Doe MountainI’ve been experimenting quite a bit with foreground/background combinations. This shot of grasses, rocks, and trees with the red rocks in the distance behind them really called out to me. The foreground elements are on the mesa top. About 10 feet beyond them is a sheer cliff with a drop of 300-400 feet. The green trees you see beyond that are full-sized pinon and juniper pines. The red rock cliffs are several miles away. This one’s a “keeper” that I’ll likely put in my Photo Gallery. (That’s also why it’s so small here; I don’t share larger images unless they’re watermarked.) The only reason it’s not there now is that I haven’t had time to examine it closely and remove any optical imperfections due to dirt on the sensors. (It’s a never-ending battle against dust here in Arizona.)

Maria in SedonaThis second shot is a self-portrait. I broke my third wired shutter release and there’s no way I could have used the self-time for this. So I used the camera remote. Of course, the sensor for the remote is on the camera’s right side (when looking at the front) and I was sitting at the left. Hence the stretched out arm and rather cranky look on my face. It’s a dopey picture and I look like an idiot. I guess that’s why I like it.

Oh, and I was about 5 feet from the edge of the cliff in this shot.

More from this trip in future posts. I’ll have better WiFi in Page.

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