Continuing my series of images from our last visit to Sedona, Arizona:
If you leave Sedona heading north on Highway 89A, you travel through Oak Creek Canyon, some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. This time of year the canyon has a more stark look, with the trees still sporting their bare winter branches. But that just allows a more unobstructed view of the magnificent red rock canyon walls. The Oak Creek area is worth visiting at any time of the year.
Just north of Sedona is the Midgley Bridge that spans part of the canyon. Below the bridge you can see Oak Creek winding along the canyon floor. The small parking lot on the north end of the bridge is the location of several popular hiking trails, one of which is the Huckaby Trail that leads you down to the creek from the bridge.
We wound up taking the Huckaby Trail all the way down to the creek where I got some great shots of the bridge from a different angle. I’ll be working on processing those, and maybe I’ll share a few of those if they turn out halfway decent.
This is a view of the bridge from the top of the Huckaby Trail. In all the years we’ve been going to Sedona, I had never taken this particular shot…not sure why, but since I’ve started doing HDR, I knew I’d have to go back someday and get this image:
This HDR was created from five hand-held bracketed photos, taken with my Nikon D700 and the 28-300mm lens. I processed the raw files in Photomatix, and I loved the way that the bridge and the canyon walls turned out. But the sky was badly pixelated–not just noise, but actual square pixels. Topaz DeNoise did nothing to help it.
So I wound up playing around with layers and selections in PaintShop Photo Pro X3, and layered in the sky from one of the brackets. It was kind of tricky with the sky being exposed between the rafters under the bridge, and I probably should have spent more time refining my selections, but overall I don’t think it turned out too badly.
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Nice work, Zann. Five exposures hand held is pretty gutsy, what was your longest exposure time?
Thanks, Wayne. The longest exposure was 1/25s at F/14. Shortest was 1/400s. Shot at ISO 200. Thank goodness for Nikon’s VR!
Yes, I haven’t totted my 28-300 around too much, don’t know if I will use it much for HDR’s without mounting it on the tripod, I’m not used to holding so much glass steady. Maybe the VR will take care of me. You must have a pretty steady hand to keep the camera and lens still for five consecutive exposures.