Sedona

Sedona and Montezuma’s Canyon, Arizona, USA, 1st November 2014.

We had now finished the Southwest Canyonlands Tour with Udesign Phototours.  We drove from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff Arizona and all went our separate ways.

I had a flight from Phoenix to New Orleans to catch the next day and I would meet up again with Jools in New Orleans. She had left for a conference a few days previously. I picked up a rental car and headed for Phoenix via Sedona.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

The road from Flagstaff to Sedona is rated as one of the most scenic in the United States.   It is certainly very scenic but the problem for a photographer is that it is a narrow road and there are very few places where it is possible to pull over and stop.  Here is the roadside stream at one such place.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

Coming into Flagstaff there were a number of these magnificent formations beside the road.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

Sometimes the seasons seemed to get temporarily confused but I kept on going.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA …past a number of commanding buttes….

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

Sedona was not what I was expecting.  I thought it would be a little village in a wilderness area.  Instead, it is a large town of 10,000 people that sprawls out in a valley against a magnificent backdrop.  I did take a photograph of the town and its surrounds but I thought the town detracted from the view so I haven’t included it.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

From Sedona I drove on to Montezuma’s Castle, as we see here.   It has of course nothing to do with Montezuma.  The first nineteenth century Anglo-American visitors probably thought the local Indians were not capable of being civilised.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

It was occupied by the Sinagua people between about 1100 and 1450.  It has five stories and covers nearly 370 square metres (4,000 sq ft).  It is nearly 30 metres (90 feet) up a vertical cliff and would have been accessible by ladders.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

 

Obviously, it is a highly defensible position but that is not the only reason for its construction there because in season the creek flooded and the valley became a flood plain.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

Here is another dwelling structure in a cliff nearby.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

After Montezuma’s castle I headed back towards Sedona, but not quite that far, to Red Rock Crossing and the view of Cathedral Rock.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

This is a location that was recommended to me by Tour Photographer Glenn Tamblingson, who lives in Flagstaff.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

I had all but missed the late afternoon light and sunset but that didn’t matter really as different opportunities presented themselves as the light receded.

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Infrared, Landscape, Montezuma's Castle, Photography, Sedona, Travel, USA

(Three of the images in this post were infrared.  Perhaps you noticed).

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Grand Canyon Sunset

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 31st October 2014.

We were at the Grand Canyon for two full days. Here are some images from the second day.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

We found some flowers at one place we went.  Jeni Bate tells me this is an Indian Paintbrush or Castilleja.  It looks a little like a West Australian Kangaroo Paw.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

I took some landscape photos during the day but this is the only one I’m showing here.  Generally they were less compelling than the ones taken in low light.  If you look closely you can see a trail zigzagging down to the bottom on the near ridge.  It looks quite steep in places.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is much later, looking into the distance haze of the late afternoon with a long telephoto lens.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

And now the sunset has started.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

The sun is going down….

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Looking in the other direction there is a more subtle interplay of light and shapes.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

And finally, looking back towards where the sun went down, a Rothko sunset.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Grand Canyon Walk

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 30th October 2014.

There are trails that you can take all the way down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Most of the time you are likely to need a hat and lots of water.  We went on one of these but did not go all the way down.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

At one place there were pictograms beside the path.

There have been many peoples living in the Grand Canyon over a long period of time.  Clovis hunters 10,000BC to 7,000BC hunted large mammals and left behind their stone spear points.  Archaic Indians 7,000BC to 500BC were hunter-gatherers, hunting smaller animals and gathering wild foods.  The Basketmaker Culture of 500BC to 800AD used bows and arrows, introduced agriculture, lived in pit houses and made pottery.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Note the line of deer going down the stone.

Puebloan cultures from 800AD to 1300AD grew corn, beans and squash.  Ancestors of Hualapai, Havasupai, Southern Paiute and Navajo Indians arrived in the area between 1300AD and 1500AD.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

I think a Pinyon Pine, growing on the canyon rim.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Over time immemorial, layers and layers of different sediments were laid down.  Then 70 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau rose up.  The Grand Canyon was cut by erosion from the Colorado River.  This is mainly thought to have occurred from about six million years ago and would have been more intense during period of glacial decline.  The rocks at the bottom of the canyon date back to pre-Cambrian times.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

What do you see here?  A dolphin?  A tortoise?

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This reminds me of a Stupa, as though there were Buddhist Indians in ancient times.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

That’s a fire in the distance, not clouds.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

I’d like to say that’s an ancient Egyptian pyramid in the background but I’m afraid someone might believe me.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

It is now late afternoon and the sunset is drawing closer.  This is looking past the canyon at the distant landscape.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Here we see Desert View Watchtower, built in 1932 and intended to mimic an Anasazi watchtower.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

The sun has gone down.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Walking back to the bus, I had an encounter with a dead tree and the moon…

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Grand Canyon Sunrise

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 30th October 2014.

From the North Rim the previous evening we came around to Grand Canyon Village on the south side. We got up very early before dawn for these sunrise images:

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This is before the dawn.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

Usually, if you click on an image it expands to 1024 pixels wide.  This is a multi-image panorama with wide aspect ratio so I have made it expand to 1900 pixels.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

This one also expands to 1900 pixels wide.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

The quality of the light could be very different depending on which direction you faced.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Grand Canyon from North Rim

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 29th October 2014.

OK, back to posting on the Southwest Canyonlands trip.  The previous post was Antelope Canyon (Mono), which I put up four months ago.  Since then I have been to Hawaii and Boolcomatta Station and posted those images.

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA

We turned up at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for sunset.  I have a few more posts to follow of the Grand Canyon and I’ll say more about it in them.  For now, here are some images from that evening….

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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Arizona, Grand Canyon, Landscape, Photography, Southwest Canyonlands, Travel, USA .

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