Oak Creek, Red Rock Crossing, Sedona Sunset

The images in this set are from the Crescent Moon Ranch area of Red Rock Crossing near Sedona.

Feature Image Details

Red Rock Crossing is a very popular spot for photographers. Composition-wise, it’s hard to come up with something really different so you great light, good fall color, good wind conditions, and good technique.

You also need to get wet.

Additional Images

The horizontal images were taken at focal length of 17mm and 19mm respectively.

You have to be willing to get wet.

The really smooth water is from longer exposures, up to 10 seconds using a neutral density filter. In the lead image the trees are just above my head while the mountains are effectively at infinity. This requires focus stacking (blending images focused near and far).

Blending focus-stacked images with trees is problematic because leaves move in the wind. But I did have one moment of complete dead calm for about 10 seconds while I made the lead image.

The Jpeg images here of the leaves are razor sharp but you cannot see it here at display resolutions.

Waterfall Tips

  • Waterfalls photograph best in reflected light or on on bright overcast days.
  • Direct sun on the water is usually a killer.
  • A tripod is necessary if you want smooth flowing water and long exposures.

In this case I wanted the reflections so these shots of the water are unpolarized or partially polarized while the land portions of the images are polarized.

I waited near sunset when there is no light on the water but there was still light hitting the trees and mountains.

Skies in extreme wide angle images do not polarize evenly so I correct that unevenness in Lightroom with a blend of radial and linear neutral density digital filters (vs real neutral density filters on the lens to slow the shutter speed).

Thus, these images are a bit more complicated than it may appear.


Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Canon’s 16-35 MM F4 L lens is one of the sharpest around, and I use that lens often. It was used on all of these shots.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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