Tag Archives: West Fork

West Fork In Autumn

While going through old files yesterday, I came across this image that had never been processed.  The image was made in October 2012 and I happened to be hiking with my husband that day. West Fork trail just north of Sedona, Arizona, in Oak Creek Canyon was one of my favorite trails to hike while living in Arizona.  It is the most hiked trail in the state.

An iconic spot along the trail, this image was made while hiking back to our car.  Fabulous light shining through the trees and the water was still, creating a mirror image reflection.

At this point in my life I had no idea where my path was headed.  After working for several years in the corporate world, I left as I was terribly unhappy with happiness not in sight.  A stressful year beginning with my dad’s passing after a long battle with leukemia.  For years I had wanted to hike this trail in autumn as I had seen numerous beautiful images.  However, in this canyon, cell phone service is basically non-existent. Knowing I would receive a phone call to catch the first flight back to Iowa due to my dad’s terminal illness, I chose not to travel anywhere without cell phone service.  In fact for several years my camera gear just sat in a room untouched.  Photography had been calling me for years and I thought it was time to find out what it was really like to be doing nature photography full-time.

As much as I enjoy being in nature, it is not a realistic path for me for multiple reasons.  No regrets as now I will never have to wonder what it would be like to be traipsing around the desert, the woods, a canyon, or a prairie.  Do I miss the corporate world?  Somewhat.

West Fork in autumn, a stunning time of year to hike this trail.

Dancing Light and Texture

This was my fifth and final image of the five day black and white challenge on a social media site. I hiked 3.3 miles to the narrows of the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, AZ for the first time this fall. Normally at this point the water is knee to waist-high and you have to swim to continue on the trail. This year the water is barely a stream and you can walk quite far into the canyon after the maintained trail ends. It was midday with harsh light not suitable for landscape photography.  As I looked around the vast canyon walls with varying shades of red, the texture and dancing light caught my eye.

I had challenged myself to using my 50 mm 1.8 lens and chose to use it for some close-up images. The reflected light off the stream was rhythmically moving and emphasizing the texture on the canyon walls. I briefly considered switching to my 105 mm 2.8 macro lens and decided against it. Why? With a macro lens, your depth of field is so minute that in order to capture all of the texture I would have had to stop down to F25 or smaller. With such a small aperture, diffraction was a concern. What about focus stacking? With the light movement on the canyon walls, each image would be different making focus stacking not a viable option.  I chose to stick with my 50 mm 1.8 lens as I knew the depth of field would be greater without using a tiny aperture.  The technical information for the image below:  F8, ISO 200 1/5 sec with a circular polarizer.

This image is in the Monochrome Madness #37 gallery on Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY with photos from around the world.

canyon wall in the narrows of West Fork

Canyon wall of the narrows at West Fork