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The nose of Antelope Canyon

The Nose
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, f/8, 8 sec // buy print)

One thing we were thankful for during our tour of Upper Antelope Canyon was our guide.  He rocked at knowing good spots and also for tossing sand in strategic locations.

We had already shot the sand falling on the right side during our first pass through the Canyon, so on our way back he said he could make it fall on both sides. I quickly moved to this spot and was thankful for the 14mm lens I had with me. It was kind of a tiny area, so being able to get that wide was a bonus.

The rock formation in the middle kind of “jutted” out towards me and reminded me of a big nose on an old man’s face.

Definitely loved being able to finally visit this place, but this scene doesn’t tell the story of about 6 other photographers lined up to my right all shooting the same thing. And people waiting behind them to pass through.

If you are a photographer, I highly recommend paying for the two-hour tour because you get more time and also a bit of preferential treatment.

YoloZona | Day One

Early this year Jesse Pafundi and I talked about having him come out from New York and shoot a wedding with me. So that plan happened. And then I needed someone for a photobooth and I asked my Canadian buddy Heath O’Fee who rocks photobooths up in Calgary if he could come. He couldn’t, so I invited my good friend Brian Furbush (also from New York) instead. And then Heath’s amazing wife surprised him with a plane ticket and suddenly something epic was happening. And then Chris DeAngelis decided he wanted to see a concert here and join us for a crazy weekend.

The wedding was on a Saturday, so Heath and Jesse flew in mid-day Friday and wanted to do nothing but eat good food and see cacti. When you live here you don’t think about it much, but those big Saguaros are kind of awesome. And peeps from NYC and Canada gotta shoot pics of them.

Brian didn’t get in until super early Saturday morning and Chris late Saturday, so I took Jesse and Heath out for a drive along the Apache Trail to see Lost Dutchman, Canyon Lake and other random places. The day ended with a beautiful Arizona sunset, was such a treat that these guys got to see one while out here.

Here are some pics from Day One of our hashtag dubbed trip #YoloZona.

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My first real attempt at double exposures in the 5D III…not what I hoped, but I kinda like it.

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The Milky Way over Sedona | YoloZona

Milky Way over Sedona
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, rokinon 14mm 2.8, iso 5000, f/2.8, 30 sec // buy print)

An epic trip happened this past weekend…a meeting of four photographers who are great friends of mine, all coming here to Arizona, to help me take pictures of a wedding and then shoot the crap out of this state. We created a hashtag for the weekend…#YoloZona.

On Monday morning, after maybe 5 hours of sleep, we all woke up at 3am to shoot some stars out at Courthouse Butte in Sedona. Thanks to some great advice from our buddy in Kansas, Scotty Ackerman, we knew when the Milky Way would rise and roughly where it would be.

I don’t photograph stars very much and when I have, I’ve never seen anything this good. You’d think only 5 minutes south of a town like Sedona that the sky would be saturated from city lights, but thankfully Sedona is super dark at night because of lighting ordinances. Looking up with the naked eye you could clearly see the Milky Way stretching across the sky.

I edited this in Lightroom first for color and shadows, and then used a bit of luminosity masking techniques to make the sky pop a bit more. I’m super stoked with how this image turned out, my only slight regret is that it’s a 30 second exposure which is a tad too long. The stars are streaking just a bit on the edges of the frame. I was at ISO 5000 on the 5D3, which really didn’t give me much noise, so I might have gone higher and done a shorter, 20 second exposure.

Regardless…I love it anyways, and I’m thinking about getting this printed on metal. The stars are amazing and having lived in Phoenix my whole life…I rarely, if ever, see something like this. What an amazing night.

 

 

The Swagger Wagon | YoloZona

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This past weekend four amazing photographer buddies of mine flew into town. Three of them helped me shoot a wedding on Saturday and then all five of us left at 5:30am Sunday to head north. We hit Page, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Sedona and back home Monday at noon.

Almost 700 miles. And barely any sleep. We woke up at 3am on Monday just to shoot the Milky Way over Sedona. And then sunrise. And then we took this photo basically closing out the trip.

A Toyota Sienna. A mini-van. Five dudes IN a mini-van. How embarrassing right? Maybe so…but this vehicle was amazing. So much room for all of us AND camera gear.It was fast, smooth and made the trip crazy easy.

Thanks to Chris for renting the thing.

And…YoloZona…what’s that? Well, we are photographers of course and therefore we Instagram (except Heath, but he’s Canadian, so who knows), so we had to come up with a #Hashtag for the trip. #YoloZona stuck.

This trip was pure amazing for me and something I’ve been craving for awhile now. I have so many photos to share over the next weeks and months, I can’t wait!