"Agave and Courthouse Butte" - Agave plants near the base of Courthouse Butte before sunrise in Sedona, Arizona
Stephen Girimont

Stephen Girimont

Owner, The Intimate Landscape, Fine Art Prints

Return to Sedona: Day Five

A day without a particularly colorful sunrise was just right for an intimate landscape scene.

My final morning in Sedona on this particular trip was devoted to capturing an image of the agave plants I could seen in my sunrise image from the previous morning.

I had scouted out the scene the previous afternoon, so I was able to arrive in the early morning gloom and get set up and wait for the light. (Fortunately, no coyotes drove me off this particular morning).

Below, I’ve included a small bit of my sunrise image from the previous day to point out the Agave plants that would be the subject of this morning’s image…

The arrow points to the Agave plants in a detail from the previous morning's image.

While the composition was a simple one, it was not at all simple to capture. The scene needed a wider focal length than I had with me, and would require greater depth of field to ensure focus throughout the image than I could manage in one shot, so I needed to make use of a technique I’ve written about before: a combination of a stitched panorama and a focus stack.

"Agave and Courthouse Butte" - Agave plants near the base of Courthouse Butte before sunrise in Sedona, Arizona

“Agave and Courthouse Butte” was accomplished through taking two vertical images from right to left to capture the width of the composition. Each vertical image was also captured at various focus distances from the agave plants through to the butte in the background (I believe 5 different images for both the right and left sides of the final composition).

Once the images were downloaded to the computer, I first assembled the focus stacks for the left and right sides of the composition and then combined the results into one single image. Follow the link above to my previous write-up of this technique for a better explanation of the technique.

Then end result is exactly the type of image I dream of capturing: one of quiet, peaceful light on a tranquil scene. I can’t help but wonder what this scene might look like with the butte in the background glowing like my previous evening’s image.

I’ll just have to see if I can’t get those conditions on my next trip to Sedona, as right after taking the images that would be used to create the final composite, I packed up my car and headed down the road to Phoenix and my flight home.

Thanks for following along on these write-ups of my recent trip to Sedona. If you missed any, just click the link above to my main blog page and check out the previous three posts.

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