• Thomas

Behind the scenes at Courthouse Butte

This is a new blog series called "Behind the Frame" where I will describe what I was thinking and seeing at the time of creating a piece.

I'll add some limited technical info as well for you gear heads out there. :)

Otherwise it's more about the story and feelings that flowed over me at the time.

As the late afternoon sun begins to set, sending rays of light skimming across the Earth’s surface, I settle on this final composition. Focusing my camera just beyond the tall grass in the foreground and setting an aperture to f/16 knowing that it will give me the required depth of field to render all elements sharply, I wait for the clouds to line up in a way that will direct the viewer’s eye to subject of this piece, the face of Courthouse Butte.

At the time of composure I was completely alone. My wife and daughter had gone off exploring together further down the trail. It had been raining off and on for several days prior. Leaving the air fresh and clean with none of the dust usually present in Sedona. I changed positions several times trying to eliminate any distractions from creeping into the frame while maintaining good composition. As the sun got closer to the horizon the temperature steadily declined and the wind began picking up threatening more rain.

One last time I check my viewfinder to be certain that my composition was captivating. I decide to use multiple compositional techniques. Placing the mountain at a simple rule of thirds was obvious due to many distracting elements in the foreground. But, I also wanted to create layers of contrasting colors. I placed the horizon line just under the center of the image creating bands of opposing colors. The green foliage against the red of the mountain and clouds along the center sandwiched between the layers of tan grass and blue sky. I take the shot. Everything looks good. Nice colors, sharpness, and lighting. Now I must find my wife and daughter so we can head home for dinner.

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Phoenix, Arizona 
(623) 826-5917

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