Moon Rise Behind Cathedral Rock in Sedona

It’s spring and this is the time of the year when the moon rise behind the sunset-lit spires of Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona, can be breathtaking.

Two years ago, I took a 1-day workshop from Southwest Perspectives called “Sedona Full Moon Hunt.” We were taught not just how to use the camera for capturing the image but, more importantly, how to know when and where to position ourselves for these types of images.

There are several applications available for smart phones, tablets, and computers that provide this information. My program of choice is The Photographer’s Ephemeris. With this information in hand, one can position themselves in the right spot and wait for the moon to rise. The waiting part, however, can be tough as you wonder if you are in the “right” place. It’s a moment of relief, then, when the moon rises right where you expected it in the gap.

Moonrise behind Cathedral Rock.
Moonrise behind Cathedral Rock.

As the calendar marches forward into spring and early summer the location of the moon moves south relative to the rocks; it then moves north in the cooler season. It’s during the warmer months that it lines up best with the gaps between the spires.

Moonrise behind Cathedral Rock.
Moonrise behind Cathedral Rock.

If you get too close to the rocks the moon will appear small compared to the spires. Get farther away and the relative size of the moon appears much larger in comparison. But it’s never that easy. Some shooting locations are effortless to get to— drive, park, set up, done. Others require a bit of walking or hiking.

Getting in the right place is at least part of the enjoyment of capturing these images.

Harding Springs, Fall Colors, and the Full Moon

Continuing with the thread in the previous post we have more images of fall colors in the Oak Creek Canyon area. This time, we explored a small side canyon known as Harding Springs. Although there is a trail, we chose to walk up the dry wash since the best colors were on trees in and near the stream bed. And we actually found a small trickle of water in a single location.

Fall colors in Harding Springs.
Fall colors in Harding Springs.
A thin trickle of water in Harding Springs.
A thin trickle of water in Harding Springs.

Later that day we hiked to the top of a rock formation known as Napoleons Tomb in Sedona so that we could watch the (nearly) full moon rise in the gap of Cathedral Rock. To make the image even better, hikers fortuitously positioned themselves in front of the moon. I wish I could say that I orchestrated this but it was just chance!

Moon rise above Cathedral Rock.
Moon rise above Cathedral Rock.

Morning at Cathedral Rock

The full moon was yesterday (04/25/2013) so today was a good day to capture the setting moon at sunrise. With the moon setting about 3/4 hour after the sunrise I had hoped that Cathedral Rock would be bathed in early morning direct sunlight.

Moon setting behind Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.
Moon setting behind Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.

Because of the higher terrain to the east, the light from the sun did not strike the rocks until after the moon had dropped behind the rocks. Instead, I was able to capture the pre-sunrise colors which were a lot more muted and subtle. It wasn’t what I was hoping to photograph but may, in fact, be better!

Comet PanSTARRS – III

Another evening and another set of photographs of Comet PanSTARRS. These two images were taken looking to the west at Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona.

Comet PanSTARRS and crescent moon above the silhouette of Cathedral Rock.
Comet PanSTARRS and crescent moon above the silhouette of Cathedral Rock.

 

Comet PanSTARRS and the silhouette of Cathedral Rock.
Comet PanSTARRS and the silhouette of Cathedral Rock.

 

Lightning over Cathedral Rocks and the Cockscomb in Sedona

A late afternoon storm lingers into the evening producing lightning over the Cathedral Rocks and the Cockscomb.

Late afternoon light and lightning at Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.
Late afternoon light and distant lightning at Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.
Twilight lightning over west Sedona and the Cockscomb.
Twilight lightning over west Sedona and the Cockscomb.
Twilight lightning over west Sedona and the Cockscomb.
Twilight lightning over west Sedona and the Cockscomb.