Towards the end of October I met up with a group of Instagram enthusiasts from Arizona for a photo hike through West Fork Trail in Sedona. I am against posting DSLR shots on Instagram (lest it become like every other photo sharing website and lose what is special about it) but I took my DSLR camera along with me as I was certain I’d regret it if I didn’t. I snapped away during our 5 mile hike using both my iPhone and my 5DIII. The shots taken on my iPhone can be seen on my Instagram account here.
This first shot came early in the hike, just after crossing the bridge over the creek. I don’t know much about the history of the area but there were some ruins which I assume were at one time a homestead or something. Nearby the abandoned structures was a cave mouth. I have no idea what purpose the cave served to those who used it but it was quite shallow; I had my back against the wall and my 24mm lens was barely able to fit the mouth of the cave in the frame. The threshold of the cave was reinforced by a steel frame but beside that there was no other evidence of human modification.
I am not a fan of HDR photography as it usually looks too phony to me. Still, it can sometimes be frustrating as a photographer to not be able to capture the full range of value that your eye sees. Much to my delight, I was able to capture quite a dynamic range using nothing more than a single manual exposure (no HDR tricks). I shot in RAW format and was able to, using Adobe Lightroom, bring back a lot of the detail hidden in the shadows of the cave mouth. I’m pleased with the shot as I think it looks close to what I saw standing there without crossing the line into a fake looking HDR image.
5D Mk III with 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM lens. ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/160 sec.