Sedona Arizona Photography Hot Spot Location
Sedona, Arizona’s main attraction, is its array of red sandstone formations. When illuminated by the rising or setting sun, the formations glow in brilliant orange and red. The red rocks form an attractive backdrop for many activities, from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.
THE BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH
The best time of year to photograph Sedona is during April and May. This is when the desert landscape is in full bloom and the temperatures are mild. The red rocks are incredibly vibrant during this time of year, standing against the bright blue sky. This combined with the fantastic sunsets, makes
WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR TO BRING
When visiting Sedona for photography, it is important to bring the right gear. A wide-angle lens is essential to capture the expansive landscape and grandeur of the red rocks. A tripod and cable release will help you get sharp images even in low-light conditions. For night photography, a fast aperture lens and star tracker are recommended.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BRING
In addition to your photography gear, you should bring plenty of snacks and water as the desert can get hot. A hat, sunscreen, and bug spray are essential for exploring Sedona. A good pair of hiking boots is critical if you plan to visit slot canyons or hiking trails.
HOW BUSY IS SEDONA?
Sedona is a popular destination for people worldwide, so that it can get busy during peak season.
If you’re looking for the best times to visit Sedona, the busiest season is between late February and May or September through November. The weather during those periods is optimal, but Sedona is busy all year round. To avoid the crowds, especially on long weekends, try visiting during the morning or evening hours. That way you can experience all that Sedona has to offer without the hassle of big groups.
List of Places to Photograph in Sedona
Airport Mesa in Sedona is a spectacular spot to take in the beauty of nature. Here, visitors can witness a fantastic array of glimmering minerals radiating from the red rock formations, creating a stunning visual. It’s no surprise that this has made Airport Mesa a popular destination for photographers and sightseers alike.
Doing a trek around Bell Rock is relatively straightforward. You can photograph it from afar or you can walk the trail. The hike is slightly more than one mile long. It has been maintained well and is simple to map out, which makes it ideal for newcomers or casual hikers. On this stroll, you can catch sight of some other red-rock formations such as Courthouse Butte. More advanced hikers may choose to climb up to the peak of Bell Rock or at least ascend halfway.
You can photograph it from a distance or you can hike the trail. The trek up Cathedral Rock is an experience you will remember. The giant rock formation juts up from the desert landscape with two prominent spires at its summit and a massive saddle in between, providing incredible vistas of Sedona’s east and west sides. This hike may be short but is quite steep in certain sections. If you’re not accustomed to hiking, take your time, rest when needed, and enjoy the exquisite scenery as you make your way to the top.
This is one of our favorite places in the United States. Be sure to take advantage of it.
Devil’s Bridge Trail is a moderate 1.8-mile round-trip trek in Sedona’s Coconino National Forest. It climbs 400 feet and at the top, hikers must navigate a rock staircase. At the top, you can walk across the bridge wider than expected and not particularly intimidating, though it could be challenging for those afraid of heights.
Sedona Heritage Museum
Nestled in the heart of Sedona, the Sedona Heritage Museum (otherwise known as the Jordan Historical Park) offers a retreat from the hubbub of town and a look back into what life was like for pioneers Walter and Ruth Jordan over a hundred years ago. It’s a great way to learn about local history. Photograph the grounds and visit the museum.
Seven Sacred Pools
The admired chain of stone pools known as The Seven Sacred Pools is situated approximately half a mile along the initial stretch of Sedona’s Soldier Pass Trail. Depending on the season, the ponds could appear drained or be brimming with water flowing down from higher elevations. Nonetheless, they make for a breathtaking view no matter what.
Sedona, Arizona, Milky Way Photography Info
Sedona, Arizona offers many specific locations to do insanely dynamic photography! The Chapel of the Holy Cross and Cathedral Rock are prime examples. The Airport View provides a stunning contrast. Don’t forget about night photography in Sedona. They have some pretty dark skies outside of town, but within it as well! You can see some earth-shattering milky way images below from Sedona shot during Extra Eyes Photo Tours’ Arizona Photography Tour. We all work here. We have bragging rights. :)
Extra Eyes is returning to Sedona shortly to absorb some of its scrumptious scenery and bask in its atmosphere of energy vortexes. www.extraeyesphototours.com will bring you there for another Milky Way Photography experience that includes nearby Lee’s Ferry, which shoots out of the rocks like a rocket, more than 12,000 years old. See our ad on this page for the photography tours.
Sedona Arizona Dark Skies
Arizona has some of the darkest skies in the lower forty-eight. An abundance of clear skies makes it the perfect location to plan a milky way photography trip here. It is effortless to create jaw-dropping milky way images in Sedona. There are red rocks to strategically put in your milky way images, as you see in the pictures on this page. You can be near the city lights, and the milky way still screams bright colors above you.
Your family can do some star gazing if they come along with you to view the night skies. The kids will be amazed at the number of stars there are and how bright they are, especially if you come from somewhere like New Jersey. We have three stars here. We have a few milky way locations in New Jersey, but we like Sedona much better for viewing the milky way and getting incredible images.
There are a plethora of photo opportunities in Sedona Arizona. We highly suggest it for all photographers
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Photography Information for Sedona Arizona
It is generally used to control the depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th sec. or lower because you lack light, you must put your camera on a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Anything handheld below 1/30 sec will be blurry. The higher the “f” number, the less light will come in, and your shutter speed will drop to let more light in.
When your “f” number goes up, your aperture closes. At f-22, you are barely letting any light in. Always watch your shutter speed when taking your shot, look at the bottom of the screen through the viewfinder and check your shutter speed. Do not let your shutter speed go too low when hand-holding. Sometimes you cannot get a super high f stop because you do not have enough light. This will happen quite often at times, such as a sunset. Again, put your camera on a tripod, and now your photos will not blur except for any subject moving in the image.
You might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is completely focused, and the background is blurred, called the bokeh effect. You will use your lowest F-number, such as 2.8 or 3.5. Go as small as your particular lens will allow. Shooting in Aperture Priority allows you to control this.
If you have moving subjects such as people moving, you will want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure your images come out sharp. When people are moving slowly, shoot at 1/250th sec, and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are moving very fast, increase your shutter speed to about 1/1000th sec. If it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as 1/1200 second for very fast-moving subjects.
If you have moving waters here, you can do your long exposure running, milky water shots. You will have to use a tripod for this effect. All of your settings will vary depending on the lighting and what neutral density filter you have. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters.
ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. The aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will vary depending on the light. Take some test shots to decide on your shutter speed after you put your neutral density filter on. (It’s like sunglasses for your camera to stop light from coming in).
Use your shutter release or your 2-second timer also to prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You will want at least a 5-second exposure for water. (If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get over 1/15th of a second in the sun. That does not give you a good effect). Go to our store to buy your ND filter. We like a 3.0 for super long exposure in the daytime, and we have a ten stop filter for bright sunny days.
Sedona Arizona Area Information
A Red Rock Pass (or America The Beautiful Interagency Pass, Golden Age or Golden Access) is required when leaving your vehicle unattended while recreating on National Forest land around Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. View the Red Rock Country Map to see locations of fee areas where the Red Rock Pass is required.
The pass must be displayed on the windshield of the vehicle. Vehicles parked on the National Forest in the red rock area that do not display a valid pass on the windshield are subject to receiving a citation. A pass is not required for incidental stopping to photograph or enjoy a scenic vista (approximately 15 minutes or less).
Where to Camp in Sedona
Add your campground here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are really good at getting there in the dark.
Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.
SEDONA ARIZONA HOTEL INFORMATION
Add your hotel here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost hunting friends to your hotel for their ghost hunting trip? Put your hotel information here. We will put a picture of your hotel, the website link, the phone number and your information on your hotel.
FOOD & DINING
SEDONA ARIZONA RESTAURANT INFOMATION
Add your Restaurant here! Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your restaurant after their ghost-hunting trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number and your information on your restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are really good at getting there in the dark.
SEDONA ARIZONA WEATHER INFORMATION
Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO such as 100.
If you are doing photography along with your ghost hunting on cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get a long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places be careful!