Sedona Airport Vortex | New to HDR Photography?


Nikon D-90 with Tokina 11-17mm lens @ 11 mm, 3 shot bracket on tripod, f8, 1/750 sec, ISO 200. Processes in Photomatix merge-to-32-bit plugin, Adobe Lightroom, NIK, color efex pro,

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We’re in a Vortex!

When Mai heard that we were going to be driving home from Colorado through Arizona she immediately requested that we spend some time in Sedona.  “I hear they have energy vortexes there and I want to experience them.”  Yes, I know it sounds a little Woo Woo.. and maybe it is.  But my mind is open so Sedona was set as our major destination.  Upon doing just a little research I found that there are four energy vortexes around Sedona.  The highest energy one of those (getting a 7 out of 10 rating) is the most easily accessible too and right in the middle of town at the end of the runway at the airport.  Who knew?  There is even a cool map with detailed instructions to get to each of the four vortexes online.  I put the vortex map on my iPad before we took off to find the first one.

Sedona Airport Vortex

The airport vortex was the one we decided to hit first.  It ended up being located on top of a small red rock with a magnificent 360 degree view.  The photo above is taken from right in the heart of the energy vortex looking out over Sedona.  Photography is the first order of business for me.  After getting that out of the way I sat down on top of the rock, crossed my legs and closed my eyes to see if I could feel anything from this vortex. Mai was way ahead of me and in some meditative state already.

It didn’t take long.  A churning of energy began in my stomach and quickly expanded throughout my torso.  Feeling this made me smile.  Keeping my eyes closed I then suddenly saw some bright yellow flickering lights in my left eye and it seemed that I could feel the energy healing the optic nerve in my eye which is gradually dying from glaucoma that I’ve had for 20 years. There was no explanation for it, nor did I need one.  Just went with whatever was happening and it was good. Having the intention of receiving the energy is important… upon leaving the vortex what remained for me was a feeling of calmness and bliss.

Before leaving Sedona to see the Grand Canyon and head home, we experienced two other vortexes.  Neither of them was as strong as the airport vortex but I did feel some a similar healing in my bad right knee at the Boynton Canyon vortex.  It was also very interesting to see the twisted bark of the juniper trees near these vortexes.  I’ll process a shot of one of those trees and post it for you to see too.  The map of the vortexes talks about that side effect of the energy in these spots.  After my experience at the Sedona airport vortex and the others, I’m definitely more of a believer now.  Please comment below about your vortex experience.

 The Simple Equipment I Use for HDR Photography

For landscape HDR photography I really love my Tokina 11-17mm lens. Even on my crop sensor Nikon D-90 I get a very expansive view. Imagine what it would be like on a full frame camera? This shot of Sendona is with the lens at minimum zoom of 11mm, which, on a crop sensor camera, is about equivalent to a 17mm lens on a 35 mm camera.  This goes to show you that it’s entirely possible to get great HDR photographs from simple equipment.  The D-90 is a prosumer camera and the Tokina lens I picked up on Craigslist for $500.  For processing most all of my photos now I use Adobe Lightroom 4.1 and either Photomatix Pro or the new Photomatix merge-to-32-bit Lightroom plugin.  For this shot I used the plugin.

It’s even possible to make great HDR photographs from simpler equipment.  About the only requirement is that your camera be able to shoot RAW frames.  JPEG photos have already been too tweaked and compressed to be of any good in the HDR process.  So if you want to begin making HDR photographs yourself, find a camera that shoots RAW and can do automatic bracketing.  My Nikon D-90 is great for this and, now that it’s sort of old, in camera years, can be bought cheaply on EBAY or Craigslist to get you started. But before you buy anything, check the camera you own now, it may just have these features already and you just didn’t know you needed them!

Then come back and I’ll show you how to easily process your HDR photography.

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