Multi-Layered Sedona Landscape

A big landscape from around Sedona, AZ. I call this a “multi-layered” landscape not because I used layers during post-processing (rather, all editing was done in Lightroom), but because of the diverse terrain in the image - from the flat rock foreground, to the greenery, to the red rock mountains and, beyond a hazy valley, the pale mountain in the distance. (The haze in the valley was caused by a prescribed burn that was in progress at the time. I thought it created a nice effect in the image so I didn’t even try to remove it.)

Exposure: 1/200sec, f/14, ISO 220
Focal length: 75mm

I’m not very good at landscapes, so I’m trying to learn from the experts here on NPN! So all feedback (both technical and artistic) is welcome and appreciated.

Hi Mark,

Welcome to the magnificent landscape photography genre. Arizona is an amazing state to be a landscape photographer. I am a huge fan of Sedona, myself.

My primary nit with this image is the lighting conditions. Midday light is rather harsh. Many landscape photographers often favor sunrise and sunset times primarily as the light is “sweet” and gentle on the landscape, creating smooth transitions between light and shadow. Colors are less flat and more rich in early and late daytime light.

The colors in this image are rather strong as a result of the lighting. I would go back to the location when possible and go around sunrise or sunset. There are some great phone apps out there for “prediction” of sunset placement and timing such as Photo Pills, Photographer’s Ephemeris 3D (my personal favorite) and more.

The framing of the photo looks good and the smoke adds to the atmosphere for sure. The photo looks fairly well balanced. Under better lighting, this photo would shine in my opinion.

I hope this helps. You have great subjects in Sedona and elsewhere in Arizona. I hope you enjoy the landscape photography journey as much as I do!

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Thanks Michael! I definitely agree about shooting at sunrise/sunset. I wish I could have in this case, but this was taken while I was on vacation and I just happened to be in that area at mid-day. I never had a chance to go back at a better time of day. I live in the northeast U.S., but I’m anxious to get back to Arizona someday!
Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

I like the atmospheric haze here as it adds depth to the background. I feel this would benefit from a panoramic format to eliminate the foreground. It’s not adding anything of visual interest for me and distracting. Nice view.

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WOW those colors in the rocks. Might be the haze, but seems a bit soft, such as in the rocks. Curious how it would look with the rocks sharpened up a little, and MAYBE local contrast on them. But I would have to experiment.

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