Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Success (sort of)

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, AZ

This is not a great photograph.  It’s an “OK” photograph, I suppose.  It’s probably in the “pretty picture” division of the overall photographic world.  It will never win any recognition for originality or style.  So why show it?

Because it took me a few years to get it.  That’s the only reason.  I’ve been to this spot a number of times and I’ve always been denied a decent shot.  It ain’t easy, even though it usually looks easy.  The usual problem is people standing in the water or on the banks of Oak Creek.  Which, of course, they have every right to do.  And sometimes the image looks pretty good with people in it.  I’d just rather they weren’t there.

Another problem is the illumination of the rocks.  You’d like to see all of the spires “lit”.  But at certain times of the year, it doesn’t happen.  Like right now.

But it’s closer to what I wanted (and probably what a few million other people try to get) than anything I’ve gotten before.  There were no people.  The water was relatively calm.  And the lighting was half-assed decent.

As I said, success – sort of.  Now I can go back to looking for stuff that might border on originality.  Or at least original to me.  I have my iconic picture of Cathedral Rock.  Just like 10 million others.


2 Responses to “Success (sort of)”

  1. ken bello

    I think you may be a little modest, Paul. It’s certainly way better than “OK” and I have nothing against “Post Card” type photos. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of respect for them. The perfect photos are usually reserved for the area resident photographers that keep an eye on the weather, foliage and even crowds and can be at the location very quickly without planning for 3 months. I always buy the postcards at the gift shops anyway. But to get to a famous spot like this and not get anyone else in the photo takes a lot of skill and a little luck. As a statistician, you may not believe in luck, but you probably do as a photographer.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Ken. I appreciate that. I usually don’t buy the postcards, but I always look at them and make mental comparisons to my own images. But for some reason, taking them always makes me feel a little guilty. Like you’re cheating or something.

      Oh, I’ve always believed in “luck”. No matter what form it takes. I know people, for example, who always seem to win in Las Vegas. They put their money in and get more money back! Not me. I put my money in and it goes away forever. And we’re not talking about games of skill here, either. Just dumb luck.


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