Red Rocks and Baseball

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I like landscape photography; I also love baseball. Arizona offers an abundance of both in March. The warm weather is a bonus for a winter weary east coast visitor.

I packed my camera bag, did the required photo location research and headed for my JFK to Sky Harbor (Phoenix) Airport flight. The plan was to rent a car in Phoenix and make the two hour drive north to Sedona. Sedona is best known for two things, large canyon walls and Monoliths sculpted from Red Rock and Vortex’s that some claim posses powerful positive energy.

The plan was to spend three days (two nights) photographing the Sedona landscape and then return to the Tempe area and take in some Spring Training Baseball games. I wanted to take a crack at photographing some MLB baseball players in action.

I packed my Fujifilm X-T3 and X-T2 camera bodies. Their compact size and robust features make them the perfect camera for air travel and hiking. I also included an Infrared converted Fuji X-E2 camera body. My lens selection required some extra thought. I could only bring three and they had to work for landscape and sports. I selected Fuji’s 50 – 140mm F2.8 with the 1.4x converter, 10 -24mm F4 and the 23mm F2.

The 50 – 140mm is great for sports and one of my favorites for landscapes that encompass vast distances and lots of detail. The 10-24mm is a must for sweeping landscapes with lots of foreground. The 23mm is a prime lens, allowing me the ability to use a wide open aperture to isolate subjects.

My last trip to Sedona was 24 years ago. This trip I had just 48 hours slotted to explore Sedona. I had guidebook and road maps. Generally, these items only help with the famous tourists’ sites. I did not want to use my short time photographing in a crowd. Before arriving in Sedona, I had contacted A local photography guide (via a Google search). I hoped this would afford me the opportunity to find some of the less photographed locations. When hiring a guide I always like to schedule it for the first day I am there. This allows me to use the rest of my time there visiting site suggestions by my guide.

The weather was lovely, scenic sunsets and sunrises, afternoons blanketed with cobalt blue skies. Mornings were cold and often windy requiring a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat. Afternoons were comfortable, and a light coat would do. The conditions allowed me to use my 48 hours to my best advantages photographically. I was able to visit and photograph a varied array of landscapes. I left Sedona satisfied that I had one or two photos I could be proud to display. I also left feeling there was more to do and would someday have to return. Only this time I will not wait 24 years.

Leaving Sedona, I made the two-hour return Drive to the Phoenix/ Tempe area. The goal here was to enjoy MLB Spring Training Baseball. Enjoying some MLB game action in the relaxed atmosphere of spring training is an experience. Players are more approachable and have more time for the fans. In contrast to Sedona where my goal was to get good photos, here I just wanted to enjoy baseball and maybe get a good action photo or two.

I got to enjoy a Chicago Cubs game in Mesa and an Anaheim Angels game in Tempe. At the Latter, I got to see Baseball’s new 425 Million dollar man, Mike Trout up close. The games were a success both from the enjoyment and photographic angle. I hope to return for future Spring Training’s.

The entire trip was enjoyable and productive. I got my photographic fix satisfied in a location offering ample epic shots. After a long winter with no baseball I was able to enjoy the rebirth of a new season in relaxed environment. Red Rocks and Baseball make excellent partners.

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