Aravaipa Canyon in March 2013

Mary Ann and I hiked Aravaipa Canyon again this year (I submitted a post for last year’s hike also). This post has a description and some photographs.

We stayed at the Quality Inn in Globe on Wednesday night, and arrived at Aravaipa trailhead about 8 AM on Thursday (note: we didn’t need to stay in Globe; it’s only about a 2 hour drive from our house). We hiked up the canyon until about noon, and got back to the car about 2:30 and headed for Madera Canyon (I’ll submit a post on that a little later). We went slowly on the hike up the canyon, taking time to explore and take pictures. We heard that there is a nice swimming hole further up with pools and rocks to dive from. We didn’t make it that far. Maybe next time we’ll focus more on covering some ground than bird and butterfly watching. We won’t be diving off of the rocks, but I’d like to see the spot.

I didn’t get any great bird pictures. We saw three new butterflies. We saw the Common Blackhawk again in the same spot as last year. Unfortunately it flew off when we approached and was too far away for good pictures. There was a pair of Common Blackhawks.

Here are the pictures:

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  1. Mary Jill
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    The canyon looks almost fake, the colors are so rich. Did you enhance the green? Love the rare photo of hiker. Great shots.

  2. Joe
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. That’s a good comment on the landscape pictures – thanks for the feedback. For the landscape shots of the canyon I used High Dynamic Range (HDR) post processing. Each picture is created from three pictures, one with a low exposure (2 stops low) to get highly exposed features (e.g. the sky, bright reflections, etc), one at normal exposure, and one at high exposure (two stops high) to get underexposed things (e.g. shadows, silhouettes, etc). I did a post about this a while ago. The idea is that camera sensors don’t have the same dynamic range as our eyes. For example if we set the exposure on something in the shade, then the sky can get washed out on the camera sensor, but our eyes wouldn’t see it that way.

    For combining the pictures I use a computer program called Photomatix. This opens a huge range of options for massaging the picture to make it look like you want. There are a couple dozen options the program gives, and if you don’t like those you can make up your own. I used one of the programs options. I tried to pick one that didn’t look too fake, but brought out the features of the image. As far as the green goes, I actually reduced the amount of green from the program option (so I didn’t use exactly used what their option was). Maybe I should have reduced it some more.

    Some people love HDR, and some hate it. I just like that it gives more options, and helps in situations where it’s difficult to get a good picture otherwise. Examples are sunsets and sunrises. I think in some situations it helps get a picture closer to what you really saw.

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