After hiking to the Seven Sacred Pools near Sedona, Arizona, I knew I needed to photograph it during the night. Mostly because I only photograph night scenes.
I learned that photographing the Seven Sacred Pools during the day is somewhat an easy accomplishment, only about a mile and a half hike. But during the night, the gate accessing the trailhead is closed, and any car left in the parking area will prompt a rescue team. I really didn't want that, and I contacted the Forest Service to obtain a special permit and plan my shot.
I convinced a friend to hike in the night, help me in this adventure and be my assistant. My biggest promise to her was lots of laughs, and I accomplished that also. We did have lots of fun!
The hike is not that long and with very little elevation gain, which was great when hiking in the dark carrying photo equipment, lighting, and tripods. I planned it right; it was winter, and we were not stressed about rattlesnakes or spiders to deal with in the dark in the high desert environment.
We arrived at Seven Sacred Pools and waited a couple of hours for the moonset. The moon set behind Coffee Pot, the rock formation on the left in the distance, and stars covered the sky. The temperatures were dropping as the night was advancing to late hours. It was a dark night, perfect for the lighting we brought in. We placed a few strategic lights illuminating the blue agave and the desert rocks. We completed the vision with some light painting, creating the perfect night desert scene.
The reflections of some starts on the Seven Sacred Pools, the desert landscape of the red rocks, the blue agave, and the starry night made my dream shot for that night.
The pools were starting to create a tiny ice layer, and we had some frost over our hoodies when we left this astonishing sight to hike our way back. It was well worth it!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor