If there is a more beautiful place in Sedona, I haven’t seen it. Cathedral Rock could not be more aptly named as it is a manifestation of nature’s ultimate version of a “church in the woods”. This is a place worth visiting over and over again. A place for quiet contemplation, prayer and ultimately to photograph. However, as one of those places that has been photographed by the millions, doing something out of the ordinary can only be accomplished by a vision, a patience and a luck that surpasses most others.

This photographed emerged after numerous attempts over a period of years in circumstances that ranged from sublime to impossible. Bad lighting, bad weather and more often than not, less than considerate tourist photographers erased many a moment. Never have I lost more opportunities than here. Typically, I would arrive mid to late afternoon to stake out my spot based on the prevailing or anticipated light for the evening. Some hours later, as evening approached and lighting improved, numerous tourists/photographers would arrive with cameras in hand and literally take over the area and every angle of view along with it. Standing in front of me, beside me, behind me and all about me, I have left exasperated never once firing the shutter because what I had been waiting for was replaced by what I had feared……people.

Still, time, patience and a little luck can overcome a multitude of obstacles and one night, they provided me the opportunity to capture this image.

Stormy skies and threatening weather eliminated the vast majority of tourists. Few remained but those who did were rewarded with something special. I was staked out in my usual location with my tripod in the water. There was a particular rock which had washed over the waterfall and stood upright providing an interesting foreground in the way the water flowed around it. As the sun dropped in the western horizon, skies began to clear. At the last moment a shaft of warm and diffused light revealed itself through the clouds bathing Cathedral Rock into an image of beauty I had not seen previous.