Arch Glow - Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

The most photographed icon in Canyonlands is, without a doubt, Mesa Arch. It is a classic sunrise location and is much sought after by every serious photographer. The biggest challenge in getting "the shot" is to get there very early to make sure you get a good position. That is because the area where you can get the classic view of the sun peeking over the distant mountains is very small. In fact, there may be space for only 12-15 people, and there are some that camp out overnight to get a prime spot.

Our group of eight left the hotel in Moab at 4:30am, and, when we got there, we barely fit. I don't think that any one of us got the perfect position, but we all had a decent view. Once set up, all we had to do was wait for sunrise. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans did not account for cloud cover that hid the sun until well after sunrise. As a result, the classic shot was not to be that morning. A little later, the sun did peek through, and I tried some different compositions to capture the orange glow of the arch. This one is a bit different from others that I have seen, and it still conveys the arch's beauty. I guess that a future trip is in order to capture the classic shot.