Mesa Arch Flare - Canyonlands, National Park, Utah

One of the most iconic and most challenging images to capture of the American Southwest is Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. Why is it so challenging? It is not because it is difficult to find or get to. It is really all about its popularity with photographers; getting "the" shot during a small window of time (sunrise); and a very small area for photographers to get a good position. In fact, there may be space for only 10-12 people, and there are some that camp out overnight to get a prime spot. So, even when you get up well before sunrise, drive 45 minutes from Moab, hike to its location, you may well be totally shut out.

Last March, we arrived before sunrise and more than half of the space to shoot the arch was taken. That left few areas to get any shot of the sunrise. I was able to get a position on the right side which enabled me to get this photo as the sun rose above the distant La Sal Mountains. I wasn't able to get the full arch into my composition until later in the morning. All in all, I was pretty happy with this image and liked the sun burst and sun flare.