The sun breaks at Mesa Arch, Version II - Where few tread...
Our #1 'Bucket List' location... Yes, there's no shortage of images of this scene, here on SM or elsewhere. Every image has a different feel, season or perspective - but all are spectacular. But still, we needed our own view. I've long dreamed of standing here to photograph what is likely the most familiar southwestern sunrise view ever published. Red and I planned two mornings and two evenings in Moab, UT. to be sure we could visit Mesa Arch first in the daytime, to plan and scout our our sunrise return. Approximately a quarter-mile hike from the Islands in the Sky Mesa Arch trailhead in Canyonlands National Park, getting to the arch and staking claim to a decent tripod spot meant departing Moab at about 4:30 AM for a 7:00ish sunrise. We had read that some mornings, 40+ tripods are fighting for a view - when in reality, only about 3 spots provide a perfect perspective. We were early enough to claim one of those 3! So, for about an hour - with sunrise at the halfway point, we composed and bracket-shot about 450 images from which to work both single and HDR images. Shifting from our 10-20MM to our 24-70MM we went about feverishly capturing the ever changing scene. Funny thing though... we'd like to return and do this again - without a camera... and just soak it all in.
Viewed in 'Largest Size' you will see 'Washer Woman Arch.' She's the left of two formations rising from the valley floor - just left of image-center. A rock appearing as a woman wearing a long dress working her wash - facing the sun.. The arch is more visable of course, if viewed from further south (right) looking back northward (left.)
See More of AZ and UT National Parks here:
Some ask why the bottom of the arch glows so.. As the sunlight illuminates the red earth of the cliff below the arch and then bounces upward, it strikes the bottom of the arch and creates the mystical red/orange glow...
From The Southwestern Sun