Today began at the ungodly hour of 4AM. Photographers are a rare breed like that, we think that it is cool to get up BEFORE the ass-crack of dawn so that we can catch the best light of the day. Sure, there are other people who get up or stay up for bizarre times (like astronomers), but we photographers think that not only do you have to be out when the sun comes up, but also when it goes back down! Why take only one when you get two for free!?
By 0430 we were rolling down the road towards Canyonlands National Park. Mesa Arch in the “Island in the Sky” district was the destination. With headlamps and flashlights and packs full of camera gear we made our way to the arch in the twilight. Amazingly, we were the fist people to arrive there, so we got prime pickings for spots to shoot from. It was also a very ominous start to a day that would turn out to be fantastic. The only downside was that one of the members of our group had fallen ill due to food poisoning and didn’t feel well enough to make the hike.
We wrapped up shooting at the arch around 0730 after one of the best light shows you could ever hope for. Only the photos will really describe it, and I have one for you a little later on. Once we piled back into the cars and headed out to the Grand View Point. From here you can look out into the two other districts of Canyonlands, “The Needles” district and “The Maze” District. Both of those districts I have yet to visit, but the drive is a lot longer and they are a lot more wild. probably a trip to be done with my brother at some point.
We got to breakfast (finally) at around 0945 and then off to the classroom for some photo editing and some lecture time. I was so tired it was hard to pay attention, but I did and I have the notes to prove it! From there we had time for a much needed nap before we were to head out again for the evening shoot.
For the evening shoot we hiked up to Delicate Arch, the iconic symbol of both Arches National Park and the State of Utah. We got up with plenty of time before we got to the golden hour so we shot some fun stuff like a jumping photo under the arch. I managed to have a guy yell at me for being under the arch on account of the “dozen photographers waiting to take a picture without you [me] in it!” The irony being that: A) This man was not of of those photographers, in fact he left almost immediately after the incident, and B) Nine of those photogs were in our group. Whatever, I paid the same amount of taxes as anyone there and I have every right to take my time! So, bite-me crazy-man-who-I-will-never-see-again!
After capturing some great sunset images we hiked back to the cars in the dwindling light with a family from Israel who realized the stayed a little too long and didn’t have flashlights. They were good company on the walk, fun to talk to. We hit up Zax for some pizza and beer and now it is basically bed time. Tomorrow will be another long day.
With that, I suppose it is time for the photo of the day. This is tough because there are so many great ones. I haven’t even had time to got through them all. So I picked this one because it was kind of the iconic shot for the day. So here it is, Mesa Arch:
As always, comments and critiques are welcome! I will post more images over at IceWolf Photography as I get through them (I know I am way behind already!).