Canyonlands and Arches: Icons

Over Thanksgiving, we took a trip to Moab. Bob wanted to mountain bike, and I thought I’d be able to grab some good shots of Canyonlands and Arches. Turns out–no, I couldn’t. I had thought about getting up for sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, but then I discovered that it was going to be in the 20s at night. As anyone who camps knows, it is not only darkest before the dawn but also coldest. I just couldn’t convince myself to get out of my sleeping bag in the cold dark to travel for an hour or so from my camping spot just to fight for elbow room which a bunch of other photographers.

But I did go once the sun was up.

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Ditto with Delicate Arch. Had big plans of hiking up there at sunset. So did 737 other people. This is what Delicate Arch looked like when I arrived.

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I’m particularly fond of the person with their arms raised in a “V” in the arch.

I realized it really wasn’t going to be worth my while to wait, so I snapped some carefully timed shots in which there was only one person, then photoshopped them out. Behold the (faked) solitary magnificence of Delicate Arch.

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Honestly, it’s hard to do much with Delicate Arch. Or at least I find myself creatively stumped at Arches. This is about as creative as I got: framing the mountain in the background in the arch. OOOOOOH!

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So, Canyonlands and Arches were kind of a bust, but–as is usually the case–it was the unexpected parts of the trip that were for me the most fun to photograph. Coming soon: a bunch of pictures of frost in the desert, Goblin Valley, and a pretty little slot canyon called Little Wild Horse. Hold onto your butts!

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