The Organ and the Tower of Babel. Arches National Park, Utah. April 6, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
The Organ and The Tower of Babel in early morning light, Arches National Park, Utah.
We had arrived in Moab, Utah the previous afternoon, and a quick reconnaissance into the Arches National Park in the early evening had impressed me quite a bit, to say the least! This was my first visit to Arches, and I had only a very general idea of what I might see, so coming upon the fantastic sandstone formations – towers, walls, fins, arches, and more – for the first time was a powerful experience. That evening I had a short time to photograph in conditions that were mixed – very nice light but tremendously strong winds that challenged my ability to use a long lens to pick out small sections of the landscape… and my ability to stay warm! In any case, the brief initial visit was enough to give me some ideas of what I might want to photograph early the next morning.
I was up early and into the park before sunrise the next day. Once again, it was cold – colder, actually – and very windy. I’m often fond of photographing big landscapes with long lenses that let me isolate elements from the larger scene and compress the distances, and I wanted to use that approach with some of the formations close to the “Park Avenue” and Courthouse Towers area of the park. With this in mind I stopped a an exposed spot that gave me a view of a number of these features, put on the long lens, set up the tripod… and then struggled with the tremendously windy conditions as the very beautiful light appeared. It was do-able, but not easy. This photograph includes the very early morning light on the faces of The Organ and the Tower of Babel, two huge sandstone fin-like sandstone towers, with high desert, a thin row of cottonwood trees, and more gigantic sandstone cliffs beyond.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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