Sandstone Towers, Early Evening. Arches National Park, Utah. April 5, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Early evening back-light on sandstone towers and desert terrain, Arches National Park.
I made this photograph within minutes of entering Arches National Park for the very first time. I have written before that this was my very first time photographing in Utah – yes, embarrassing, but true! The downside of this is that I now really wish that I had taken the time to travel here much earlier. But the upside is that I had the rare experience of encountering a completely new and, for me, unanticipated landscape for the first time.
Before departing for Utah – where we visited a veritable smorgasbord of locations – I had done almost no research beyond figuring out where the nearest lodging was. In fact, even once we were in the state I was still figuring out how to get from one location to another. There are perhaps several reasons for this approach, but one was that I do not necessarily want to go to a new place with overly strong ideas about what I should photograph nor about how I should photograph it. I prefer to get there, look around, try to get the “feeling” of the place, and begin making the photographs that I see. We arrived in Moab late in the day and checked into a motel. There was still some light left so we figured we should go somewhere… and Arches is very close! So the decision was made, and off we went. By the time we reached the Park Avenue area not far from the entrance I was stunned by what I was seeking. (It helped that we arrived at the beginning of “golden hour,” but I digress…) There were huge sandstone walls, thin fins of rock, tall towers, some with boulders perched on top – this seemed about as close to an “impossible landscape” as any I have seen. Frankly, it was overwhelming. We passed Park Avenue and drove ahead a bit to where the view opened up to this astonishing panorama, at which point we pulled out and I began making photographs, including this one that includes towers and fins backlit by the late afternoon light under thin clouds.
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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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.