Monday, May 9, 2011

Delicate Arch or How to Photograph an Icon


Delicate Arch is a Utah icon. It is pretty much the state symbol of Utah and is even on the license plate. It is also a very popular place with hikers and photographers. There are usually 40+ people who make the hike up the slickrock to watch the sunset. I jokingly refer to it is the Delicate Arch Press Corps.

After spending 5 nights up in Canyonlands I moved over to Arches for my last two nights and yes I decided to go to Delicate Arch for a sunset.

I made the hike up and saw that a large number of people were gathering. Since it was still in the afternoon I walked out under the arch. That is something you really cannot do at sunset without making a lot of folks unhappy, but with three hours before sunset it is do-able.

I then decided I wanted to see how I could do a different image of the arch. I saw that there was a rock outcropping to the southwest of the arch. There were also some awesome high flying clouds in the sky. So I hiked around to the rock outcropping and set up there.

You can see the view in the top image. The clouds made this a perfect location and the view is way different than the standard one.

I photographed back over toward the other photographers who well all in the standard location. Don't get me wrong it is a fantastic view but I wanted to see about something different. See the second image and make out the small crowd there.

Finally an image to let you see how precarious the slick rock is. People walk to the arch and sometimes beyond it. Well, as you can see you are not going too far before it is a big drop.

It is actually that way on both sides of the arch. People from the standard view have to skirt the top of the bowl because it gets steep fast.

So if you go, have fun, and watch your step.

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