Have you been to mesa arch? It is absolutely spectacular. What makes it less spectacular is when you're flying up into the park from your "camping spot" on the side of a BLM road outside of Moab, and you're imagining how your first sunrise photo shoot of Mesa Arch will go... it's going to be gorgeous! Gazillions have photographed it, but somehow I'm going to capture it in a way nobody else has... imagining all the angles I'll try, and the perspectives... I'm really going to work this shot today and push myself to come up with new perspectives!! Oh wait, no I'm not. There's a line up of 25+ people and I'm lucky to squeeze my way in and get any reasonable shot. Eek. As I'm taking my one, non-unique shot... some guy, who seems pleasant and excited to be there and I'd probably like him just fine despite the language barrier, until... he literally crawls out and sets up directly IN FRONT OF MY FREAKIN' CAMERA?!? Seriously? We didn't speak the same language, but I let him get a shot off (because I understood the frustration of being in the crowd) and then stepped forward and tapped him on the shoulder and gave him my best "WTF are you doing" scowl, which I think relatively universal, and he backed out.
So... amazing spot, but being there on one of the first days of my trip had me questioning what I'm doing with photography again. Driving around the country to jostle with crowds and redo comps we've all seen a zillion times before isn't very satisfying (even though this spot is pretty special and worth doing at least once). I need to get more comfortable hiking way out into the wilderness and camping alone (or at least hiking back in the dark alone or enlarging my circle of friends who will hike back after dark) where nobody else is to escape the crowds and get back to what drew me to photography in the first place. Those crowds at mesa arch are brutal.
By the way... I saw Peter Lik shoot this on his show, and it looked like he had the spot to himself... did the masses willingly back out and let him shoot the spot for his show there?