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Mesa Arch Sunrise



Yes, I know ... how could I go to Canyonlands National Park and not get up at the crack of dawn, drive a full hour into the unknown of the desert, hike for 15 minutes and photograph one of the most famous arches on the planet? Well, I did. I know, it's been shot time and time again and yes, I WAS the first photographer to arrive and yes, my wife thought I was crazy for getting to the location at 6am when the sun wasn't scheuled to rise until 7:36am but I told her " the time the sun rises there will easily be 5-10 photographers all lined up and I want pole position...I didn't come this far to settle for second best..." she rolled her eyes...and she's right, I am crazy. It was freezing cold, pitch dark and you could hear your own heart beat it was so silent.


So we hiked out, did a quick scout, shined the flashlight around to get our bearings of where to walk, and where to NOT walk...given there's a giant cliff only a few feet from where I was setting up.


By the time early twilight was enough to see without a flashlight, there were 5 other photographers setting the time the sun began to light up the belly of the arch, as it is famous for, there were over 20 photographers lined up!! It was crazy and I was pinched in the middle with zero oppertunity to move around to get a variety of compositions. I was stuck, to say the least so I got creative...


Once the sun and arch started doing their thing, I was deseperate to get a better composition but moving was NOT an option so I took down my Canon 1Ds Mark III in exchange for my Canon 1D Mark III which has a 1.3x crop factor, put on my fisheye and voila, a wider scene without the full fisheye effect (due to the sensor crop factor). I know, I'm brilliant, what can I say??


Kidding aside, what a place...a giant rock arch spanning a shear cliff drop, hundreds of feet to the valley floor. I know many of you have been and know...for those who havn't been, put this near the top of your to-do's amazing.


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Taken on November 26, 2008