OK, I know that I have posted photos from Moab, Utah before. But honestly, it is just one of those places that I can't seem to stay away from. This trip, I intentionally avoided going to spots that I have previously obtained photos that I was satisfied with. To view those earlier photos, check out my blog posts dated April, 2012, which can be found on the menu on the right hand side of the page.
Fisher Towers and Colorado River
Sunset- Balanced Rock
Another iconic location for sunset is Balanced Rock in Arches NP. Just before sundown, as the last warm light of the day strikes the red rock, it can appear to glow a bright red. I was hoping for a few nice clouds to further improve the composition on this afternoon, but I don't want to be too greedy.
If one arch is good, then two arches must be even better, right? Double Arch is located in the windows section of Arches NP, and is a popular stop for tour busses in the park. It also is front lit by morning light, in the case of this photo, mid-morning light.
Stars Over South Window
Lately, I have become interested in photographing the night sky with interesting objects in the foreground. During my visit to Moab this trip, I was lucky enough to have a few days in which moonrise did not occur until a couple of hours after sundown, along with a relatively clear night sky. My initial idea was to photograph the night sky above turret arch, but I found that the sky became sufficiently dark over South Window first.
Turret Arch After Dark
Milky Way Over Turret Arch
For photographers interested in how one goes about photographing stars at night like this, here are a few technical details: Canon 5D2, 24 mm f2.8 lens wide open, manual focus, ISO 6400, 25 second exposure with noise reduction on. And, most importantly, a sturdy tripod that will not blow over in the wind.
This was my second visit to False Kiva in Canyonlands NP. My primary motivation for returning again was, I now have a lens which provides a wider angle of view than i had during my first visit. False Kiva is not a site which is marked on the park maps, and it requires a bit of research to be able to locate. The hike to False Kiva is not exceptionally long, but the last portion involves hiking down over the edge of the canyon below the site, traversing below the site to the opposite side of the canyon, then climbing back up to reach the site. My sixty year old knees were a bit sore for several days after this hike/rock climb. Was it worth the hike? I guess my viewers can decide.
Sunset in Canyonlands
I once read a comment by a good landscape photographer which noted that photographing landscapes is really all about the weather, and we just happen to do it in locations with interesting or picturesque foregrounds. On my last evening in Moab, after going to False Kiva earlier in the afternoon, I decided to shoot sunset from Green River Overlook in Canyonlands NP. That spot looks westward, and if one is very lucky, at sundown a nice bunch of clouds will hang low over the setting sun, and provide a nice sunset with the canyons formed by the Green River in the foreground. Well, the night I chose to go there was probably the most under-whelming sunset that I have ever seen. To my even greater chagrin, I noticed that there were a nice group of clouds in the East, 180 degrees away from the composition that I had chosen to photograph. Since I had no time to get to a spot which showed any canyons in the East below this sunset, I hurridly grabbed a couple of shots with only the landscape beside the parking lot under the blazing sky. I suppose the lesson to be learned was to pay less attention to my preconceived notions, and more attention to where the clouds are at sunset.