Mesa Arch

It is funny, my imagination created very different visions of some of the icons on the Colorado Plateau. I could never have known just how massive some of the arches are in Arches National Park, in photographs it is hard to judge the scale of them. Mesa Arch of the Canyonlands National Park was one arch that I thought for sure would be one of the largest I had seen yet, it was not. I was surprised to find that it was actually one of the smallest. It is hard to call it small when it spans 75 ft. but in comparison to Double Arch, which spans 148 ft. and is 104 ft. tall, it kind of is.

It might not be quite as big as some of the other arches, but size is not everything. The view of the Colorado Plateau through Mesa Arch is completely awe-inspiring. As the sun rises through the opening it begins to paint the underside of the arch with rich orange light. The Plateau floor begins to light up and distant Mesas and Spires begin to glow.

Mesa Arch was one of few spots that I had to share with other photographers. When I arrived an hour before sunrise, three other people were already there. As sunrise began to draw near, people started coming out of the wood work. By the time the sun was actually rising I bet there were close to 50 people watching the event. Annoying? a little bit, but these icons of the Colorado Plateau deserve the attention, they need to be seen in person to truly understand their drama.

Canon 6D, Nikon 14-24 (@20mm), Novoflex Adapter, ISO 100, F/22, Hand blend of two exposures, One exposure at 1/13th of a second for the bright highlights, one exposure at 1/2 of a second for the shadows.

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