Arches National Park: Delicate Arch

20130303_Moab Trip_8304Locations like Delicate Arch are difficult to photograph. Look online and you can see thousands on technically great shots, thousands more that try to hard with star trails, sparklers, dramatic light and on and on. Lots of advice as to best time of day or examples of the arch in different seasons. The first time I was there I made a midday panorama that had around 70 people in it. A cold day in early March had a dozen people up there posing for family photos under the arch and more on the way up. Delicate Arch is kind of like the Eiffel Tower in that the thing itself is so cool and so recognizable that photographs of it rarely do it justice. Delicate Arch and they way you come up on it from the trail is so powerful that I like to sit down and enjoy the view and spend some quality time taking it all in, consider how amazing it is that this exists. Then take some pictures, mostly for my personal archive.

20130303_Moab Trip_8258As I was sitting up there on a rock at Delicate Arch, camera anchored to one of my trusty tripods, watching all the people and taking it in. A family with teenage boys approached the Arch and had a little photo session. Mom and Dad hugging under the Arch, Mom with the boys, goofy shots looking like you are pushing the arch, all the usual stuff. One of the teenage boys wandered away from the group and was messing with a phone or iPod. As I watched him I noticed that this was the picture that I wanted to make. Kind of funny to walk up to a world famous site and take a picture that does not include the “famous” thing. It’s a shot, a view, a situation that I had not seen, it spoke to me of being disconnected to the environment. 20130303_Moab Trip_8320

People watching in the National Parks is a great activity as is spotting cool cars in the parking lots. As we concluded the hike and made it to the parking lot the first thing I noticed was this really cool bright red Jeep. Chrome wheels, big tires, winch, fancy bumpers, the works. Easily a $50K ride but with no soul (at least not yet). Parked a short distance was this old Dodge Van. My friends and I gathered around it and inspected it’s scars, rust and dirt. This was not the best ride in the lot but man it has some history. Just looking at it you know it has had some serious adventures.

9 thoughts on “Arches National Park: Delicate Arch

  1. I can not get enough of these arches and this marvelous landscape.
    I would like to drive there soon – behind the old car in the picture ;-)

  2. I get a lot of chances to explore California & the Pacific Northwest but these photos get me really excited to visit Utah. We recently had family move there and your beautiful pictures really inspire me to get out and visit them (and take my camera of course:)).

    • Inspiring people to get out and explore is the reason I do the blog. I’m glad it inspired you. Have fun exploring Utah. There is a lifetime of things to see.

  3. I agree totally. I feel alot of commonly photographed sites like this one are often difficult to photograph. There are tons of great technical photographs at arches, but going there and photographing can be difficult. I shot arches when I was a very young photographer, and I got similar results. I’d like to arrange for another trip to the monument now that I have 10+ years experience. It’s amazing how returning to a site repeatedly changes your vision

    • Reminds me that I should dig out some old chromes of my first trip to arches when I was assisting a most excellent commercial photographer, Larry Namik.

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