Mesa Arch – Canyonlands

8 07 2009

Mesa Arch Dawn

OK…. OK… This is a bit of a cliche’d image, but if you are staying in Canyonlands you just HAVE to shoot Mesa Arch at Dawn…. once you are there,  you’ll find there aren’t a whole lot of unique angles… there really only is a couple of variations on the one shot.

I had heard that you can get up to 30 photographers at this location jockeying for position, so I thought I’d get there an hour before Dawn and stake my spot.  I bought my little stove with me and brewed up a nice cup of coffee while I perched on the edge of the cliff watching the pre-dawn light.   About 20 minutes later another photographer came and set up and then a whole frigging bus of Japanese tourists rock up.  Whenever any of them got anywhere near my angle of sight I gave them the filthiest glare…. now normally that might not do it.. but I haven’t shaved for 9 days…. I slept out in my swag last night and I reckon that I look like some strange psycho right about now….. trust me… the glare did the trick.

I also light painted the same arch last night, so it will be interesting to contrast the two images… dawn in colour… night in B&W.

Today I’m going to hike out to False Kiva in Canyonlands, and then for my finale I’m going to try to light paint Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Tomorrow my adventure comes to an end as I drive back to Denver and then fly back home.

It has been a blast.




10 responses

8 07 2009

Welcome back to Utah! I’m enjoying the photos from your trip, excellent choice of locations, excellent photographs. I like the angle on this photo a lot, not sure I’ve seen that view photographed. Also had to laugh at the Japanese tourist bit, definitely sounds like you were near Moab.

8 07 2009

Hey thanks for your note Lindsey, it sounds like you are a local. You are very lucky… you live in an absolutely drop-dead stunning state.

Re: Mesa Arch… yeah most of them have the sun hitting the camera, but I was more interested in what the sun was doing.


8 07 2009
Alex Xenita

Great shots Brent, watch out for the rattlers.

8 07 2009

Nice one capture brent, nice back story as well. You must be having a ball, look forward to hearing a lot more about it when I se you in a few weeks … Sad when a trip comes to an end, but you will have some amazing captures to share with us all …



9 07 2009

Hey Alex
Good to hear from you, thanks for your note.

Haven’t seen any rattlers yet… although did come across a 3 ft snake… didn’t have any rattles on it and seemed harmless enough. I’m keeping a close look out for where I walk at night.


9 07 2009

Hey Neal

Yes, it is always sad when you get to the last few days of a trip, although I have to say I’m pretty exhausted. My plan was too shoot at night… have a sleep during the day etc…. I’ve been doing the night shooting part but haven’t been doing the sleeping in the day part… in fact often I am up pre-dawn to shoot as well.

Took the night off last night…. one more night to shoot. Going into Arches N.P. That place is spectacular at night. See you in a few weeks when you are on East Coast. If you need a place to crash, just give me a holler.


9 07 2009
Al Wyman

Hi Brent
It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday (The other photographer with you before the Japanese invasion)
Did you make it down to the False Kiva? If you did, I’d really like to see the pictures. Have a safe trip home.



9 07 2009

Hi Brent,
I have followed your WordPress for some time now and thought I better Say G’Day for W.A
Your Canon X and water video are fantastic and thankyou for the knowledge.
Like yourself photography is not a job as I already have one of those but a passion that finds me constantly learning the craft and pursuing excellence.
Your light painting is fascinating and I look to try it sometime over here in the west, I just have to twist C. Fletchers arm !
Check out wayte27@wordpress.comwhen your not busy taking images and processing all your images from the U.S
Regards Adrian

9 07 2009

Hey mate. Thought I was looking at liky’s pic of that location. I’m hearing you regard to tourists. Had the same problem at a few locations on the east coast. That trip went pretty quick mate. All you need to do now is avoid the swine flu and you can tick it off as a successful shoot.

19 07 2009

i have been following your journey on both flikr and here brent and am enjoying every bit of it .. for peasants like me i can only dream about going to locations like these 😉

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