Viewing: The American Southwest

Sunrise at Mesa Arch

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Sunrise at Mesa Arch by Eric Reynolds - Landscape Photographer

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The Story

If ever there was a photo worth getting up at 2:00 AM in the morning for, this would be it.

During my first photo vacation in 2013, my buddy Jim and I headed out early to try and beat the rush to this popular landform. We journeyed from Moab to Canyonlands National Park and reached Mesa Arch at about 5:00 AM to set up our gear.

And then we waited for the best show on earth.

By 6:00 AM, the sun began to peek out from the horizon, and I could hear the roar of snapping shutters. I took a few shots, and as the sun hit the underside of the arch, I knew I wasn’t quite lined up for the perfect image. I grabbed my camera off the tripod and decided just to go for it. I ran back a few yards, tried to stay out of the way of as many lenses as I could, and repositioned in order to get the sun in the shot.

I captured this popular landmark by taking four shots and creating a panorama. I then cropped the image to a 2.4x1 ratio; however, a standard 4x6 print is also available to order. I

f you’re taking the trip, knowing what I know now, I would consider camping at the Green River Overlook about a 1/2 mile down the road from Mesa Arch.

Image Details

Camera: Nikon D300

Lens: Nikkor 14-24 f2.8

ISO: 200

Aperture: 11

Exposure: 1/60 second