Category

Arches

Balanced Rock and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Balanced Rock at Night, Arches National Park

Balanced Rock rises 128′ (39m) above the surrounding land, just off the main road in Arches National Park. It is an outstanding example of erosion and sandstone layering. The precariously perched capstone rock is made of harder sandstone than the layers beneath. As the softer sandstone eroded, a neck formed in the column. Eventually the capstone will topple off and sightly Balanced Rock will be no more. Until that time, I will wander about it at night, pondering the heavens above, whistling strange tunes and conjuring the odd saying that only the lonely midnight desert wanderer is prone to utter. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images.

Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night, Arches National Park, Utah

Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night.
Image ID: 27835
Location: Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Photo of Delicate Arch and Milky Way, Hiker, Light Painting

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Photo of Delicate Arch At Night and The Milky Way Galaxy, Arches National Park, Utah

I recently made a short trip to Arches National Park to do some photography. One of the photos I made is a self-portrait, showing me light painting Delicate Arch at dusk with the Milky Way galaxy rising in the sky. I took this photo of Delicate Arch almost as an afterthought, but I am sure glad I did since I suspect it may end up being the most popular image I made on the trip! Since I posted it in June it has had over 16 million views. (16 million! That is more than any other photo of mine, I am certain.) Over the years I have often put myself in my photos, primarily because I want a souvenir for my personal scrapbook rather than because I intend to market the image for publication. However, two self portraits I have made, both of which curiously involve natural stone arches, have been well received so I think I should do more of them in the future: “Mesa Arch Sunrise“, which won the landscape category of the National Wildlife Federation’s photography competition a few years ago, and “Heavenly Arch” which appeared as the photo of the day last year on Earthshots.org.

Delicate Arch and Milky Way, lit by quarter moon, hiker's flashlight and the fading blue sky one hour after sunset.  Arches National Park, Utah

Delicate Arch and Milky Way, lit by quarter moon, hiker’s flashlight and the fading blue sky one hour after sunset. Arches National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27855
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

At least four light sources are mixed in this image: fading dusk (sometimes called blue hour), quarter moon at camera right, starlight and milky way glow, and my uber-mondo handheld light. Everyone else had left at this point. After I made this image I sat down and ate my dinner in the quiet while waiting for the moon to set so that I could expose for the milky way properly. It was pleasant some hours later hiking back to the car in the dark with only the noise of my boots, bird chirps and darting rabbits to hear — no voices. I used the super-clean Canon 5D Mark III and the very sharp Nikon 14-24 to make this image, along with a few other tricky pieces of night photography equipment. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Here is another image, which is the one I set out to make, photographed a short while later:

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky, Arches National Park, Utah

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky.
Image ID: 27850
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Tower of Babel and Starry Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Stars over the Tower of Babel, Arches National Park, Utah

The Tower of Babel is one of the most imposing and distinctive sandstone structures in Arches National Park. An enormous narrow freestanding wall or “fin” of Entrada sandstone, the Tower of Babel may, over the course of eons, erode into a arch. It is very near the main road through Arches National Park so few photographers who visit the park do not at least take a snapshot of this icon. I allocated a few hours one night trying to figure out how to photograph it against a sea of stars. It is such a tall and long expanse of sandstone that I was not even sure I wanted to try it, assuming there is no way I could effectively light paint the beast in the 30 seconds of exposure I was using. It took me some time but, after trying a number of different lighting angles and even resorting to mixing my own car’s headlights and those of another passing vehicle in some experimental images, I managed to produce this one image. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Stars over the Tower of Babel, starry night, Arches National Park, Utah

Stars over the Tower of Babel, starry night, Arches National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27847
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

See more dramatic and different photos of nighttime landscapes or of Arches National Park.

Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Landscape Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, is considered to be the longest natural arch in the world, having a span of 290 feet (89m) . Landscape Arch is gradually falling apart, with at least three sections of the arch known to have fallen since 1991. I set out to photograph this amazing arch under the star-filled Utah sky and it turned out to be one of the most technically challenging nightscapes (nighttime landscape photos) I have made. Because the trail that formerly went under the arch is now closed (National Park lawyers know what is good for us better than we do), viewing of the arch is from several hundred feet away. That is a long distance to light at night. Furthermore, in order to use side lighting as a way of illustrating detail in the rock, I had to use remotely controlled equipment since I was working alone. After two nights of experimentation, I managed to make four keeper images, of which this is my favorite. This image was shot with the technically excellent combination of Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon 14-24 lens so it is very sharp and clean while still freezing the glorious Milky Way galaxy (the galaxy in which we live) in the sky above the arch. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Landscape Arch and Milky Way galaxy.  Stars rise over Landscape arch at night, filling the Utah sky, while the arch is gently lit by a hiker's light, Arches National Park

Landscape Arch and Milky Way galaxy. Stars rise over Landscape arch at night, filling the Utah sky, while the arch is gently lit by a hiker’s light.
Image ID: 27869
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Also seen on my Landscape Astrophotography website: Landscape Arch and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah.