Mesa Arch is a “pothole arch” located within the Canyonlands National Park. It is located only a few hundred yards from the main road and it is one of the most photographed sites in the Moab area. I had the opportunity to go to photograph this popular arch during the last day of my stay there in Moab. In fact, we stopped there on our way back to Denver.
I usually do a good job of scouting an area and I normally have a detailed plan before I go out and shoot. This time, however, I did not do this until we were on our way there. As I read the reviews they said “get there very early” and “it’s a very small area filled elbow-to-elbow with photographers”. Well, we barely made it. I think I got the last spot. The area around the arch is very small. I would say it’s less than 40 feet across and it’s wall-to-wall tripods and photographers butted up against the arch. So close, that even with my 16mm lens I could not get the entire arch in the frame… So, this is the best I could do.
The glow you see below the arch is a natural reflection caused by a concave wall directly below the arch. I took the image below with my phone so you could see how the reflection works. I also took another image of the crowd gathered around the arch. Both images were taken from the right side of the arch using my phone camera.
This image was taken with my Sony A7R using my Sony 16-36mm f/4 lens set on 16 mm. The camera was set on Aperture Priority mode with the aperture set at f/16, shutter speed at 1/8th of a second and the ISO set at 100.
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