Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

If the Stars Align, Keep Shooting

Early morning, Delicate Arch, Arches NP

Early morning, Delicate Arch, Arches NP

There are times when it seems like the stars align perfectly and everything falls into place.  If you happen to be a photographer, this is, of course, a very good thing.  All you have to do is keep moving around and pay attention.  Keep the camera close at hand.

Unfortunately, the opposite can happen as well.  And we all know how dry those dry periods can be.  They ain’t fun.

Right now I seem to be on the good side of the equation.  The trip west was great.  I really like quite a few of the images I captured (an unusual outcome for me – I usually feel like electronically tossing the lot of them when I get home). Then, when we finally did get back home, I found that fall hadn’t ended in western NY yet and, wonder of wonders, the weather was still warm.  So off I went into the Finger Lakes region.  More photographs!  So at least I’ll have something to do when the cold and yuk arrive.

The image above is one of the trip photographs that I really like.  The subject – Delicate Arch (in Arches NP) – isn’t the reason why.  There are literally millions of photographs of this arch (a few of them mine).  I like this photograph because of the woman standing beneath the arch.  While standing underneath the thing isn’t at all unusual, standing beneath it and looking to the east (in my direction) is.  People normally pose for friends on the other side – to the west.  At most those people are maybe a hundred feet away.  Heck, she probably couldn’t even see anyone where I was.  This image was taken with an effective focal length of 420 mm.  A normal view from the east side looks like this (at 50 mm):

A "normal" view

A “normal” view

As you can see I wasn’t what you’d call close.  I have no clue who she might have been waving to or posing for.  But it sure wasn’t me.  I’ll take it, though.  It certainly adds scale to the arch.

If you ever happen to be in Moab, Utah be sure to visit Arches and take the western trail to Delicate Arch.  It’s moderately difficult, mostly because it’s kind of steep.  You’ll be trying to suck in a little oxygen when you get near the top.  But it’s a worthwhile climb.  For the best photographs, go mid to late afternoon when the sun is on the western side of the arch.


5 Responses to “If the Stars Align, Keep Shooting”

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks Karin. Yes, it’s the texture, I think, that really gets to me. Sandstone is one of those things that you just have to reach out and touch.

  1. E. Brooks

    That’s really great that your trip was photographically successful as well being enjoyable. Perhaps the young lady in this photo was simply happy to be alive and among such rugged and amazing beauty…I know I would have been in the same circumstances. A great photo.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks Brooks. You may be right – she just might have been simply expressing the joy of being there (or being fit enough to get up there). I know that was my general frame of mind throughout the trip; I was happy to be there and having a really good time wandering around. As I get older, I don’t take those moments for granted anymore. Who knows how many more there will be?


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