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Photographer's Note

Mesa Arch at sunrise is probably the most photographed location in Canyonlands National Park. I hope you will forgive me for adding my version to the number already on TE, but I thought a dawn image was a good idea to symbolise the beginning of a New Year so I’m posting it to wish all you all a Happy New Year with the hope of a ‘new dawn‘.

The start of the trail to Mesa Arch is about 5 miles past the Island in the Sky Visitor Centre and is well marked. It’s about ¼ mile walk from the car park. The arch is quite small after seeing some of the huge arches at Arches National Park. It is about 50ft (15m) wide and stands about 10ft (9m) above the edge of the mesa. The bottom of the opening is about 1000ft (305m) straight down to the floor of Buck Canyon, so getting too close to the edge may not be a good idea! The closer buttes you can see are ‘Washer Woman’ (well named and easy to recognise) and ‘Monster Tower’, and behind is ‘Airport Tower’.

It was still dark when we arrived. We were warned to expect hoards of other photographers jockeying for space for their tripods, but we were lucky to find only three others. When the sun rises it lights up the walls of Buck Canyon below and bounces the warm light upwards to light up the underneath of the arch. I expected it to be a fleeting moment but the ‘show’ lasted quite a while. I took my first shot just after 7am but the light was pale. This was one of the last ones I took at 7:40am. I think the later ones are better as the orange light was getting stronger and stronger under the arch until the sun got too high. The one in the WS shows almost the full arch and was taken at 7:20am

ISO200, FL24mm,

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Additional Photos by Kath Featherstone (feather) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7646 W: 399 N: 14391] (51130)
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