I got up early this morning to shoot the famous Mesa Arch at sunrise. It’s been done a million times I know. But it’s an icon and I wanted to experience and capture the sun as it appears through the arch for myself. I set my alarm for 5:00 AM and woke up to thunder, lightning, and rain – crap, not good start for a sunrise shoot. I was on the road by 5:30 hoping to beat the crowd and thinking it probably wasn’t raining in Canyonlands National Park; about 30 miles from my Moab hotel. Oops, not only was it still raining when I got there there but the parking lot was almost full 45 minutes before sunrise. Ok, this was not starting well.
By the time I got my gear ready the rain was beginning to taper off and was finished by the time I hiked the quarter mile to Mesa Arch. Most of the prime spots had already been claimed by other eager photogs so I settled in at the end of the line to wait for the sunrise. Clearly, it was not gonna happen this morning, at least I was not going to see it through the clouds. Thunderstorms rumbled on the eastern horizon as the occasional lightning bolt flashed through the opening of the arch.
Oh well. There are tons of sunrise shots of Mesa Arch but I’ve seen few with clouds and lightning. Since the color was flat in the overcast light, it seemed perfect for a black and white conversion. This shot was taken with Canon 5D Mark II and EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at f/8.0 10.0s iso100. I’ll be back another day to to shoot the sun . . .