There are always those “Bucket List” images that, given the opportunity, I have to attempt. They are the iconic images that we’ve all seen and there are thousands of examples from thousands of photographers. Think, “Tunnel View” in Yosemite, sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, sunset at Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River or in this case, the view through Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.
You’re usually shoulder to shoulder with other photographers and you’re really just imitating the works of others who photographed there before you. It’s hardly a solitary or unique endeavor. “So why bother?”, you might ask.
There are several reasons, really. Among them are that it’s fun and you still have to make it happen! It becomes a sort of congenial affair among like-minded artists. We joke around, tell stories and give each other tips while we wait (in this case) for the sun to rise. You have to be prepared for the challenge when the moment (and the light) is right and there is a satisfying sense of accomplishment if (When!) you get a good image.
The main reason, at least for me, is that I always learn something. Copying the idea, in this case, is a great way to learn. You have to put yourself in the mindset of those who came before. Creative considerations have to be made. Technical adjustments still have to be completed on the fly by you. The conditions are never the same and it’s not just Paint-by-Numbers. You can learn a lot! And in the end, you always put a little bit of yourself into the final piece.
On this morning, the anticipated sunrise happened, disappointingly, behind a layer of clouds. People began to pack up and leave. By waiting awhile longer however, there was a “second” sunrise as the sun peeked above the offending clouds. I adjusted the height of the camera so that just a sliver of the sky would be visible between the tops of the clouds and the bottom of the arch. It was all over in a matter of seconds. I probably won’t return very soon to replicate this particular image but I’m extremely happy I was there for this one!
All Photographs © 2018 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.