Title:  Evolution

Year:  2013

Location:  Canyonlands NP, Utah

Limited Edition:  10

Sizes:   Superscape, Ultrascape, Megascape


After dusk one summer evening, I arrived at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, but by that time the light wasn’t what I was looking for.  That night I camped just a few miles from the arch, where I spent most of the night photographing the night sky.  After getting a full hour of sleep, I went back to the arch at 3:30 a.m.  The only light at that point was from the moon and the stars.  I spent a good hour taking different test shots from different angles to get ready for the morning light.  Once I found my perspective, I set up my tripod as a skunk walked in front of me.  To my total surprise, the peace was disturbed at 5:30 a.m. when a swarm of photographers crowded the arch beside me.  Fortunately I was the first one there by two hours, so I was able to hold my ground and maintain my desired shooting location.  Around 6:30 the golden rays of sun came over the mesas in the background, broke through a gap in the clouds, and struck the orange canyon walls below me.  This light reflected off the rock below to illuminate the underside of the arch with a fiery glow.  One thing I didn’t realize about the arch from photos I’d seen is that it actually drops off over a thousand feet on both sides.  Since there are cracks in both sides of the rock where the arch connects to the cliff, it makes me wonder how much longer it will survive.  The very forces that created the arch will surely destroy it.  It’s a process of evolution.