Once again, at O Dark Thirty, we dragged ourselves out of bed to get to our destination before sunrise. This morning’s location was The Windows Section in Arches National Park.
This part of Arches National Park has a large concentration of arches so there is a lot to see in a relatively small area.
As we arrived at The Windows Section trailhead parking area, the sky was still pretty dark so we donned our trusty headlamps, gathered our camera gear, and headed up the trail. The trail has a slight rise and there are a lot of steps!
I immediately noticed that the full moon was still in the sky so I looked for a way to include it in an image.
Using my tripod I made a long exposure of one of the paths through the arches. Then using daylight settings (remember the moon’s light is reflected sunlight) I made another exposure with the moon properly exposed. Back at home in Photoshop, I created the image below compositing the moon into the brighter image of the rock formations. I just wish I had taken a third image of the rock on the right side that was also in focus! Live and Learn!
As I turned around and looked for my next shot I saw that the light was starting to come up in the east.
As I looked around I saw some mountains and snow…these will always pull me away from what is right in front of me!
I had also brought along my infrared converted Nikon Z6 with the Nikon Z 14-24mm lens so as the formations were getting a bit more illuminated I decided it was time for some infrared.
After our geology lesson the day before (see Part 2) I was intrigued by all the rock formations around the Turret Arch so I made several images including a panorama to get all of it as it was very wide!
As the ambient light was getting brighter I walked toward the other 2 arches that were close by.
As I walked toward the South Arch I again was pulled to another interesting rock and snow combination!
As I walked toward the South Arch which is quite large, I noticed patches of ice in the areas that most likely had not seem much sun!
The South Arch is at an angle that the light was not coming through it this time of day so I did a documentary shot.
I walked around the South Arch along the ridge toward the North Arch. I walked up close to the opening and could see that the sun was rising and would be shining through the arch so I backed off and waited!
At first, the sun lit up the rocks through the North Arch.
Then as the sun rose higher I backed off and moved over to the left to get this shot!
Our time at this location was running short so I started to walk back in the direction of the parking area. I realized that there was enough light to try the infrared again without the tripod so I went wide-angle for these images!
I saw that the sunlight coming through the North Arch was brushing along the tops of the bushes that were along the slope below the arch. Again infrared would be perfect for this.
As I reached the parking area I made one last image of some of the rock formations in The Window Section.
We headed back to the hotel for some breakfast and some downloading time.
I highly recommend a visit to The Windows Section of Arches National Park in the early morning to get the sun coming through the arch. Just be aware that there are a lot of steps on the trail. FYI: There are additional arches that are in the northern direction from the parking area that we did not have time to explore!
For larger versions of these and more images please click on any of the landscape images or visit my gallery: The Windows Section
My next blog will be about our late afternoon and sunset location, Skyline Arch.
That is all for now!