Delicate Arch and Neighbors, Arches National Park

Arches National Park is truly unique, and merits more than a few  hours of hiking, but I wanted to get underway to the Colorado National  Monument before sunset, meaning I was stuck with harsh late afternoon  light on Delicate Arch.

The trail to Delicate Arch is 3 miles  (round trip) from the parking lot at the trailhead. The temperature was  over 90 degrees and I went through nearly 2 liters of water.The hike  begins easy and level, then gradually ascends up the rockface, on which  the trail is occasionally marked by distinctive stacks of stones. After  passing the first few trail markers, we unfortunately lost the path and  ended up with this non-traditional perspective of Delicate Arch. Looking  over a cliff, we had a fantastic view of the professional photographers  who had remained on the trail, and achieved the perspective I was  hoping for. (I had to clone stamp a few of them out of this photo) From  that famous viewpoint, one sees blue and white Colorado mountains  through and around the yellow-orange arch.

From this unique  vantage point, I focused on capturing the peculiar shapes of Delicate  Arch and the neighboring rock features by zooming in to isolate them in  the frame, making sure to leave plenty of space around them. The rocks  were painted a wonderful red-orange, but the bland blue sky was less  than exciting. In Lightroom, I eschewed the colors and accentuated the  shapes and textures with grayscale, and adjusted the curves to darken  the shadows a bit while preserving the bright sky and the textures on  the rockface. Some added vignetting really makes the rock features stand  out and centers ones’s focus in the image.

Show Comments