Digging Into My Archives: Arches National Park

I want to give a little insight into my process when I'm editing. When I'm out photographing, I will often have an image or two I immediately know I will edit. Other times, I work different compositions on a location, and while one or two stand out immediately, often some of the others will stand out to me later, when I'm not distracted by the initial one or two. And while I've been isolating at home with my family, I've been using my extra time at home to go through my archives and search for those images that got pushed aside in favor of others, but are every bit as good.

The image above, "Sunset in Moab", is one such example. I was photographing in the area of the Windows, in Arches National Park. I made several images I really liked of both the North Window, and of Turret Arch. Those were the first to be edited. I can't say why I didn't choose to edit this one at the time I did my first edits, but it's waited 4 and a half years to have its moment. This was a stunning sunset, with some great clouds, and a soft breeze blowing across the desert. The late afternoon had clouded over but as I stood there between three huge arches, the sky began to clear and the sun shone through, bathing the landscape in warm light. When I returned home from the trip and got to editing the images, I was more focused on the arches, so I overlooked this intimate desert landscape. Thankfully, I was able to go back and look again.

My last morning in Moab, I decided on sunrise at an area of Arches National Park called Courthouse Towers. This is located at the north end of the Park Avenue trail, with the Organ, Tower of Babel, Three Gossips, and Sheep Rock all visible from this spot. As the sun came up, there was brilliant color in the sky behind the Organ and the Tower of Babel, which naturally drew me when it came time to select my first edits. As the sun broke the horizon, thankfully I had the sense to turn around and managed to capture this gorgeous early morning light on the faces of the formations that make up Park Avenue. With the brilliant blue sky and warm red tones of the rocks, contrasting with the deep greens of the brush in the foreground, this was one of those images that I immediately began scratching my head and wondering why I'd missed it before. Thankfully, I didn't miss it the day I was there!

I hope you all are staying healthy and keeping your distance from others. Things here are very strange but we're all doing ok so far. Be well everyone!