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Landscape Arch at First Light

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 3 December 2008 in Landscape & Rural.

Perhaps the second most photographed arch in Arches National Park, Utah, is Landscape Arch. Located in the northern area of the park, in an area called Devil's Garden, it is the world's longest natural arch spanning 290 feet. The rangers at the visitors center told us that it is just a matter of time before this beautiful arch will succumb to the ravages of erosion, and like its neighbor, Wall Arch, come tumbling down. If you look closely at the right of center, one can see how thin this arch has become. For safety reasons, a trail leading to the base of the arch has been closed. As with Delicate Arch, I have seen many images of Landscape Arch, but was struck with how impressive this elongated arch looked while standing next to it in the pre-dawn hours. I decided to try a wide shot using my 16-35mmL on my full frame Canon 1DsMKIII. The one element of luck I wasn't counting on was that a half moon would be hanging over the arch! As soon as the rising sun crested to the east, I began firing. It took less than a minute for the entire arch to be bathed in morning glow. I love the first couple minutes of sunrise as it paints with a very warm light, and in this case, brought life to this wonderful Navajo sandstone creation and its desert surroundings. As always, I invite you to take a few minutes to visit my website at

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/4 second F/16.0 ISO 200 21 mm

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