Mesa Arch Sunrise (Canyonlands N.P.)

When ever you’re in Utah seeing some of Mother Nature’s most amazing landscapes, a morning sunrise at Mesa Arch is a must stop. On this morning, I woke at 2am to photograph this popular arch under the Milky Way and after the twinkling lights overhead faded way with the twilight, I was in one of the key middle spots to capture this beautiful scene. During the first part of the sunrise, the light bounces off the cliff below and illuminates the bottom part of the arch, creating a magical glow that is breathtaking to see (and photograph). Some advance for first timers (or even veterans) to the often photographed Mesa Arch. After the first sunshine burst is captured from the horizon line (right at sunrise), if you have a center column in your tripod, raise it to its highest position, until the sun hits the bottom of the arch, creating the second burst (and what I think is the most dramatic burst within this scene). And then as the sun continues to rise, lower your tripod slightly to follow the suns path against the bottom of the arch, giving you multiple perspectives and angles to capture this amazing scene with the starburst against the bottom of the arch.

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