Arches National Park Photo Guide: The path most traveled (part 1)

My wife and I have been visiting Moab and Arches National Park for more years than I care to mention. We’ve visited often enough that it feels like coming home every time we go there. We’ve been in Arches National Park so many times that we typically avoid the beaten path. In October of 2010 we guided a field trip with the Loveland Photographic Society, and since many of the members who attended had never been there, we revisited some of the most photographed sites.

Park Avenue ranks up there as one of the most photographed areas of the park. It is truly spectacular, but how do you get a shot that stands out and is really worth framing? How do you capture the feelings you have while hiking through such a magnificent attraction?

Typical of my workflow, I imported a sky into this image. I found this sky in my more recent exposures. I often hear comments that the landscape is spectacular enough with a bright blue sky, but I beg to differ. I’ve compared, and I generally prefer a shot with an unusual sky. There are a lot of blue skies in Moab, so my skies are usually taken around Loveland, Colorado.

Park Avenue B&W

This particular shot of Park Avenue is of the wall that flanks the south side of the draw. It’s a shot that can be found in old western movies. This particular exposure is early afternoon, and without long shadows or golden light, I felt compelled to highly saturate the image. I then did a black and white to compare.

More of arches to follow.

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