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Canyonlands National Park is a vast place. Grand vistas, crazy rock and cliff formations and pure primitive desert atmosphere dramatically define this Utah wilderness. In an area of the park called, "The Island in the Sky", you will find the popular and well visited Mesa Arch. This amazing arch clings precariously to the side of a looming 1000 foot cliff and frames up a truly spectacular east view overlooking the sprawling Colorado river carved canyons below.
Although a now famous natural sunrise destination that has been photographed many times, I wanted to explore this area and capture its enigmatic beauty during other unpopular times of the day as well. In "Celestial Gateway", I choose to photograph the fading sunset light as darkness approached and then capture the rising constellations and the planet Jupiter above. Sunset Mesa Arch is one of the least photographed times. But the soft last light warms the topside of the stretching arch, while the dark shadows remain crisp under the arch where the sunrise otherwise illuminates.
I love this image for its infamous time of capture - its cool palette and quiet majestic reach is so different from the fiery morning sensation. And the grouping of familiar constellations overhead allows the viewer to see Mesa Arch literally in a different light. Some of the constellations over the arch are Taurus, Gemini, The Pleiades star cluster and planet Jupiter. This image is a fusion of two time slices that were about two hours apart
Canyonlands National Park, Utah USA
2nd Place Stars, Planets, and Moons Challenge 2017
3rd Place Panoramic Neutral Density Awards 2017