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Old 24th of November 2011 (Thu)   #1
RedCanyoneer
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Default Delicate Arch

Heading over to Moab area in early January. I've read that the best time of year to photograph Delicate Arch is middle of winter, which is part of the reason for the timing. I also just looked at a moon calendar, and full moon is 1/9, so I adjusted my dates accordingly. So, questions:
  • Best time of day to photograph the arch. Morning or evening (sunrise/set)?
  • Best place (hike in, or long lens from far-away viewpoint)? I'm inclined toward the hike, as my daughter doesn't have a long lens.
  • Other good moonrise/set opportunities in the area. Mesa arch? Corona arch? Others? (Also best time to catch it.)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 24th of November 2011 (Thu)   #2
sparker1
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

Sunset is the best time for Delicate Arch, at least according to conventional wisdom. I've never gone for sunrise, but there is the possibility of a good shot if it is one that gives you a colorful sky due to clouds. At sunset, the arch lights up from direct sunlight, so it is more reliable. I recommend the hike in to see the arch and enjoy the crowd's activities. Not sure how many will be there in January.

Mesa Arch is known for its sunrise shots, I've never seen one of a moonrise there. Just not sure about Corona Arch, either. A place to consider is Fisher Towers, since they are usually well lit by a setting sun. You should be able to find a position that allows you to include the full moon with the towers. Lots of good red rock formations along US 191 that would be opportunities for moonrise.

Another good reason to visit Moab in January is the chance of getting some snow on/around the arches and other red rock.
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Last edited by sparker1 : 24th of November 2011 (Thu) at 19:47.
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Old 24th of November 2011 (Thu)   #3
RedCanyoneer
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

I did "scout" Fisher Towers last time I was there, a month or so ago. But it ended up clouding over for sunset. That's on the list this time, but thanks for the reminder. I've got an award-winning one of Mesa Arch. (OK, so the award was from a company contest, but hey, I'll take what I can get!) It's also a possibility for moonrise.
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Old 24th of November 2011 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

If going to delicate arch in the evening which I feel has the best light I'd be sure to bring a GPS or a smartphone with GPS capabilities. The trail is very very discrete and it is very easy to get disorientated hiking back after sunset. Also make sure to have a headlamp. As for other places to check out while in Moab, Mesa Arch is best for sunrise. Dead Horse State Park is also fantastic for sunrise. While in Arches be sure to get over to the "North Window" for the uber classic sunrise shot of Turret Arch through the North Window. I would highly recommend checking out Laurent Martres book Photographing the Southwest: Volume 1--Southern Utah It will be a huge help to you in terms of places to photograph and the correct times to be there.
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Old 24th of November 2011 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

I'll be in that area around the same time as well so I'll look for another Canon shooter! I'm also looking forward to doing some night photography in the area and still being able to get up for sunrise in the morning after actually getting some sleep.
I was there a year ago last summer and Dead Horse State Park had to be one of the highlights for sunrise.
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Old 25th of November 2011 (Fri)   #6
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

I should clarify a little - I'm a "frequent flyer" to that part of the desert! I am seriously considering retiring there. I have a well-worn copy of all three of Martres' books, but am always looking for more suggestions and things I might have overlooked (pun intended?). Turret Arch is one of those I have overlooked.

I'm also well-versed and practiced at GPS and headlamp hiking. As is my daughter, poor kid! I've done the Delicate Arch trail many times (in daylight), so not too worried. Always have the GPS with me.
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Old 29th of November 2011 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

What an opportune time for this thread!

I'll be in metro Phoenix for the holidays, then will head home to Denver on 12/27 via Monument Valley and Arches NP. Have 2 nights and 1-1/2 days to play (yeah, it should be more, but I have commitments back at home to tend to, so that is the most time I have available).

My plan (currently) is to hit Delicate Arch for Sunset, hike back to the truck and get back to the hotel and crash, so I can be up early to hike to North Window for sunrise shots of Turret Arch. Once that is done, I'll hit a number of other spots and end day 1 with sunset at either Balanced Rock or Landscape Arch.

Sunrise the next morning probably at Double-Arch, then a few other spots before I need to get on the road and head home.

Renting a 70-200/2.8L II IS for the holidays, to compliment my 24-105/4L IS & 16-35/2.8L II.
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Old 12th of December 2011 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCanyoneer View Post
I should clarify a little - I'm a "frequent flyer" to that part of the desert! I am seriously considering retiring there. I have a well-worn copy of all three of Martres' books, but am always looking for more suggestions and things I might have overlooked (pun intended?). Turret Arch is one of those I have overlooked.

I'm also well-versed and practiced at GPS and headlamp hiking. As is my daughter, poor kid! I've done the Delicate Arch trail many times (in daylight), so not too worried. Always have the GPS with me.
It sure is an amazing place isn't it? Before I got into photography, I made 50+ trips to Moab over the course of 6 years for a different hobby of mine. Now I enjoy going back and re-discovering the place in a whole new light -- no pun intended!

Bryan
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Old 16th of December 2011 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

The full moon coming through Wilson Arch can be neat. That arch is on the side of the main highway around 15 miles south of Moab.
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Old 21st of December 2011 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

Yes, I have Wilson Arch marked for a visit.

I'm going to be in Monument Valley on the 27/28th, Arches on the 29/30 and in the Canyonlands for the 31....

Look for me in a beatup little blue scion.

On my agenda, are Delicate Arch, the windows arches, double arch, landscape arch and then Fisher towers and Mesa Arch. Then I'll be doing some night time-lapse out on the lookouts on the island in the sky. I may try and do False Kiva again, but not sure, since I'll be alone.

Hit me up if you find me!
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Old 30th of December 2011 (Fri)   #11
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Default Re: Delicate Arch

HAve a great time! Would not advise going to False Kiva alone. It is way too easy too have an accident. I don't think we will be headed back out west until fall of 2012.
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