Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Window into Turret Arch

Arches is a great little National Park to photograph. Unlike Yellowstone, which requires hundred of miles of driving, Arches is a manageable park with most of the classic sites within reach of parking your car.

Photographing Arches is also made very pleasant since nearby is the handy gateway town of Moab, Utah. This also makes it a great base to photograph nearby Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Some photo and travel tips regarding my trip to Arches National Park and vicinity:

Think small: Fly into a smaller regional airport. Rather than flying into a big airport hub like Salt Lake City and driving five hours to get to Moab, I flew into Grand Junction, Colorado and drove an hour and half along a scenic highway to get to my destination. In addition, the much smaller regional airports are a breeze for travelers as opposed to the behemoth airports that require miles of walking and tons of headaches.

Get an alarm clock: Many people have e-mailed me asking how I get such brilliant colors in my photographs. Get up early and stay out late to photograph at sunrise and sunset when nature's light returns the favor of your early rising with deep saturated colors.

Read before you see: Before I even click my shutter button I do extensive research of the places I photograph. I read guidebooks, magazines and photo website forums for advice on the best shot locations. Also, I'll read books that feature my trip destination to give me a better appreciation of the places I'll discover. For example, for my trip to Savannah, GA I read John Berendt's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." For this trip I read the classic, "Desert Solitaire: A Season In the Wilderness," by Edward Abbey.

Rock Steady: To get those super sharp photos you'll need a tripod. I travel with a very lightweight carbon fiber tripod that is small enough to fit into my carry on luggage. Good landscape photography requires shooting in weak light (sunrise and sunset) and small apertures. Canon "L" lenses will deliver some great shots for you but if your camera isn't steady you will get blurry photos. Invest in a good tripod before you invest in quality lenses.

Seek Inspiration to be Inspired: In downtown Moab, UT you can visit Tom Till's photography gallery. Yes, you can duplicate his classic shots but this will inspire you to search deeper to find your own "classics" while improving your photography skills.

What a Bargain: Invest in a National Park Pass. If you want to meet Europeans there is no need to go to Europe just visit your local National Park. I have met many more Europeans than Americans in the many National Parks I have visited. There's a reason why so many foreign travelers visit our parks because the wondrous beauty of our national treasures are unparalleled. Visit our National Parks before some of our national treasures are gone.

This is a sunrise shot of Turret Arch looking through the North Window. Get here early to catch a spectacular light show. In the Windows section of the park take the trail toward the North Window and hike right under it until you see a trail that you can scramble up on to get to a ledge. From here you can shoot the classic photo that you see above. That little white speck you see on the upper left hand side is the moon.

Be a Traveler not a Tourist!

Equipment used:
Canon EOS 5D ,Tamron SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di LD IF

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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