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March 27, 2009


Stone Sentinels

by josephrossbachphoto


Originally uploaded by Joseph Rossbach

A few years ago I was in Arches National Park for like the 10th time trying to come away with some fresh images of the park. I had already made all of the iconic shots from Delicate Arch at sunset to North Window framing Turret Arch at first light. Arches is a difficult place to come away with fresh images on the surface. What I mean is that it is so overwhelmingly beautiful and most of the best shots are either right of the side of the road or just a short walk from any trailhead.

I wanted to challenge myself on this 3 day visit to the park and I had decided to shoot absolutly no iconic shots. No Delicate Arch, no Balanced Rock, no landscape arch and absolutly nothing from Park Avanue. O.K., so now what?

I had to force myself to look beyond the obvious and simply focus on light and form. For this first post in a series of non-iconic images from Arches I want to show you a simple silhouette of 3 sandstone towers near Balanced Rock. I had spotted these the day before at mid-day while driving and walking the park in search of images. I often do this in the afternoon when the light is bad. I take a notepad and compass and go around looking for shots and then try to calculate where the sun will be coming up or going down. Pre-visualization is what it is all about and a little bit of luck too.

So anyway, I found these formations with a good view just a short walk from the road east of Balanced Rock and was struck by the power of their shape and structure. I took my compass reading and found out that the sun would indeed rise directly behind the stone formation. I returned the next day before dawn and set up the shot I had pre-concieved the day before. As the sun came up and rose in the sky I waited for it to get to the point where it almost slipped out from behind the stone and then tripped the shutter. One shot on film and that was that. One of my favorite images from this park.

More to come in a few days. Joe

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 27 2009

    What a novel idea, doing something different! And in a photo mecca for iconic images. Too many times we all get stuck on the familiar. I like this image very much and the fact that it took some planning may be lost on some folks. Not me…GOOD STUFF!

  2. Navin
    Apr 17 2009

    beautiful done and a nice idea. I like this image very much.


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