During my visit to Arches National Park, the park was temporarily closed from before sunset to after sunrise. I had hoped to spend a couple of mornings and evenings photographing the unique rock formations found here, but this was not possible due to a construction project on the main road.

I rarely shoot landscape images in the middle of the day. Usually at this time, the light is too harsh. Often colors also get washed out and/or dark shadows distract from the scene. As a result, I was not expecting to get any compelling photographs during my time inside the park. I was a little disappointed, but I knew the hiking and scenery would still be fantastic, so I spent a couple of days exploring the park.

For the most part, I was correct. The hiking and scenery were great, but the light was harsh and photos just would not capture the beauty of the place. However, the day I hiked up to Delicate Arch (perhaps the most famous natural arch in the park) I found the scene to be very photogenic. A thin cloud to the left softened the sun just enough and I found the color contrast of the blue sky and red rocks to be beautiful. Of course it also helps to have the impressive Delicate Arch in the scene…seeing it in person is well worth the hike. Fortunately the shadow of the arch also cooperated, as from this angle you hardly notice it stretching away into the natural amphitheater below.

It is not the peaceful golden hour image most photographers strive for…but I do think it captures the beauty of a very unique place. I hope you agree. :)