f2.8, 20 sec, ISO 3200, 16mm
Before one of our numerous trips to Arches, my wife said she had a good title for a photograph, “Portal into the Universe”, and challenged me to come up with an image worthy of the title. Challenge Accepted! This photo obviously would need to be a night shot, looking up through an arch. I knew Double Arch would be the ideal location. The day I was going to photograph the arch, I scouted the area to determine my camera placement which was as far back into the arch as I could possibly climb. Unfortunately, in the dark of night, nothing looks the same, but I made my way by flashlight to the pre-determined position and waited for the Milky Way to line up. I used an orange gel over my flashlight to light paint the walls of the arch. I zoomed in, until I got the portal scene I wanted. Once I declared “Mission Accomplished” I started down-climbing back to the trail. My declaration was premature. I stumbled on the way down and broke a very expensive wide-angle lens. My wife thought it was a lovely picture, worthy of her title, but not worth the price of the lens. The next year, much to my wife’s chagrin, I broke another lens, in the same way, in the same area. Lesson learned: Never climb around in the dark with your camera still mounted to your tripod.