Canyonlands National Park is a vast place. Grand vistas, crazy rock and cliff formations and pure primitive desert atmosphere dramatically define this Utah wilderness. In an area of the park called, "The Island in the Sky", you will find the popular and well visited Mesa Arch. This amazing arch clings precariously to the side of a looming 1000 foot cliff and frames up a truly spectacular east view overlooking the sprawling Colorado river carved canyons below.
Although a now famous natural sunrise destination that has been photographed many times, I wanted to explore this area and capture its enigmatic beauty during other unpopular times of the day as well. In "Boundless", I choose to photograph the fading sunset light as darkness approached. Sunset Mesa Arch is one of the least photographed times due to the popular sunrise view. But the soft last light warms the stretching arch, while the dark shadows remain crisp under the arch where the sunrise otherwise illuminates.
I love this image and it’s companion photograph, “Celestial Gateway” for its infamous time of capture - its cool palette and quiet majestic, arch framed view is so different from the fiery morning sensation. I recall just how soft and even the light had become for only a few minutes before descending quickly into night. Sometimes this fleeting light of the day is called the “blue hour”, or the “magic hour”.