I spent the last week of 2016 in Moab, Utah. What a great way to end the year. Moab is a mecca for almost all outdoor enthusiasts with 4x4 trails, mountain biking, hiking trails, river rafting, photography, rock climbing, and easy access to national and state parks.
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park... yes it ranks high on most photographers bucket list and it was also on my list. I read all the blogs about the huge crowds of photographers fighting for a position for that classic southwest image that all photographers want to add to their trophy collection. I figure it was the off season and was planning on a mid-week picture. I arrived at Mesa Arch about an hour before sunrise... Oh I should have set the alarm clock earlier. It must have been the warmer weather moving into the area but the arch was already packed with photographers. I found a spot on the end of the arch and waited for the magic to happen. Will all the hype about this arch I have to say its a pretty amazing experience. Nothing will get you ready for the rising sun to illuminate the bottom of the arch with an intensity that makes every photographer step back from their camera and say wow.
False Kiva is a human-made stone circle in a cave in a remote area of the Canyonlands National Park. It requires some hiking/climbing and special directions to find but once you reach the opening you will be amazed by the beautiful view of the canyons below. Getting a great shot was a memorable experience. Not only was it a magical place to visit but the area will test all your photography skills. The False Kiva is in the shade most afternoons. If the sun is bright there will be high contrast between the dark cave, the sky, and canyon floor.