(Moab, Utah) The pride of Arches National Park, Delicate Arch stretches towards the Milky Way. This arch is a moderately hard 3km hike, at times over slickrock with only cairns as navigational aids.
It was my first time at this arch. And we were doing night shots. Carefully planned (ehrm) and researched (actually) to make sure the moon was under the horizon and the milky way in the right position. I was really eager to finally try my skills out at these wonder of nature.
So I got a bit cocky and jogged ahead as Tor was still getting his gear act together. Neturally, I ended up losing my bearing around half way there. Now, there are not many lights in the middle of nowhere, and some of the places the falloff from the designated route are pretty steep. My nifty iPad USGS map app came in handy when I finally decided to let my night vision get destroyed by looking at the light screen, and before long I had backtracked and met up with Tor, who promptly led the way—in the direction I had just been.
It might have been a good idea to visit Delicate Arch during daytime for a little scouting, before setting out to get this shot. But, in the end we found our way and set up for a swell time.
Delicate Arch is imposing where it stands in front of a deep chasm and with a large bowl-like depression in front; I was impressed at the steepness of the slope leadning up to it, as well as parts of the trail which was a mere half-meter hacked into bare rock with a serious drop on the side—this is not your boardwalk-laid path for blue haired grannies, a refreshing change from most of the popular National Park sights around the US.
Fisheye on camera, to get the most sky possible and to allow 30 seconds exposure with minimal star moevement (which I still cant bring myself to do. I want my sky full of round dots, not trails).
Painted with a very faint red LED flashlight. It is amazing how little light is needed to get results–more often than not it is a challenge to not get excited and overexpos (“just one more swipe of light…”)
Learning points: Being two and shooting long exposures painted with flashlights is painful for at least one person. Bringing beer and shooting in turns alleviates the problem somewhat. Just make sure to stay on your feet for the return trek.