Canyonlands National Park, Utah

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EDITION SIZE: 450 + 10 Artist Proofs
PRINT TYPE:  Silver Halide C-Print

Linhof Technorama 617SIII, 90mm lens, Fuji Velvia 100
F/32 at 1/2 sec.

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, outside Moab, is one of the most iconic locales of the American Southwest...and you can see why!  It is absolutely stunning to watch sunrise here. 

Just over the hump is a 400 foot cliff.  The arch sits out from the wall.  As the sun rises on a clear morning, the light hits the cliff and it acts as a giant reflector of the light, causing the underbelly of the arch to glow this magnificent warm color.  Even after seeing images of this, you stand in awe when your eyes witness it in real-time. 

In the middle of the scene, in the distance, you will see the recognizable Washer Woman Rock.  Far off in the distance is the Lasalle Mountain range, and beyond that is Colorado. 

To capture this photograph, I did extensive research before deciding to visit the park in the winter.  Although bitter cold made for a challenging week, the payoff was well worth it because I nearly had the place to myself.  I guess there's not too many tourists who like to brave single digit temperatures!  The first morning offered perfect conditions.  The arch glowed warmly, helping to take my attention away from the 13 degree temperature.  I shot a number of rolls of film and compositions during the prime 10-15 minute period.  Within 20 minutes, the light is past it's peak and I simply enjoy the beauty with my eyes before heading back to the warmth of the truck.

Shooting film, I wanted to have one more morning of shooting to insure that I had a keeper.  Unfortunately, the following 5 mornings were gray and overcast, so I busied myself with hikes in the area.  Finally, my patience was rewarded with another perfect morning on day 7.  Again, I shot a number of rolls of film and tried some different compositions before calling it a wrap.

Upon returning home and having the film developed, I knew right away that I had captured the beauty of the place.  The colors on my Fuji Velvia 50 slide transparency film were remarkable!  Generally, I have a fairly easy time editing the work down to the one, but in this case, I got the edit to 3 images and was stuck.  After much debating, I began to ask close friends and family - which one are you most drawn to?  In the end, 8 or 9 out of 10 of those I asked were most drawn to this, here it is.

In tribute to a great teacher in my life, I named this piece after a book by the same title - Whispering Winds of Change.  Stuie, if ever you see this, I'd love to offer you this piece for your wall at home!