Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch is a favorite of professional photographers and especially preferred at sunrise.  Since it fits my routine to appear at that hour, I made the five-minute walk from the road, expecting to find a few pros from whom I might learn.  I was running late, but stopped on the way for the above shot of a flaming sunrise.

When I came over the hill and looked down on Mesa Arch, there they were, and more than a few, set up with tripods and already clicking.  I quickly mingled among them, shooting from where they shot, commenting on the red spectacle before us.  But I was soon to learn the rules.  There is no sign with printed rules, but the pros know them and enforce them.  I was reprimanded and put in line. 

Rule 1: No talking!  Questions are forbidden and conversation is outlawed.
Rule 2: Never step in the field of someone’s picture.
Rule 3: Anyone with a small hand-held camera like mine is forbidden from taking a place in front.  Amateurs like me must stay back and sneak a shot between the pros as we can.

So I moved behind them like a mouse, aiming where they aimed, holding my camera over their heads.  When one of them left his tripod for a moment, I stepped in and snapped.  But mostly I shot from places away from their turf. 

Mesa Arch is perched on the edge of a mesa, so when looking through it, we see a sweeping vista out across the desert.  Washer-Woman Arch stands in the left foreground; Monster Tower is the pinnacle to its right; and the butte behind them is Airport Tower.  

Looking through Mesa Arch at sunrise is truly memorable.  But if I were a professional photographer, I would try to find unusual and unknown subjects, things that people don’t expect and that are not photographed by twenty other pros every morning.


  1. Amazing photos, beautiful. Such colors like the sky and earth are made of fire... Taken like a true amateur, who should he very respected, you know, because their name means love. We are off to be amateurs in the multicolored maze of Hong Kong in a moment... see you under the next beautiful arch!

  2. "Looking through Mesa Arch at sunrise is truly memorable. But if I were a professional photographer, I would try to find unusual and unknown subjects, things that people don’t expect and that are not photographed by twenty other pros every morning." I had the same thought Sharon. It takes a pro to find magic in the original as any poet knows :) Your photos are beautiful.

  3. Steven RadiceJune 16, 2011

    Love the Archies! Some of the pros sound like Jugheads.

  4. Love, love the flaming sunrise photo. It looks like a man of fire rising into the morning holding something in his arm high above the horizon. There are different connotations of "pro". Of course it could mean "professional" as in paid for something. Or then again it could mean very skilled--as in having expertise, a pro....In that sense you are a pro. Your images--especially that first one are gorgeous.

  5. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    What a feeling of blood pulsing
    in the stone roses with a falling
    breath down into time. Then the
    ivory columns holding an edge
    among ancient mastodons. Is it
    possible to breathe light like this
    beet red, tinged with yellow. It
    must be. My breath comes back
    after several centuries have stood
    in it.

    Russell Salamon
    June 16, 2011

  6. Guess what ?

    You are a professional photographer....

    I have never seen shots of Mesa Arch that good.

    I vote you for the cover of National Geographic.

    Keep up the good work !

  7. Gail RadiceJune 17, 2011

    These are beautiful Sharon!!! My favorite is the top right! The variety of color, light, and detail of the terrain comes out well in this shot. Most of these people look like amateur photographers. This is definitely a hot spot for the tourists, but I'll bet you that the pros are strategically placed in those out of the way places, that you mentioned, where they can shoot without the worry of people shooting over their heads ; ) Your pictures are really wonderful Sharon. From the time you started your blogs, you have not disappointed the viewers.

  8. Wow! Thanks to all who commented here. May warm red sandstone, mixed with fiery red sunrise burn your imaginations.

    I would not become porfessional because I do it from amateurish love, which is better than money. And their equipment is heavy and costly.

  9. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    So Sharon, it is time those "pros" met a real pro! One who heads out into God's incredible creation, records amazing beauty, and shares it with her friends who only have to follow your blog. You take us wonderful places, and allow us to see them through your sensitive spirit. I am reliving many of our trips through that fire red country with brand new eyes. Thanks friend, what a gift! Voyager (with you) Carol

  10. susan rogersJune 18, 2011

    I vote with Michael. The cover of National Geographic, no less.