Arches National Park in Utah
Earth's Perpetual Prayer
I used a wide angle lens to capture Delicate Arch against the night sky. Under the darkness, I was in awe, especially when Delicate Arch was lit with a flashlight. The arch resembled the hands of the Earth in prayer to the heavens.
The 45 foot-high arch perched at an elevation of approximately 4,800 feet looked tiny compared to the universe. I wanted to give my image the same perspective I experienced sitting under the expansive sky soaking in the stars, meteors, iridium flares, and lightning and a storms in the distance.
Photographer Brad Goldpaint light painted the arch for a group of six of us attending a workshop. Besides flashlights and headlamps there were no lights up on the slickrock.
A brisk wind ahead of the approaching storms whipped around us. I sat shivering on the sandstone tethered to my tripod and camera so the wind wouldn’t blow over my equipment while I was capturing a series of images for a time lapse. This is one of the first images in the series. I was terrified to move away from my equipment. I didn’t want a D600 and 14 to 24mm lens to end up 50 to 70 feet away at the bottom of the steep circular sandstone bowl under Delicate Arch.
About 30 minutes before the Milky Way was to rise, the storm blew over the high desert and forced us off of our perch. Just after midnight, we hiked down the sandstone slickrock in a pounding thunderstorm with sheets of rain that rattled the surrounding canyons.
The one-and-a-half mile hike up to Delicate Arch to photograph the sandstone natural wonder against the night sky was a personal triumph and a spiritual journey for me. I suffer from fibromyalgia, asthma and the year before my trip I spent six months on crutches and in physical therapy after I had surgery on my left knee. The experience was exhilarating. The Kentucky Foundation for Women helped to fund my trip and workshop.
Twaeked in Camera Raw, Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and On One PhotoTools.
NikonD600, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Phottix wireless digital timer and remote and tripod