Glenn Randall Photography

Extraordinary landscape photography from Colorado and the West

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Full Moon through Delicate Arch



Full moon through Delicate Arch at sunset, Arches National Park, Utah

Full Moon through Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

After nine attempts, I had finally captured the classic view of world-famous Delicate Arch in Arches National Park glowing at sunset while framing the snow-capped La Sal Mountains. Now I wanted something much more unique: a shot of the full moon through Delicate Arch at the moment of sunset. I started by measuring the azimuth and elevation of the arch opening from different possible camera positions with a Brunton pocket transit, a highly accurate, tripod-mounted compass and inclinometer. Then I used Heavenly Opportunity, a computer program that gave me moon and sun positions, to determine the best day in all of 2007 to capture the image I had in mind.


One day before my appointment with moonrise, I drove seven hours from my home in Boulder to the Delicate Arch parking lot, then hiked 45 minutes to the arch. I wanted to confirm my measurements before the big day arrived, and, if possible, shoot some insurance shots in case something went wrong the next day. My calculations proved to be correct. Twenty minutes before sunset, with the sun’s light already tinged with warmth, the moon rose into the opening of Delicate Arch. I exposed eight sheets of 4x5 film, then continued photographing as the moon rose out of the arch and into the sky above as the sun reached the horizon. I had confirmed my measurements and captured my insurance shot; now I was ready for the main event the next day.


Unfortunately, leaden clouds filled the sky from horizon to horizon when I returned the next evening, and neither the sun nor moon were visible. That night it rained for about eight hours – a rare deluge in a dry land. I returned home disappointed – until I examined my film on the lightbox. Perhaps I had captured the full moon through Delicate Arch on the very best day in all of 2007. By the time the moment of sunset arrived, I saw now, the sky visible through the arch was so bright that the full moon would have been a white disk against a nearly white sky – hardly the dramatic image I had in mind. Twenty minutes before sunset, however, the sky was still a rich enough blue that the moon stood out boldly. By photographing the moon through Delicate Arch 20 minutes before sunset on the day before the “perfect” day, I had almost certainly captured a better image than the one I had failed to achieve.

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Glenn Randall Photography  |  2945 Colby Dr.  |  Boulder CO 80305-6303 Office 303 499-3009  |  Mobile 720 320-7126

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I offer over 100 images on this site, in four or five sizes each and as many as five different presentations (loose, matted-only, framed, gallery-wrap canvas, and gallery float). It is impossible to keep every size and presentation of every image in stock at all times. Accordingly, most of the items I offer for sale on are hand-built one at a time as customers order them. It normally requires between five and ten business days to complete an order, but it may take longer if I am on an extended shoot. Shipping time is in addition to these figures. To get specific information about delivery time for a particular item, please call 303 499-3009 or email me. I will do my best to accommodate rush orders. Thanks for your patience!

All photographic prints, regardless of presentation (loose, matted-only, framed, etc.) are delicate and require careful packaging to be shipped safely. Accordingly, all online purchases will have a 15 percent charge added for shipping and handling. This shipping charge only covers shipments to the continental United States. Please contact me for a quote on shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or to international destinations. If you would like to pick up your print at my home office in Boulder rather than have it shipped, please call 303 499-3009 (office) or 720 320-7126 (mobile) to complete your purchase and make arrangements for pickup. Alternatively, I can deliver prints in the Denver metro area for $1.00 per mile based on round-trip mileage.

All matted-only and framed prints larger than 24x30 inches, all gallery-wrap canvases and gallery-float prints larger than 30x40, and all framed panoramas wider than 30 inches, are too big to be shipped via FedEx ground and too big to fit in any standard-size art box. While these prints can be shipped, they require a custom-made crate and the cost is exorbitant ($300+). I strongly suggest that all customers who live outside the Denver metro area and who wish to purchase a print larger than the maximums specified above buy the loose version and take it to the custom frame shop of their choosing. Loose prints can be shipped rolled at the standard shipping rate of 15 percent of the retail price. I will gladly provide detailed instructions to the framer on the moulding I use and my preferred method of mounting and framing the piece.

I use elegant hardwood frames on all of my framed prints. The image above right shows the frame I use for the smallest framed size of this image. I use proportionally larger frames with the same color finish for larger prints. The moulding shape will vary, depending on the size. For more information on the frames I recommend for different size prints, please visit my framing page.

Studio Moulding frame 353-125 cherry Studio Moulding Forte 4934 mahogany-finish picture frame Studio Moulding Forte 4834 mahogany-finish picture frame

I allow returns for a full refund (minus shipping) for 30 days from the date of delivery if you are dissatisfied with the print. You are responsible for the cost of shipping the print back to me, including the cost of insuring it for the full retail value, and the print must arrive in salable condition for a refund to be issued.

All online orders are processed by Paypal, but you do not need a PayPal account to order. All major credit cards are accepted. Order processing through PayPal is completely secure. Neither I, nor anyone who might be able to hack into my computer, will ever see your credit card information. You can order online with complete confidence.

Contact information provided by the customer, including email address, telephone number, address, etc., is used solely for the purpose of completing the order. This includes information pertaining to gift recipients. Financial information including credit card numbers, expiration dates, and billing address is used solely to bill customers for their order. I will not sell your email address or any other personal information  to anyone. This website uses Google Analytics, which provides me with information on how users interact with the site. Users remain anonymous. Google Analytics does not collect any information that I could use to identify a specific person. This site also uses the remarketing feature of Google Analytics. Visitors who view certain pages on this site may later be shown ads relevant to the content of those pages  when they visit other websites. To opt out of all tracking by Google Analytics of your visit to this site or any other site, please install the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On. You can get more information on this software by visiting this secure Google site,