Turret Arch through North Window
Turret Arch through North Window, Arches National Park, Utah
Some views in Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah, may be familiar to frequent visitors, yet they still remain irresistible to the photographer. This classic view of Turret Arch through North Window is one of those images. In an effort to create the best possible rendition of this iconic landscape, I shot compass bearings from the base of North Window to determine the position of rock towers to the east that would block sunrise light from reaching the arches. At the latitude of Arches National Park, the angle of sunrise (and sunset) varies by more than 60 degrees from summer solstice to winter solstice. By consulting a computer program, I found the range of dates that would allow the rising sun to illuminate both arches with no rock towers to the east to cast harsh, black shadows. Then I returned on several mornings at the right time of year. On this morning the sky was completely clear at the eastern horizon, which allowed the first light of the rising sun to bathe both arches with a sublime golden light.