Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

SEPTEMBER 2003 – The morning sun delicately illuminates the Mesa Arch and its reflection creates a warm glow right below the arch. The arch is situated at the Canyonlands National Park, about 40 miles from Moab. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

When you are staying in Moab, you should plan half a day for Canyonlands National Park as well. It’s not as popular as other national parks in the area (especially Arches National Park), but it’s worth the side trip.

You will find that especially Mesa Arch is beautiful in the mornings, when the sun illuminates the arch from behind. If you’re off for an awesome shot, go there for sunrise and catch the sun when it rises at the lower edge of the arch. With an f-stop of 8 or higher, you’ll likely get a beautiful star shaped sun.

But I do love my shot as well, because it shows the arch in all its beauty – and in a much better shape than today! Looking at recent photos, you will recognize that the top of the arch has further detoriated over the past 18 years. So, it’s already clear that the arch will collapse in a couple decades. And then? It will still be an awesome place, just without Mesa Arch.

The high resolution image

Capture Date16-SEP-2003
LocationCanyonlands National Park, Utah
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions3835 x 2496 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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