Moab Marathon – Part One


A recent trip to Moab was a great reunion with friends and a photography marathon as well! Wanting to shoot during the hours near sunrise and sunset left us with little time for sleep, especially with the long summer days. Six o’clock sunrises meant getting up even earlier to be at our location on time and we often didn’t get back to our cabin until after ten at night. It was a wonderful trip with high winds being the only downside. I came home with a lot to process and decided to tackle it in smaller parts. This post will show three locations at the beginning of the trip. They happen to be three of my favorites… Dead Horse Point State Park, Mesa Arch and Candlestick Tower Overlook. (The later two are in Canyonlands National Park.)

'First Light at Dead Horse Point' © Denise Bush

‘First Light at Dead Horse Point’ © Denise Bush
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'Washer Woman & Monster Tower' © Denise Bush

‘Washer Woman & Monster Tower’ © Denise Bush

'On the Edge' © Denise Bush

‘On the Edge’ © Denise Bush

'Through Knotted Branches' © Denise Bush

‘Through Knotted Branches’ © Denise Bush
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'Moon Over Mesa Arch' © Denise Bush

‘Moon Over Mesa Arch’ © Denise Bush
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'Shaffer Canyon Detail' © Denise Bush

‘Shafer Canyon Detail’ © Denise Bush
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'Mountain Highlight' © Denise Bush

‘Mountain Highlight’ © Denise Bush

'Tower in the Canyon' © Denise Bush

‘Tower in the Canyon’ © Denise Bush
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'Spotlight on Candlestick Tower' © Denise Bush

‘Spotlight on Candlestick Tower’ © Denise Bush
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40 Responses to “Moab Marathon – Part One”

  1. Awe…some Denise!

  2. 3 Deb

    Beautiful Denise! Love the added texture of the driftwood. You make the place come alive!

    • Thanks very much! The old cedar branches were sitting on the canyon rim which sits more tha 2,000 feet above the Colorado and Green Rivers that converge in the area. Too far away to be’ ‘driftwood’. The cedar trees are just curvy.

  3. Great work as usual, Denise. Sorry I could not join you all on this trip. By the way I love “Through Knotted Branches” and “Moon Over Mesa Arch”. 2 very different and complex compositions. It’s nice to see something different from places that tend to yield the same images over and over again from photographers.

    • Thanks Rich. It’s always satisfying for me to get the classic shots and then I look for something more unique. The area sure is a photographer’s playground!

  4. These are awesome images Denise. Love the textures and compositions. My favourites are ‘Light at Dead Horse Point’ and your 2 driftwood images.

    • Thanks!!! As I explained to Deb above… the wood is cedar branches which tend to have twists and curves. It is all over the area and can make nice foreground elements.

  5. 10 Angela Moyer

    Love your images!

  6. Wonderful pictures!
    I really love the area! 🙂

  7. 15 Kathleen

    Your Photography is outstanding Denise!!

  8. Every one is just gorgeous. Spotlight on Candlestick tower, the mountains in the background look like a very beautiful sky (at first glance) No favorites in this group. Each one has its own unique quality and beauty.

  9. Beautiful images, Denise. Well seen and well processed.

  10. Very well done, Denise. Sounds like a great trip.

  11. Oh to be a mere 3 hours from Arches! Your images are fresh, and take me back to my times in those parks. Arches is in my Top 5 favorite parks.
    I loved the framing with the dead tree in both those images, and the Moon over Mesa Arch is lovely!

    I’m looking forward to Part 2 already!

    • Thanks very much Deborah. These images were from Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park. We did spend more time in Arches and those images will be coming!

  12. It’s been a number of years since I been to this area. Need to get back. You have some great images here.

    • Thanks Craig. If you come, bring some friends and hire me to guide you! I have a pretty good handle on the area and my fee would be very reasonable to help with expenses! There are better times to visit to avoid the crowds and heat. I think November – April are best.

  13. Excellent shots of dramatic landscape!

  14. Wow! Very impressive! Superb shots. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 31 Virginia Rice

    I love On the Edge. All your photography is special, sorry I missed seeing you.

  16. Great shots! I really like the images with the gnarly wood in the images. I think the wood adds character to an already beautiful scene.

    Thanks again for coming on the trip and helping lead the group to so many interesting places!

    • Thanks Pat! If you hear of anyone wanting to come out, I will be happy to be their guide! Can’t wait to see some results from everyone else!

  17. Love Mountain Highlight and Spotlight On Candlestick Tower.

    • Thank you Ralph. Mountain Highlight was shot at the spot that is so popular in the morning… Mesa Arch. On the first day Pat, Larry and I found out it can be nice in the late day too, and with room to move!

  18. Your dedication pays off in the beauty you capture.

  19. 39 MikeP

    Another had to take shot, Mesa Arch, but could not take the number of people and not being able to move around. Glad you experienced it… Dead Horse and Canyonlands overlook spoke to me. Love “Through the knotted Branches”!!!!

    • The shots from Mesa Arch were taken in the late afternoon this time. I had already gotten the quintessential Mesa Arch sunrise shot with starburst and glow in December along with just 8 other photographers here:

      The others were getting up at 3:30 to be there 1 hour before sunrise and they still all didn’t get a shot because it was so crowded. Terry and I opted out of that scene! Thanks for checking in. It is always very nice to hear from you! (PS — Beth is here now. We had a great day of shooting!)

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