Star Trails, Delicate Arch, and Moab Make Landscape Photography

by dav.d

People say to take better photographs stand in better locations. This is true about portraits—stand in front of gorgeous models. This is true about landscape photographs—stand in Moab, Utah. For landscape to work you need to shoot in early morning or late afternoon as the sun rises or the sun sets. Everything else is crap!

The Delicate Arch is the defacto subject in Moab. Everyone has photographed it. I have photographed it on 3-4 different occasions. Luck can also play out. We almost didn’t have the golden sunlight during sunset. We had some cloud cover and we thought we were going to miss out. And then we got 3 minutes of magic. I took a ton of photographs during that time. One of them was published in KSL’s calendar and was the cover to said calendar. I even have one copy on my customized debit card. I have made a few prints but I want to get a huge print for my wall.

Moab Delicate Arch at sunset

Moab’s Delicate Arch at Sunset

I hope to make it down to Moab again this year. There are so many arches, monuments, valleys, and vistas that are asking to be photographed. Using Google Maps you can figure out if morning or evening will work for some shots. It can be luck of the draw. You may have nothing but clouds or you might have nothing but blue sky. I love the inbetween. You want some clouds for texture but no so many that it blocks the golden sunlight. That is why true landscape photographers will visit the same location over and over through the years. Some locations will be visited 20 times by one photographer. Years of work for one amazing photograph.

Moab balancing rock looks like Mars

Balancing Rock in Moab looks like Mars

This trip also gave us the chance to do some time lapse video, light painting, and star trail photography. These were all digital cameras for most my star trails. I have some film cameras that I used and I will be trying to do film cameras for star trails in the future. They don’t suffer from noise during long exposures.

Star Trails at night over Moab Park Avenue

The North Star is visible in these star trails over Moab

And if you want portraits in Moab, I would love, love, love to be your photographer. Some studio lights, Moab, and camera and you will have some kick ass photography.

Afternoon sun on Moab Delicate Arch

Moab’s Delicate Arch in afternoon sunlight

Star Trails at night over Moab Park Avenue

Star Trails over Moab’s Park Avenue

Moab Dead Horse Point at sunrise

Sunrise over Dead Horse Point in Moab, Utah

Star Trails at night over Moab Three Gossips

Star Trails over Moab’s Three Gossips

Moab Delicate Arch in Black and white

Moab’s Delicate Arch in black and white

Star Trails at night over Moab Park Avenue

Star Trails over Moab’s Park Avenue

Night Stars and light painting over Turret Arch in Moab

Star lights and light painting for Turret Arch in Moab

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1 comment

Star Trails in Moab, Photographed on Film | dav.d photography March 21, 2013 - 12:35 pm

[…] already posted some star trails over Moab, but they were digital. These are from my film camera that I had set up. With digital the sensor starts heating up and you […]


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dav.d photo
dav.d is a portrait photographer based in Utah.