ARCHES & CANYONLANDS
For the second part of our journey through Southwest USA (Check out Part I), we drove to the town of Moab. With two of Utah’s mighty national parks located close by, hippie Moab was the perfect base location to easily access Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as Dead Horse Point State Park and the Colorado River. Katie, Sarah and I, set out to explore the “out-of-this-world” red rock landscapes and endless canyon scenery of eastern Utah.
Less than an hour’s drive from Moab, will get you atop Island in the Sky and its spectacular, awe inspiring views of the Green River in Canyonlands National Park.
Feeling like you’re on top of the world is an understatement. The vast and endless canyon landscapes that unfold below your feet are mesmerizing. Its impossible to capture their grandeur in photographs.
The landscape seems to go on forever and the sense of scale is completely lost. We loved that when we went there, even though it’s a known location, it feels off the beaten track. No more crowds and annoying tourists. Just you, a couple of other chill photographers and the sunset. You can’t put a price on that when you’re visiting some of the most famous Parks in the US.
Our next stop: Arches National Park
Arches of Outer Space
The overwhelmingly beautiful Arches National Park was high on my list of places that I wanted to photograph and explore during our Southwest trip. This landscape photographer’s haven is for sure one of my favourite places in Utah. Endless photo possibilities and compositions, stunning sandstone formations and windows. An all-round geological beauty!
The first time we got there was just in time for the sunset after a long day of driving. What a stunning sunset it was, seen from the Elephants Parade and the Garden of Eden. Arches got us off guard and we were completely thrown by the gorgeous scenery so trying to capture it in a photograph was a challenge for the three of us, a tough one.
We returned the following morning and hiked the Park Avenue Trail surrounded by the classic, movie-like western landscapes. But the best experience was waiting for us that night at a moonlit Double Arch. I wanted to get some night shots of the arches and we knew time was limited, so after a long day of exploring and driving around, we headed out late at night to Arches once more. The girls were not as thrilled about it, we seriously were exhausted, but I was determined to get my photo there.
We arrived at the planned location, and thankfully there were not many photographers or people in sight. When we got to Double Arch, the guys there left and we had it all to ourselves. So lighting and creating the images we wanted was easier that way.
The night was very bright and clear, the cold diminished and the stillness reigned. The experience felt surreal, an outer space adventure in a far away planet.
We were able to get the shots we wanted and all the time I was there, I felt grateful and honoured. Nature was smiling at us and we were smiling back, blessed to be there.
Photography has taken me to many incredible places in my life so far and I feel the need to portray them in the best possible way I can, to capture what I felt when I was there. It’s important not to take for granted the opportunities that life gives you, and value their worth, not many people get that chance. To travel is the best gift you can give yourself in a world so chaotic and stress driven, an encounter with nature might be all that you need.
Luis Solano Pochet
Founding Photographer & Director
“Travel wide and far. Travel boldly.
Travel with full abandon”