Beyond the Mesa – Tonal Recession

One of the places that is a must visit on a trip to the Moab, Utah area is a sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.  Since there wasn’t much cloud cover I decided to back off from the scene and capture other perspectives from the Mesa Arch area and allow some who have never seen the sunrise light up the arch, capture the iconic scene. On this warm spring morning you can see the crowd of photographers gathered at Mesa Arch to capture the tradition sunrise like the paparazzi gathered to see Lindsay Lohan come out of rehab.

Photographers at Mesa Arch
Photographers at Mesa Arch

As the morning sunrise comes up above the horizon it creates an intense light on the Canyonlands. When the crowd of photographers left after the sunrise I was able to get back in and capture shots of the canyon below creating some tonal recession images. There are few places like Canyonlands to create these wonderful tonal recession images. If you are not familiar with tonal recession, it’s creating a sense of distance or space in a dynamic scene such as a landscape. Shadows recede in size with distance. I just love the layers in this image as the sun powers over the canyon.

Beyond the Mesa
Beyond the Mesa – Tonal Recession at Mesa Arch. Click to Purchase.

Capture Notes:

  • ljsaltiel

    Moab is such a great place and I love this location Rick. You have done it justice. Looks like you guys had a blast.

  • lensscaper

    Superb, Rick. Works beautifully in B&W

  • chrisnitz

    Damn, that monochrome shot is too good!