Photography: My Shot – Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch

The southwest is truly a spectacular part of the United States. That is not to say other states, sections, etc. do not have beauiful areas as well, but the southwest has been blessed with an abundance natural wonders.

Utah, for example, has their Mighty Five:

  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Arches National Park.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park

I am glad to report that we have been to all of the above and we yearn to return to several of them to see more of what they have to offer. We hiked Zion two times and want to return at least once more. For those who love nature, hiking, etc. it is hard to overestimate the amount of wonder that can be found in all of the parks listed above.

As a side trip to visiting Arches National Park, we took a day to go to Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District. The day was stormy with periods of rain, but as long as it is safe, we hike rain or shine.

One site we saw was the Wooden Shoe Arch. I only had my 8 MP Canon point-and-shoot, but as they say: “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I took the picture below and I think it captures the beauty of the area.

Stormy Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch

You may have to look carefully to see the “shoe.” It is the formation in the distance on the right. The heel and front of the shoe are separated by a space. The cloudy day makes it hard to discern so I put an arrow above the shoe in the picture below.

Stormy Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch



File Name: 8968_cl_woodenshoe_arch.JPG
Capture time: 3:02:01 PM
Capture date: September 11, 2012
Exposure: 1/200 sec @ f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2mm
ISO: 200
Camera: Canon PowerShot AS590 IS
Lens: 4.3-215mm

Edited in Lightroom


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Hikeographer at the Delicate Arch

I guess you could say that I often adopt the role of hikeographer. You might wonder exactly what this is so let me explain. I enjoy photography. I wouldn’t say that it is exactly a passion, but it is a significant interest of mine. I also enjoy hiking and seeing different natural things.

My favorite subjects are scenery, animals (especially birds), flowers and unusual signs. I must admit that I am not one to usually try to time my arrival at a destination to get the best light. I understand that this is one reason I may never be a great photographer and I am willing to accept that limitation.

What I like to do is take my camera with me when hiking and capture the scene at hand to the best of my ability. I apply whatever skills I have learned to render the best picture possible while I am hiking various trails and arriving at remarkable vistas. That is why I refer to myself as a hikeographer. I am a hiker who likes photography.

With that in mind, here are some pictures I took at Arches National Park (ANP),Utah. It is a wonderful place to hike and to photograph. If you enjoy either of these hobbies or both, I highly recommend that you visit ANP.

Most Utah license plates have a drawing of the Delicate Arch on it…so called because it is slowly eroding. If you look at the pictures below, you will note that the left-side leg of the arch is very thin at one point. It won’t be there forever. Several other arches at ANP have already collapsed and are lost to the ages.

If you don’t like to hike, then you can see the Delicate Arch (DA) from a parking lot. Here is a picture taken from the parking lot without a long zoom lens. The arrow points to the DA.



Notice the people walking along the path. This may provide an indication of how far away the arch actually is.

I had a 4x zoom camera so this is the best picture I could get from the parking lot.


We had hiked all day and the DA was the last planned hike, but we had no idea how difficult this trek would be after such a long day. The incline up to the arch (the trail is from a different area and not shown) is significant so if you are incline-challenged, you may think twice about attempting it.

Once at the arch, however, the scene is spectacular.


An interesting culture seemed to have evolved at this natural wonder. It is understood, I suppose, that many people would want a picture of the Arch without a person in it and, at the same time, many people want to have their picture taken at the arch. Much to my surprise, people would walk to the arch, have their picture taken and then the next person would wait for ninety seconds (+/-) before moving into place so others can snap away without a person in the scene. This was a very interesting and much appreciated behavior.

Here I am standing near the left pillar of the DA.


I have some close ups just for the record.

Isn’t this view breathtaking?


As we began to descend on our return trip to the parking lot, the sun was setting. By the time we arrived at the car, it was dark. This will give you some idea of the slope we needed to climb and as you can see, on the way up it is certainly a HIKE!


NOTE: These pictures were taken with a Canon A590 IS point-and-shoot camera. It is nowhere near the top of anyone’s line, but as you can see, the pictures are quite nice. It is an 8 MP camera with a 4x lens, but it is quite serviceable. I have since upgraded to a Canon SX50HS; big difference. originally published this post