Balanced Rock at Arches National Park

I’m back to the icons again. I can’t help myself. I know it’s been done but icons are icons for a reason. When you visit Arches National Park in Utah you just can’t go home without an image of balanced rock.

The first time I passed balanced rock along the scenic drive it was fairly early in the evening, around 5:30pm, so the light was still harsh. But there were a few clouds in the sky and it was a perfect opportunity to make a black and white image.

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah
Please click the images to view larger versions.

I made this image by converting to black and white in Nik Silver Efex. I like how the control point technology in Nik allowed me to increase the details in the rocks while leaving the sky alone.

The next day I stopped at the same location after sunset when the sky started to turn cobalt blue. There was no longer any direct light on the rocks so it made a softer image overall. I really like how the red rocks contrast with the blue sky at twilight.

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah

I made this image by combining three exposures so I could maintain detail in the rocks while getting the darker blue sky. Then I polished it off in Nik Color Efex Pro.

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14 Responses to “Balanced Rock at Arches National Park”

  1. Jon Wilke says:

    Beautiful work here. Can’t decide which one I like better.

  2. Howard J says:

    Nailed it Anne! I absolutely love the B&W version the clouds helped a lot, thanks for the tip about thinking monochrome in harsh light it’s something I tend to forget and then end up not shooting at all which is a shame. Nice use of HDR on the color version, that red/blue contrast is what southern Utah is all about! Loving this series!!:-)
    Howard J recently posted..Week 23 of 52 Theme: “Blue”, Our annual Lagoon amusement park tripMy Profile

    • Many thanks Howard. I know what you mean about not shooting during harsh light. Somehow we get trained (brainwashed?) not to do that, but there are lots of opportunities if you know which techniques to use or just pay more attention to the direction of the light to understand what options you might have. Thanks very much for the compliment :)

  3. Len Saltiel says:

    Icon or not, wonderful images Anne. The thing that is so amazing with balanced rock is how large it is.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Commuting RampMy Profile

  4. Very shots, Anne, well done!
    Fred O’Donnell recently posted..Jetties and PiersMy Profile

  5. Edith Levy says:

    Beautiful Anne. My favorite is the B&W image.
    Edith Levy recently posted..How Cavalier of YouMy Profile

    • Hi Edith, I just knew you would say that :) I’m still working on my black and white techniques, but the images seem to be getting better. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Jimi Jones says:

    What a beautiful scene, Anne. Both are nice but I like the B&W version best. Great job on these. ;-)
    Jimi Jones recently posted..USS ConstellationMy Profile

  7. Kris Koeller says:

    Great use of black and white here. I think you nailed it.
    Kris Koeller recently posted..HDR Photo of Hong KongMy Profile

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