Arches National Park: Delicate Arch Milky Way

Arches national Park is a red-rock wonderland in Southern Utah. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.

The hike to Delicate Arch is a 3.1 round trip hike with a 480 foot climb. It’s rated moderate.

The hike is very popular and you will almost never have the place to yourself.

If your mission is to have a great hike you cannot go wrong in any kind of reasonable weather. But if your goal is to get a great sunset image things are much more difficult. You need good light with good clouds. You need to be at the top about an hour before sunset.

If your goal is to get a Milky Way Springtime panorama and a sunset image, guess what?

You need to be at the top an hour before sunset, hoping for sunset clouds, then wait patiently wait for hours hoping for cloudless skies when the Milky Way rises.

Alternatively, you can do multiple trips, which of course means multiple hikes.

Feature Image Details

I took a two sets of images, one set of the sky, and another set of the Milky Way and stitched then together in Lightroom.

This is a complex shot.

The foreground was lit by a setting moon and panel lights, mostly the former but the panel lights balanced out the moon shadows and added foreground detail.

The Milky Way was taken with a modified camera that added a full stop of exposure. The modification renders the camera mostly useless in the daytime without a filter that reverses the modification.

For the Milky Way, I also used an iOptrom Sky Guider which allowed me to take long exposures without streaking the stars.

Of course, if one is tracking the stars, then the land is blurry. That means two sets of images, one of the land (with no sky tracking) and one of the sky.

Factor in multiple sets of Milky Way and moonlit land images blended together to get a panorama and you begin to see the complexity.

Pano Tip

It’s far easier to cut out what you do not want than add what you didn’t capture.

Since you are combining images, you will end up with a huge number of pixels even when the final result is cropped.

I frequently take vertical images to make what looks like a horizontal image.

Arches National Park Images

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

More Arches images coming up.

Please Subscribe and Follow.


Mike “Mish” Shedlock

2 thoughts on “Arches National Park: Delicate Arch Milky Way

  1. Hey!

    What a beautiful and inspiring shot! I realize it was complicated and involved numerous perspectives but you patience and creativity shows. Spectacular and stunningly beautiful👍

    Best regards,

    Denise Gayle


Leave a Reply