Wilson Arch | Bucket List Shot

There are only a handful of photographs that I regret not taking. Whether it’s because I was too tired to hike up an adjacent peak to get a better view of the landscape, or I was just too lazy to bring my camera out and make the stop for a photo. Well this shot falls into the ladder category. And I remember the day, I didn’t take the shot, like it was yesterday. Courtney and I were moving out west to Utah, and were just about to reach the town of Moab, when we saw the first arch of our lives! It’s called Wilson Arch.

On that stop, we got out to take a few photos, but it wasn’t the one I wanted. Since we were on a bit of a time crunch to make it to Salt Lake, we quickly headed out leaving this shot ruminating in the back of my mind for almost 2 years. But this past weekend, after spending a few days wandering the desert in search of Native American cliff dwellings, we passed by the Wilson Arch again. This time, I was determined to get the shot I’d been dreaming about.

As we drove north from Monticello, on Rt 191 towards Moab, when we approached the parking area below the Wilson Arch. Unlike most other arches in Southeastern Utah, this one is right next to the road and only requires a short amount of hiking to reach. When we got there, things were starting to align. My shot involved using the drone, so I didn’t want to be flying it around when people were there since it’d ruin their experience. As luck would have it, all three parties of onlookers were headed back to their cars and we were going to have Wilson Arch all to ourselves.

*Note: Wilson Arch is outside of a National Park, located on BLM land.*

I quickly grabbed my camera bag, let Gregor out of the Jeep, and sprinted up to the the arch. From there, I fired up the drone and took off. First, I wanted to fly through the arch because that is also on my bucket list. Then I flew the drone far away, facing back towards the arch to capture the arch, with the Abajo Mountains in the distance, and Rt 191 fading off to the horizon, and the subject inside the Wilson Arch.



I don’t think I realized I got the shot until I got home, but it ended up being composed exactly how I always dreamt it would. Then, Courtney and her mom, Gail, climbed up and met me under the arch. I was able to get some more photos in some of the most unique perspectives I could have ever imagined. As a photographer, this was one of the most rewarding feelings, finally getting the shots that you’ve been thinking about for years. Thankfully they turned out, otherwise I’d have to head back down next weekend!

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