Rainbow Over Turret Arch – by Mark B. Waldron


I remember creating this image as if it were yesterday, although it wasn’t meant to happen, strange things occur out in the desert. It was March 1995, almost 20 years ago. I was on day 15 of a 20 day  photo trip in the Arches and Canyonlands area, I hand been photographing Arches National Park for the last 3 days and was ready to head home and spend a Day at  Goblin Valley. I waited that night for a sunset at Arches but it never happened, some rain moved in and the clouds never opened up. Checked the map and it looked like I could cut over on Willow flats road on the north side of the park to Hwy 191 (Back then I had my 1991 Isuzu Trooper…… Damm I miss that truck!). By then it was pitch black, I was crawling along this dirt trail when I saw water running across the road and decided I better not try to cross. Ok I thought to myself, just sleep in the back of the trooper and head back in the morning…..and if the light looks good stop at North Arch. I woke up 1 hr before sunrise and drove back to main Arches road and headed over to North Arch. Parked at the lot as dawn started to show. I grabbed my backpack and tripod, back then a Wista metal 4×5 with 5 lenses and 10 4×5 film holders loaded with Velvia, and a heavy ass Bogen tripod. The morning light ight was coming up quick as I climbed through North Arch to the back side. It was shaping up to be sweet, I spotted  a little shelf where I climbed up to and started setting up as fast as I could.

“Holy crap its happening the light going to be  great” I remember telling myself. Turret Arch behind North Arch has started to light up, gotta make quick decisions 135, 90 or 75mm. Decided to go with 90mm to get some foreground in the image. Put the dark cloth over the camera, a little rise on front element, I am talking to my self at this point, “this is freaking coming together” I start to get the shakes, grab the loupe, ok a little tilt and I am all in at f16 , as I am checking focus with loupe I see the rainbow over Turret Arch ” Oh Sh*t” gotta move faster.  Spotmeter on highlights  turn the knob to get correct exposure. I expose 2 sheets of Velvia, then as I insert another film holder and rainbow gone.
Got it!


The Eye – by Scott Mathews

the eye

Landscape and seascape photography has become an addiction for me and I love to seek out interesting places to explore and shoot. This image was taken in La Jolla California, a place I have shot many times but each time I find something new. On this day it wasn’t looking too promising and I almost left early, fortunately I didn’t and the clouds broke just enough to let the light thru. I found this foreground shape in the rocks and knew this would be the shot of the day.



Glacial Fragments at Jokulsarlon, Iceland.

This image represents how exciting, and how exasperating photography can be…..

My wife Jennie and I had quickly planned a trip to Iceland over the upcoming Christmas holiday. In researching places that we wanted to visit, I found a few cryptic references about a place called “Jokulsarlon”. Most of the images I could find showed a small bay with a glacial tongue entering the water on one end…..but every once in a while I would come across a piece of ice sitting on a black sand beach, with the ocean in the background. However, I couldn’t find any info on whether or not these two wholly different scenarios were happening in the same spot or not.

As out trip got closer, we were able to schedule some time at Jokulsarlon on our way to the east side of the island, and maybe some additional time on our way back to Reykjavik. We were only going to be in the area for a couple of days, and our lodging was going to be a couple of hours away. I felt that I had a pretty slim chance of getting a chance to shoot there. Along with those difficulties, we were only getting about four hours of daylight, and the sky was normally dull and grey all day long. I put my chances at around 20%…..

We woke up in the morning and had breakfast, then loaded up the car to continue our trek east across the southernmost coast. We made a quick stop in the town of Vik where we explored their black sand beach, along with a red roofed church that overlooked the town. From there, I figured it was only about an hour drive to Jokulsarlon.

The night before, I had gotten on Google Earth and investigated the area where I thought I might find what I wanted. The glacier calved into a small bay, where the icebergs floated around before flowing out a very short river to the ocean. I could see that the beach along the ocean here was indeed black sand, and assumed that the melting icebergs would sometimes wash up on shore. That would explain the few images that I had found of beautiful white/clear pieces of ice on a black sand beach.

Much to my dismay, our one hour drive turned into almost three. The sun started to dip below the horizon and I came to the realization that it was not my lucky day. Soon the sun would be down and it would be too dark to shoot anything….if I could even find what I was looking for. Jennie offered to drive, and I took her up on it and sat in the passenger seat dejectedly.

About thirty minutes later, we started to see signs for Jokulsarlon. I perked up a little as dusk lasts a lonnnnnnggg time during this season in Iceland. The sun doesn’t drop perpendicular to the horizon, rather it skims along just below the horizon for a while. Jennie looked at me a little suspiciously when I asked her to turn right towards the beach, and not left into the parking lot when we arrived. It was all snow, but there was a rough pathway with other tire tracks that headed towards the ocean. One hundred yards later, I jumped out of the car to be greeted by a number of gleaming pieces of ice reclining leisurely on a black sand beach. There were a couple other photographers on the beach, and I quickly got my gear out and joined them.

I was totally blown away. The ice seemed to shine like diamonds and had tremendous inherent contrast with the black background of the beach.

It’s a really tough situation to be in…… amazing photographic subjects everywhere I looked….but the sun was already well below the horizon making the amount of light low enough that I needed a tripod for all exposures. My brain went into overdrive as I scurried around the beach and picked out angles to photograph. It was a delicate balance. The ice emitted the best light if you were facing the sunset, but there were other people that were also there and sometimes in your background.

I had been thinking of something similar to the above photo, and was keeping that in mind as I was looking over the various pieces of ice. Some were too close to the ocean, and would move as waves hit them (thereby ruining my one to four second exposures). Others were too far from the ocean, and resulted in beautiful, but not quite stunning images.

When I found the piece above, I set up my tripod and tried to guess how far up the beach each wave would travel. The ice was perfectly positioned, but it was really hit and miss on the waves. In the end, I spent probably ten minutes photographing in this spot. I have a number of images that have different blurs of the incoming wave. In some, the wave is barely evident, and in others it is too overbearing. This image, I felt, had the perfect amount of movement.

Thanx for listening.


Racetrack in Death Valley National Park

What better way to launch this rocket than to go back to the beginning? In my case, this is the first image that I made that had any real meaning to me….


It was 1990, and I was fresh out of Brooks Institute of Photography. I had landed a job with an inhouse studio for Robinsons Department Stores in Los Angeles. I had sold my big studio 4×5 camera, lens and tripod that I had used through school, and had used the money to purchase a Calumet Wood Field Camera and a smallish tripod.

After “borrowing” a lens from the studio for the weekend, I tagged along with Senior Photographer Ken Reece as he drove up to Death Valley National Park (it was most likely still a National Monument at that time). He told me that he wanted to show me this really wild place called “Race Track”. It was my first time to this part of California, and I was really stoked to be exploring.

Race Track is a couple hour drive on a rough four wheel drive road from the campgrounds where we were staying. It was hot and dusty, and my initial excitement had began fading long before we even got close.

When we finally arrived, I was blown away. I had never seen something so strange…..a perfectly flat dry lake with concrete hard mud for a mile in any direction. After walking around for a while, I found the rock in the foreground, and decided that I would use it as an anchor to balance out the mountains in the background.

This was back in the film days, and describing the act of actually taking a photo with a 4×5 camera could fill up a few pages of this blog. Suffice to say, after 10-15 minutes of preparation, I was able to expose two sheets of film. Once I was back in the lab, normal processing produced two identical negs that printed easily. Our vehicle was visible as an extremely small bright spot at the base of the mountain in the background, but a quick spotting job took care of it.

I’ve printed this image as large as 20×24, and it holds up beautifully. It has always had an emotional place in my heart, and I still use it in my Landscape Portfolio to this day…..

Thanx for listening.