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Sentinels of Stone - visions of Arches & Canyonlands NOTE: this exhibit appeared in November 1999. Click here to visit the current showcase.

All other exhibits: Click here to access

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Dead Horse Point

Dawn of the Mineral World

Far away from the city, a world of red rock awakens from darkness.

Tech notes: Dead Horse Point S.P., 6x4.5 format @ 45mm, minutes after sunrise.


Great Wall

The rising sun reveals a formidable barrier of stone.

Tech notes: Canyonlands N.P., Big Spring Canyon trail, 6x4.5 format @ 55mm, 15 minutes after sunrise.

Canyonlands Needles

Huddling up for Warmth

Basking in the first rays of the sun, Sentinels of Stone huddle against the cold.

Tech notes: Canyonlands N.P., Elephant Hill trail, 35mm format @ 500mm, seconds after sunrise. Note how the powerful 500mm telephoto 'packs in' the background color of the sky.

Elephant Hill

Presenting Arms

Dawn has come. The Sentinels of Stone line up for review.

Tech notes: Canyonlands N.P., Elephant Hill trail, 35mm format @ 500mm, minutes after sunrise. There is no saturation enhancement on any of these images. The colors represented here are very close to what you see when the rising sun strikes the red Kayenta sandstone formations. The effect is slightly enhanced by the use of highly-saturated film and lenses chosen for their high quality and contrast.

North Window

The Monarch's Window

The Monarch peers through at his troops.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., span of North Window, 6x4.5 format 75mm lens, early morning.

Turret Arch

Dinosaurs of Stone

This strange megalith guarding the landscape has an almost reptilian appearance.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Turret Arch, Windows section, 6x4.5 format @ 75mm

Arches N.P., Windows

Godzilla's Ankle

Get out of the way or you'll be crushed under its foot.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Windows section, 6x4.5 format 45mm lens, early morning.

Devil's garden

A threat from Above

A threatening view of a stone overhang.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Pine Tree Arch on Devil's garden trail, 6x4.5 format @ 55mm

Garden of Eden

Into the Garden of Eden

Wandering behind the Garden of Eden reveals a secret cluster of Stone Sentinels.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Garden of Eden trail, 6x4.5 format @ 90mm

Ring of Stone

This Sentinel keeps an eye on its surroundings.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Devil's garden trail, 6x4.5 format @ 75mm

Double Arch

Under the Spell

A human figure appears dwarfed by the awsome presence of Double Arch

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Double Arch trail. 35mm format @ 35mm, mid morning.

Sand Dune Arch


Piercing the blue sky like shark fins.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Sand Dune Arch trail. 6x4.5mm format @ 90mm, mid afternoon.

Chesler Park


Like infantry soldiers in the field, these minarets of stone take their stand in the tall grass.

Tech notes: Canyonlands N.P., Chesler Park from near the Joint trail. 6x4.5mm format @ 90mm, late afternoon.

Delicate Arch

Fortress in the Sky

Capped by turrets, the fortress appears impregnable.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint. 35mm format @ 135mm, mid-morning. Although you can see the arch from the lower viewpoint, the hike to the upper viewpoint reveals a much wider view and is well worth the effort.

Arches National park

The Listener

A listener scans the airwaves for alien presence.

Tech notes: Arches N.P. 6x4.5 format @ 55mm, 30 minutes before sunset. South side of Balanced Rock.

Arches National park

The Beacon

A beacon stands at the ready to relay signals.

Tech notes: Arches N. 6x4.5 format @ 420mm, 15 minutes after sunrise.

Pillars of the Earth

Formidable pillars of stone stand guard in front of the sacred mountain.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., 35mm format @ 500mm, minutes before sunset. Taken from the small hill near the Willow Flats road. The powerful 500mm compresses the space between the formation and the La Sal mountains, increasing the impression of power emanating from the formations.

Balanced Rock

The Watcher

An attentive watcher, Balanced Rock scans the horizon.

Tech notes: Arches N. 35mm format @ 500mm, 10 minutes after sunset. Taken from the Garden of Eden road. A quality telephoto helps compress the space and create depth and layers of different color and density.

Balanced Rock

Draping his Cape for the Night

Silhoueted against a fiery sky like an Easter Island statue, a sentinel is getting ready for the cold night.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., 35mm format @ 500mm, Garden of Eden road 10 minutes after sunset

Delicate Arch

Silent Sentinel of the Night

Delicate Arch guards the landscape as night envelops the land.

Tech notes: Arches N.P., 6x4.5 format @ 45mm, 20 minutes after sunset. I didn't want to insult your intelligence with yet another 'classic' Delicate Arch photo. This image shows how you can have fun catching the alpenglow on the snowy peaks of the La Sals. At night, you'll have the arch to yourself, but a flashlight is a must for the descent.

I hope you have enjoyed this 'alternative' vision of these two popular National Parks. You'll find a lot more information on how to photograph Arches and Canyonlands in my guidebook
Land of the Canyons - A Photographer's Guide to Utah & Arizona.

Note: For best viewing, set your monitor to High Color or True Color (Thousands or Millions of Colors on MacOS) and 1024x768 pixels. These images have been carefully prepared with a Gamma of 2.2 using the BruceRGB color space. This should work well with high-quality Windows monitors. If you are a MacOS user, set your Adobe Gamma control panel to "Windows Default" or, at the last resort, choose the sRGB calibrated profile in the Color section of your Monitors control panel.

Copyright Notice: All photos featured in this showcase are Copyright © 1999 Laurent Martres, all rights reserved. These images are protected by United States and international copyright laws and may not be used or reproduced without permission in writing.

About the Exhibit:

In this month's exhibit: Sentinels of Stone, I introduce an alternative vision to the popular Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Rather than bore you with yet another classic view of Delicate Arch or Landscape Arch, I invite you to a bold poetic vision of the parks, playing with the the shapes and bending the imagination to construct the metaphor of an army of stone soldiers.

Although this vision must be taken with a grain of salt, it is really not that far from what I often "see" when photographing landscapes of the Southwest. Imagining yourself in an alternate universe comes easily during winter days when you have some of the trails to yourself.

I hope you will enjoy this Showcase as much as I do enjoy wandering these parks. I have been going to Arches and Canyonlands regularly, sometimes more than once a year, since 1975 and I doubt I'll ever get tired of it. Coming back from a trip, my mind is already full of new photographic ideas awaiting to be explored during the next adventure.

All images in this Showcase were shot on Fujichrome Velvia, except Great Wall, shot on Provia, Under the Spell, shot on Kodachrome II and Fortress, shot on Sensia. Cameras used: Fujis 645 GW, Fuji 645 zi, Olympus OM-1 and OM-4 Ti, Pentax ZX-5n.

Over the next coming months, the PhotoTripUSA showcase will again focus on portfolios of guest photographers, all exceptionally talented and selected for the originality of their vision.

Laurent Martres

About the Photographer:

Laurent Martres is President of Graphie Int'l, Inc., a multimedia development, management and publishing company. He also sits on the Board of Directors of ASD Software, Inc. and Alsyd Corp. He is the author/publisher of Land of the Canyons - a photographer's guidebook to Utah & Arizona, as well as the principal animator of the PhotoTripUSA Showcase.

Find photos of the Colorado Plateau in Land of the Canyons, the Photo Trip USA landscape photography guide book.



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