Image: Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

June 18

“Lighting is everything at Mesa Arch,” said Salt Lake City’s John Lines, who captured the top-rated image in this week’s It’s a Snap! photo contest.

A construction inspector by trade, Lines visits Canyonlands often to take photos at sunrise or sunset.

When shooting the Arch, Lines says the best time is early morning. “The biggest mistake people make is to stop for breakfast and miss the perfect light.”

As one of the most photographed features in the park, Lines says go early to beat the crowds and hike to the Arch in the dark, before the sun comes up. “Walk with a flashlight or headlamp to get there in time to see the soft reflected light.” Adding, “When the sun passes the Arch, (facing west) it looks like a red-hot stove. If you wait later in the day, the light is too harsh and you’ll miss it.”

And for for capturing the Canyonlands with the La Sal Mountains (facing east), Lines says the evening provides the best light, when the sun is at your back.

Lines snapped the shot with a Canon 5D.

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