I have to admit that many of the images that I shoot are not planned to any significant degree. While I do plan the trip to wherever it may be that I want to photograph, driving route, campsite, food, etc., I much prefer to explore and experience a location before I take any photographs. I will typically hike and explore various locations before I take a single photo. When I'm scouting a new location, I'll often use my phone to take a few images to remind of places to revisit another time. I also try not to get overly influenced by other people's pictures of a specific area before I visit, so I rarely seek inspiration for a location from images posted online or on social media.
However, with that said, this was not one of those occasions. I had previously visited this arch, so I had a few ideas for potential compositions. I knew that I wanted to catch the sunset, and having checked in advance on The Photographers Ephemeris, I also knew that the crescent moon was due to rise at about the same time. I set up my tripod and framed the arch with the help of the augmented reality view of the moon's orbit, and then it was just a matter of waiting for the sunset and the moon to get into position.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor