Natural Bridges National Monument Photography
Natural Bridges national monument is definitely not known for landscape photography and pictures from this location is rarely seen on the social medias. Natural Bridges national monument is located south of Canyonlands National Park and it’s in natural attention competition with both Monument Valley, Canyonlands and Arches National Park, which might be the reason for it to be the less visited park in the area. In itself, Natural Bridges is absolutely amazing, but can be hard to capture on camera. The national monument contains three large natural bridges called "Kachina," "Owachomo" and "Sipapu" in honor of the Native Americans that once made this area their home.
Natural Bridges has a one-way road around the monument and fairly easy access to the three bridges, which can be enjoyed from high ground or you can do the moderately strenuous hikes to enjoy these majestic natural bridges from below.
The first bridge you’ll encounter is Sipapu Bridge, which is the largest bridge in the park. It can almost house the dome of the United States Capitol in the opening. The hard part here is to capture the size of this bridge. It’s obviously illegal to climb the bridges so you’ll have to get around that problem in other ways. I decided to place Sophie my travel companion in the background on a bright spot, where her silhouette would stand out and add to the scale. You’ll of cause also have to get down and explore the area under the bridge – if you dare have this colossal mass of stones above your head.
The hikes in Natural Bridges are very beautiful and very fascinating and it comes highly recommended from here that you do go all the way down to the bridges. Kachina bridge is the thickest of the three bridges and also the hardest to photograph. When I was there, I looked for leading lines and bright spots I could use for a background to make a silhouette figure as in the case from Sipapu. On top of this, I had the sun coming out behind the cliff, which could add a sunburst to the picture.
Owachomo is by far my favorite of the three bridges and also the most photogenic because of its relative small thickness and large clear area around it. It also has the easiest hike. Since the sun was setting rather fast I don’t have too much video material from this bridge, but we decided to stay around for some night photography. Natural Bridges was the first certified International Dark Sky Park, but that of cause doesn’t help when the moon lights up the entire area. We were way out of season for Milky Way photography anyways, which peaks during summer and early autumn, but with the moon above we got some pretty good light on the bridge, while still being able to photograph the stars. I decided to try out some star trails photography since the northern star Polaris could be observed beneath the bridge. Close to the bridge we found some pancake formed rocks, where I tried playing around with some light painting. It was an absolutely magical experience having this entire area to yourself.