18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Journey to Middle Earth

I arrived at the Arches National Park late in the day, which made it perfect for some near sunset shots. As I rose over a ridge, I saw this view of eroded hummocks, arches, knobs and hoodoos overlying ancient lithified sand dunes with a backdrop of the snow-capped Manti-La Sal volcanic range. It made me imagine what Tolkien's Middle Earth may have been like. The low light with deep shadows was essentially perfect for capturing a scene like this.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Camera: PENTAX K-3
Copyright: © Evan O'Bannon