The Sony FE 16-35mm F4 vs Delicate Arch

The Sony FE 16-35mm F4 vs Delicate Arch

By |2014-10-11T09:23:51+00:00Oct 11th, 2014|

The last time I visited Arches National Park was just about 10 years ago. I was 10 years younger and… many pounds lighter. I made the hike to Delicate Arch last time and remember it being a fun one. Not so much yesterday. If there ever was a reason to really start shedding to extra loving pounds, it was the condition of my body as I hoofed up the trail. Fortunately, my Sony mirrorless gear load was significantly lighter than if I had my older dSLR gear, so I had that going for me. :)

We got to the bowl of Delicate Arch about an hour before sunset and, because it is a holiday weekend in the US, the entire place was literally swarming with other people. It’s understandable, really. Everyone, including our group, were visiting for the same reasons and we all have the same right to enjoy this spectacular monument. Fortunately, the crowd was able to agree with itself to keep the overall arch clear of ‘people-obstructions’ for the entirety of the sunset, which all of the photographer were undoubtedly grateful for.

Even better is what happens once the sun goes down. Within a few minutes after the sunset, a mass exodus of people began shuffling back down for dinner or drinks or whatever. The bottom line was that the population of the bowl went from several hundred to about 20 people. It was wonderful. It was also the perfect time for me to continue putting the not-yet-released Sony FE 16-35mm F4 ultra-wide angle to use with my Sony A7r. I meant to use my A7s, as it’s a freaking monster in low light conditions, but I forgot to switch bodies. Regardless, I’m pleased to say that this lens continues to be a total champ, performing wonderfully in the field. Once again, a big thanks to Randy Van Duinen for being such an awesome trooper and workshop leader. In addition to his full gear load, he also brought up all of the lighting gear needed to light up Delicate Arch. Not only did we have perfect conditions for a very comfortable night shoot, the moon also stayed below the horizon long enough for us to get some beautiful start shots of our Milky Way galaxy. I composited five separate layers in Photoshop CC, combining the different sections that we light painted, and then applied a quick VSCO preset in Lightroom for stylization.


  1. Marcus Couvson October 11, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Great capture Brian!!!

  2. Marcus Couvson October 11, 2014 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I have hiked that trail in 100+ degree weather

  3. Robert Lussier October 11, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply


  4. Justin Van Leeuwen October 11, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply

    You’re getting pretty good at this!

  5. Joe Azure October 11, 2014 at 10:02 am - Reply

    How are the sun stars with that lens?

  6. Brian Matiash October 11, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Joe Haven’t tested that yet. We’re heading to Cisco to do some junkyard shooting this afternoon and I’ll try to get some test shots then.

  7. Jan Kabili October 11, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

    It’s so fun to read your shooting story. Next best thing to being there. I’ve also thanked the photo gods for mirrorless so many times. Our bodies may change, but that shouldn’t stop is from getting the shot.

  8. Brian Matiash October 11, 2014 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Thanks so much, Jan! :)

  9. Michael Bonocore October 11, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply


  10. Michael Bonocore October 11, 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    You think you can write your friends at Sony and get them to send out a couple preorders early? Yea, great. Thanks a bunch!

  11. Michael Bonocore October 11, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

    This is so rad Brian Matiash. Tessa Kit Zawadzki and I got some great shots of the Milky Way right above the arch when we were there last month

  12. Brian Matiash October 11, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Michael considering the craziness that me and Colby have had to go through to get this copy, I’ll just lie and say ‘Sure!’ :)

    Soon, dude. It’s worth the wait.

  13. Sandy Foster October 11, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

    WOW! Randy brought up lighting equipment to light the arch? Dang! I have not heard of any other workshop leader doing that. Way to go Randy. And way to go Brian on capturing such an amazing photo of Delicate Arch. It’s one of the most unique ones I’ve seen. Love this!

  14. Brian Matiash October 11, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Big high five, Sandy! Thank you! And yeah, Randy did us a huge solid.

  15. Michael Bonocore October 11, 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Haha I bet. Well, I am hoping that the expected ship date is conservative and they get em out in October.

  16. Sony Tidbits… | sonyalpharumors October 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    […] RX100 III and whether we think it is worth upgrading from the RX100 II (BMCR). The Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong shot on the A7s (Sinosphere). Philip Bloom Sony a7S Seminar Trailer Sony A77II first impression/review by a former Sports Illustrated photographer and Sony Artisan Associate (PMRphoto). German A7s review at Digitalkamera. Kickstarter campaign for the Infinity Arm has officially launched RX10 is making my job easier (Soundimagesplus) Sony A7r field report at Hikinginfinland. The Sony FE 16-35mm F4 vs Delicate Arch (Brianmatiash). […]

  17. Ronen Z. December 17, 2014 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Love that night “paint” exposure…are you at liberty to tell us what brand and type of lighting equipment was used?

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