The photograph captures the image of a full moon shining through a rock formation, resembling a colossal eye.


At Arches National Park in Utah, the full Moon creates the illusion of an eye when it shines through the North Window Arch.

A photographer in Utah captured a breathtaking image of the full Moon shining through a rock formation, giving the impression of a massive eye.

Elliot McGucken, an artist from Los Angeles, skillfully crafted a stunning composite image taken at the North Window Arch within Arches National Park in Utah.

According to Elliot McGucken, when he looked at the arch from a specific angle, it appeared like a perfect eye. He thought that it only needed a round eyeball, which he found in the form of a full moon, to complete the picture.

I captured the photograph from a precise angle during the evening twilight to highlight and emphasize the eye-like shape of the arch.

Using a Fuji GFX100s medium format camera, McGucken took the photo, which he named “Desert Eye.” After sharing it on Instagram on May 17, the image garnered nearly one million likes.

McGucken expressed gratitude for the incredible and overwhelming response to the photograph. He is thankful for the millions of people who have liked, commented on, and simply enjoyed “Desert Eye.”

Arches National Park in Utah boasts over 2,000 natural stone arches. In the past, PetaPixel featured photographer Zach Cooley, who captured a similar shot in 2020. However, Cooley’s photograph included a few individuals climbing the rock arch.

During his interview with PetaPixel, Cooley mentioned that he utilized several apps, such as PlanIt!, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), and PhotoPills, to plan his shot effectively.

Cooley explained to Phil Mistry of PetaPixel that all the apps he used were helpful in determining the moon’s position. Each app had its own unique advantages, and he found it beneficial to cross-reference information from multiple apps when capturing shots like the one he took.

Talented Photographer

McGucken is a highly productive photographer known for consistently sharing stunning landscape, seascape, and wildlife photographs on his Instagram and website.

In addition to his photography work, McGucken is also a physicist. He incorporates scientific themes into his photos by experimenting with concepts like light cones, which visually depict how light travels through space over time.

In 2019, McGucken wrote an article for PetaPixel, where he shared his extraordinary photographs of a flooded Death Valley. The images captured the highly unusual and unique sight of the normally arid desert landscape transformed by flooding.

More of McGucken’s work can found on his Instagram and website.

Update 6/23: We apologize for the error in the initial version of this article. It was incorrectly stated that the image was a real photo. We have now learned that it is, in fact, a composite image. The mistake arose from an agency error, and we acknowledge that the photographer, Elliot McGucken, never intended to conceal the fact that it was a composite. We sincerely apologize for any confusion caused.

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