Last week I woke up early to drive about 35 minutes to a spot I have been wanting to get to for first light. The most photographed mountain in the area, Mount Sneffels is our local 14+ footer. It’s peak can be seen from many vantage points and seasonal light changes make spring one of the best times to capture both early morning and late day light on its craggy and impressive peak. A big puddle added a reflection and that ‘something extra’ to the scene. A tree set off by itself got my attention as it provided a nice foreground element for what was happening in the distance. With fair weather and feeling pretty good about the morning I decided to go out again in the afternoon. I drove about 45 minutes to Montrose and an area the locals refer to as the ‘adobes’, short for ‘adobe hills’. Within the Gunnison Gorge Recreation Area, this is a popular spot for ATV and dirt bike riders with plentiful roads and trails. Attracted to the hills and formations I enjoyed the contrast between this area and my morning location. The day emphasized the diversity of terrain my home has to offer, for which I am most grateful. I am looking forward to revisiting both of these close-by locations in the near future.
Filed under: Landscape Photography | 13 Comments
Tags: adobe hills, Colorado, desert, Gunnison Gorge, landscape, mountains, photography
Let’s set something straight… when I said goodbye to winter a couple of posts ago, I didn’t promise I wouldn’t show anymore snow pictures! I figured there would probably be more snow and here it is. This snow is different however… it’s spring snow… wet and fast melting! I spotted this multi-colored truck a month or so ago, when there was just a few patches of snow on the ground. Seeing some potential I planned to go back when (and if) it snowed again. And it did… so I went back and shot several compositions, choosing three to make this small collection.
Filed under: Photography | 30 Comments
Tags: abandoned, old, old-fashion, photography, rusty, snow, truck, winter
No explanation necessary… the picture tells the story of how the canyon got its name! On this evening a nice cloud pattern was forming so I decided to go down to the Sunset Point pull-off and try my luck. I do think canyons can be very tricky to photograph. The lighting often has a high dynamic range, very dark at the bottom and very bright at the top and in the sky. In some situations our cameras just can’t capture the complete range of light that our are eyes are able to see and this is one of those situations! I first tried HDR software but even with my natural-looking technique, I was not satisfied. I decided to go to plan B and combine the bracketed shots manually, using layers and masks and several blending steps. For the finishing touches I used luminosity masks to select specific tonal areas for adjustment. I hope you have a good resolution monitor to see that I was able to create a natural-looking image, with color in the sky and detail in the very ‘Black Canyon’.
Filed under: Landscape Photography, Photography | 31 Comments
Tags: Black Canyon, Colorado, Gunnison, landscape, Montrose, National Park, photography, sunset
Here is a small assortment of abandoned houses and shacks I have discovered in recent months. This subject matter is quite different here in Western Colorado compared to some of the larger abandoned structures I was used to Back East. People who lived here one hundred years or so ago were for the most part cowboys (and girls), hunters and miners. They built their shelters quite simply and out of readily available natural materials. Often times old log structures are just a pile of logs now, easily finding their way back into the earth. But no matter their style and size, I think these abandoned abodes tell a history-rich story all their own!
Filed under: Abandoned, Colorado | 38 Comments
Tags: abandoned, Colorado, deteriorated, house, landscape, photography, shack
It has become a yearly tradition for me to bid a formal farewell to winter each March in a post with this same title. Don’t get me wrong… I do love winter and I especially love photographing in the snow. With average daytime temps in the 50’s spring is well upon us here on the Western Slopes of Colorado, even though the peaks will remain snow covered for several more weeks. I’m a little sad to see winter go since there were still a few more snowy scenes I wanted to capture. Perhaps Mother Nature will surprise me with a spring snow, or maybe I’ll just have to wait until next year. I’ll play along with whatever she decides… she is the boss! I thought the image below was fitting for this post as it transitions from cool shadow to warm light. Hello to spring!
Filed under: Photography | 32 Comments
Tags: aspen, Colorado, cool, light, shadow, spring, trees, warm, winter
When I’m photographing in an area I feel a strong connection with, I like to slow down, immerse myself and really explore the options. Usually I’ll post just a couple of favorites from a particular scene but here I’m displaying more… to show how I worked it. The clouds, rock formations, meadow and trees allowed for several variations making it a fun exercise. I walked where I could to consider the possibilities while framing in-camera, and making the most of my pixels. Starting wide I used the pinion pines as foreground elements then gradually zoomed in, while getting a bit closer to the notch. I’m not yet sure if I have a favorite… do you?
(Taking only camera and tripod in hand these were all shot with one lens, a Canon 24-105mm L on a full frame camera.)
Filed under: Colorado, Landscape Photography | 28 Comments
Tags: canyon, clouds, Colorado, landscape, meadow, notch, photograph, sage, scene, valley