Tag Archives: Colorado

2012 Favorite Images

It has been too long since I have posted to this blog, The past year has been busy and challenging with ups and down including the passing of my father. I managed to get a reasonable amount of photography done with several trips. Reviewing my images I have picked out 12 of my favorites from the year. Enjoy! I am resolving to post more in this new year.

Missouri River floodplain grass, Charles Russell NWR

Missouri River floodplain grass, Charles Russell NWR

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Soft Light: Wonderful for the Intimate Landscape: New Tapestries of Grass

I spent last weekend photographing down on the Medano-Zapata Ranch looking for signs of Spring! As is often the case in Colorado, the weather was very variable and ranged from rain and snow to bright sunshine. Saturday afternoon I found myself wandering in one of the meadows near the Zapata lodge looking for intimate compositions of grass and sedges. The soft cloudy light was perfect and I captured a number of images that I am including in my on-going series of Tapestries of Grass Images.

If you are interested in photographing and exploring the Medano-Zapata Ranch I will be offering a Photography Workshop there this Summer on August 25-28. Please Contact Tess (tess@zranch.org) or 719-378-2356 (x 110) for more information and to register.

Print of the Month

To celebrate the coming of Spring I have decided to start a Print of the Month feature and offer a discount price on a matted signed print in two sizes, 11×14 and 16×20. Each month I will offer a new image selected from old and new releases. For the first image in honor of Spring I have selected my Spring Corn Lilies image , made last year near Kebler Pass in Colorado. Check it out and order here on my Print of the Month page

Corn Lilies grow in a mountain meadow in Colorado

The Color of Light: Lessons from a Spring Aspen Grove

Cool light in the Aspen Forest

This past weekend I found myself photographing in the great aspen forest that covers the terrain west of Kebler Pass in the central Colorado Mountains. The fresh Spring foliage was a beautiful lime green and I started exploring looking for compositions  before sunrise and as time passed I made a number of images with different compositions. What was particular striking was the change in the color of the light as time progressed. The early images made just before and after sunrise with the aspen still well covered by shade took on a distinctly cool tone with subtle shades of blue reflecting off of the white aspen trunks.  Later images were distinctly warmer producing a very different look. The two images posted  show how photographers can take advantage of the “color” of light to make images  of similar subjects that have distinctly  different character. This is the essence of good photography;  using  the character  and “color” of light as an essential element of  a striking visual image.

Warm post sunrise light on the Aspen Grove

Looking Forward to Summer: Light in the Aspen Grove

I have been trying out LR3 beta 2 and in a hard drive search for some images to try with the new  LR3 RAW processing engine I discovered an image I made in  a Colorado aspen grove last summer  that had some nice angled back-light. The back-light and strong highlights were a challenge to deal with  but after some work both in LR and CS4. Here is the result. I for one am ready for summer!

A Colorado aspen grove glows with morning back-light

Serendipity and the luck of the photographer: the chance of being at the right place at the right time!

I recently received  a request for a photograph that I do not currently have in my files so I planned a quick trip to try and capture it. I pre-visualized the image: sunrise light on a specific snow covered mountain with some nice clouds in the sky, and on the morning I was there to make the image conditions were almost perfect with the exception of the clouds.  I made the shot and granted it is a nice image, but not exactly what I was hoping for and I will most likely return to try again. I have learned over the years that patience and  perseverance reward the photographer.  That said, later in the day as I was traveling the weather started to change  and  as I was driving through the northern San Luis Valley  an amazing lenticular cloud developed over the Northern Sangre de Cristo Range.  It was mid-day light, but the combination of the snow covered mountains with the incredible sky and clouds was too good to pass up and envisioning it in black and white, I knew it would be an excellent image.  So the moral of this story is that as photographers as much as  we may plan and have  hopes to capture certain images, it is often the random serendipitous chance moments that we encounter that produce the most satisfying images. I am not saying you should not plan and pre-visualize, but just getting out there and seeing what images come your way can be rewarding. In other words just get out and do it and see what nature provides!

A Lenticular Cloud over the Sangre de Cristo Range, CO

The Joy of Clouds

There is nothing less interesting to me as a landscape photographer than a bright clear cloudless sky, but add some clouds and marginal weather with interesting light and wow, some magical images can be made. A great example of this is my Bison and Crestone Peaks image where the sun lights up the layers of clouds formed  from an inversion and a clearing late Spring storm with fresh snow on the peaks . Earlier in the morning the valley was blanketed in fog and I was able to make some interesting images but as it started to burn off, this  amazing scene was revealed.  Clouds can add a dynamic element to any landscape and can make any image truly unique.

I will offer two additional examples, a black and white image of amazing cumulus cloud build up over the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona in July, and early morning  clouds over the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. Without the clouds my camera would have stayed in the bag.

Cumulus Cloud Build-up over the Chiricahua Mountains, AZ

Tall Grass Prairie Morning, Oklahoma