Chasing Light And Color

monumental sunrise BLOG

“Monumental Sunrise”

Each Fall I find myself struggling to accept the seasonal loss of light and color. The Northern Hemisphere is tilting toward the dark and cold side and there is nothing I can do about it. This year I held on as hard as I could for as long as I could and I’ve stored up the images that I need to sustain me until Spring. Beginning at the end of September, I went on a fall foliage bender like never before. Before it was all said and done, denial fueled a journey to the relatively low elevations of extreme Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.

midnight magic BLOG

Alexander Supertram (the camper) at Sand Flats near Moab, Utah

The high desert around Grand Junction and Moab is always visually stunning. Add the colors of fall to the red rocks and big vistas and you have a beauty that is hard to describe. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

"Indian Summer"

“Indian Summer”

Autumn Bridal Shower BLOG

“Desert Bouquet”

autumn BLOG

“Autumn Vista”

zen pasture BLOG

“Zen Pasture”

morning walk BLOG

“Morning Walk”

yellow tree BLOG

“Standing Alone”

good morning 1 fr BLOG

“High Desert Sunrise”

I always love comments and I’m finding that connecting with others is more and more important to my growth as an artist.    Please visit and like my Facebook page to keep up with my adventures!

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Big Dry Creek

Dry Creek 3 FB

“As If It’s Your Last”

Autumn’s procession is finally moving along here in Denver and at a pretty good pace. The Flora is now shedding its summer sweater with apparent haste and the colors are not lingering like they do in a more average year. Is there a blanket of snow in our immediate future?

Yesterday morning, I left the house before sunrise, on foot and carrying my heavy equipment pack and tripod. My stride had purpose as I could see that there was a clearing in the cloud cover along the eastern horizon and I was anticipating a beautiful sunrise. I had to hurry to get to the spot that I envisioned, a walking path bridge along a small creek. At a busy street crossing, the “Walk” sign began flashing green and I stepped off the curb to resume my cadence, something was terribly wrong. The Driver of a pickup truck let his foot off the break and was slowly but surely pressing the accelerator, oblivious to my existence.  I found myself literally sprinting away from the oncoming hood and to any witnesses it probably looked something like the running of the bulls. At some point, the driver acknowledged his blunder slammed on his brakes. If I had been unable to get out of the way or if he had been any more hasty, I would have been run over.

The scene was pretty bizarre. I stood stunned in the middle of a busy intersection with my eyes locked on to the “bull”. He had rolled down his window and was yelling something to me. Was it an apology or was he claiming that I was in the wrong? I’ll never know. I turned away from confrontation and had to run to get out of the street before the light changed and the rest of the people had an opportunity to finish me off. I was soon walking down the tranquil foot path pondering how close I came to meeting a very unglamorous end.  I smiled uncontrollably and used the F word a number of times in my head as I coached myself back to my assignment, to capture a gorgeous sunrise as if it were my last.

Reflection of Big Dry Creek Pathway

Reflections of Big Dry Creek Pathway

Mantra Monday

finishing last quote FB

So…What do you think about a 52 week Mantra Monday Challenge?  Each Monday, I select a photo from the week before, add words of encouragement to it and send it off in cyberspace like a fortune cookie on steroids.  Let me know what you think?

Tammy and I ran up to Estes Park yesterday in search of fall colors.  Too far north and too high in elevation, we were obviously late to the party.  It was quite an effort to find meaningful images.  In comparison to the abundant material that I’ve recently been accustomed to, I found myself struggling to get excited about what I was shooting.  Then, Tammy spotted the tree that would not quit, the tree that holds fast to its brilliance long after the others have surrendered to the oncoming winter.

Re-Boot Your Life

u1 reboot FB

Re-Boot Your Life

I had the opportunity to re-visit the old haunt yesterday.  I was in Southern Colorado on assignment and ended up running head on into the most beautiful colors in the Cuchara and Weston areas.  We were fortunate to have lived in these Aspens and Pines for seven seasons and I shot a photo from this exact spot about 10 years ago.  I’ll have to dig it out and compare.

From time to time we become overwhelmed with the complexities of life and we get locked up, paralyzed, much like our computers do when we overwhelm the RAM memory.  When that happens to me, I look for a way to shock me out of the gridlock.  This photograph was exactly the Re-Boot that I needed yesterday, the right thing at the right time.

A Selfie, A Grandson And A Skeleton Tree

"Skeleton Tree"

“Skeleton Tree”

There is a time to stay home and a time to hit the pavement and put on the miles. For me, staying home is an opportunity to finish things, to edit and post and promote the work that I’ve done and to check off items from the never ending task list of Life. The problem with staying home however is that I get too comfortable in my habits and routines and I flat out don’t exercise enough. Ultimately, I end up feeling uninspired and creatively unchallenged, an ailment that can only be remedied by going out and seeing a familiar thing in a new way or an unfamiliar thing in a curious way. I love coming home with images that never would have been captured without some pavement pounding.

Monday and Tuesday we travelled to Southern Colorado to visit our youngest Daughter, her husband and especially the newest addition to all of our Lives, my first Grandchild. We took Alexander Supertramp (camper) with us and parked it steps away from their front door. I have to tell you, my little Grandson is the cutest baby in the history of the world! Yes this is my Blog and yes, I am going to show you baby pictures.

First Selfie With My Grandson

First Selfie With My Grandson

Grandma is in Love

Grandma is in Love

Daddy's Touch

Daddy’s Touch

The "not fair look" starts young

The “not fair look” starts young

Mommy's Touch

Mommy’s Touch

Grandaddy's Hands

Grandaddy’s Hands

It was really hard to leave the little guy but we could only be gone one night so we headed back to Denver the long way in hope of catching brilliant colors along the Arkansas River. Too early, the leaves of the Cottonwoods were still quite green. As we hit the lower Valley, it occurred to me that My wife had never been to the edge of the Royal Gorge, despite passing within a mile or two a number of times. We grabbed the exit and drove up the hill to the north rim, a five minute drive at the most. After gawking at the precipitous vistas and taking note of how cool it would be to do the zip line across, we drove back down the hill. Thats where we saw the “Skeleton Tree”.

Tam and Gracie at the Royal  Gorge

Tam and Gracie at the Royal Gorge

My wife pointed the “Skeleton Tree” to me and said I should shoot it. She has a really good eye for design and I rely on that constantly. I hit the brakes hard, parked and jumped out, camera and tripod in hand. What a gift that tree was. Here we had gone all day not seeing what we thought we’d see, and now we were seeing something that we didn’t expect on a hillside recently ravaged by wildfire. The thing I really love about this image is that there is so much beauty in something that is dead, a needed reminder that the world will still be beautiful, even without leaves for the winter.

World Famous Royal Gorge

World Famous Royal Gorge

The First Annual Father/Son Photo Expedition

Sagebrush Symphony

Sagebrush Symphony

As you can tell from my posts, I’ve been bitten hard by the photography bug and am having a bit of a challenge keeping up with all the editing. I seriously haven’t forgotten to finish my story about the trip to see Grizzly Bears, I’m just putting it on hold, taking advantage of the season to bank images of Autumn in Colorado. Last weekend, my two grown Sons and myself loaded our gear into the camper and headed out in search of nature’s seasonal grand finale. We didn’t even know where the journey would lead us. We would drive as far west and south as necessary to find ourselves surrounded by peak colors.

Darkness fell just as we reached the summit of Monarch Pass and we pondered camping there for the night until we realized how frigid the air temperature was. Onward we pushed past Gunnison to the shore of Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water. The air temperature was so much more tolerable and we were staged for a night of astral photography. Blue Mesa sits generally in the center of Colorado. Far enough from city lights, and with a low horizon in all directions, the night sky there is stunning. After a quick spaghetti dinner we went to work.

Midnight at Blue Mesa BLOG

Midnight At Blue Mesa

Approaching Storm

Approaching Storm

three quarter moon BLOG

Sagebrush Moonrise

Night photography is a genre made ever so much more interesting by the latest camera technology. The newest full sensor cameras have ISO sensitivities that enable the camera to see things in the dark that the human eye cannot see. As we stood on the shore of the lake, dialing in camera settings and experimenting with the low light conditions, a dark mass of lightning producing clouds slowly edged closer to us from the west. To the naked eye, the setting was strangely sirene. In the review monitor of my camera, the setting was ominous. At some point I realized that it had been a while since the last flash of lightning and the big dark blob was now blocking out the stars to the west. The Boys and I deduced simultaneously that we better head back for the camper and we scurried with no time to spare. A wall of water and wind hit the sides of Alexander Supertramp (camper) just as we closed ourselves in. We laughed about our close call and talked about the adventures of the day.

treasure FB

michaelcreek

boys shooting

luke bushwacking

sneffels tele 2 BLOG

Mt. Sneffels

Colorado Pops FB

“Colorado Pops”

in the bank #2 FB

“In The Bank”

Michael, Luke and I resumed our quest for colorful leaves first thing in the morning. We drove west to Montrose, still disappointed by the post-peak fall foliage. We wondered if we were too late. Fortunately, not long after turning south once again, we began to notice ribbons and patches of yellow, gold, red and even a lot of green in the San Juan Mountains, we had arrived! Leaf Chasing is a lot like storm chasing. You never really know where you’ll end up. We followed the vivid luminous colors onto a dirt road on the Dallas Divide, climbing slowly but surely to the base of Mt. Sneffels. By the end of the day we had gathered images in the thousands and as the sun was setting, we found a high mountain meadow where we could set up camp.

campsite sunset BLOG

Dinner was incredible. Chopped garden vegetables, potatoes and apple sausage cooked in foil packets on the coals of the campfire. There were lots of smiles and laughs around the fire that night and we talked about making this trip the first of many, a new tradition. As the last light of the day vanished to the west, more stars than you can imagine appeared in the night sky. We doused the fire and went into the camper to get warm, prepare equipment and get bundled up for another night of Photography.

luke skywalker FB

Luke Skywalker

skywalker 2 FBclashing light BLOG

moonlight ridge BLOG

I can’t handle the cold like I did when I was younger. I shivered in the October midnight air, even with three coats and a blanket over me. We were actually lucky that we weren’t dealing with snow on the ground, after all we were above 10,000 feet. By the time all was said and done, the first rays of the rising moon were hitting the tips of the mountain range in front of us and as the nocturnal golden hour progressed, the light of the Moon spilled down into the golden aspen forest. We were all snug in bed by 2am.

Sunday would lead us into the picturesque town of Ouray for a hearty breakfast, before making the five hour journey home to Denver.

boys BLOG