Photo thoughts & how I took it--- A Fall storm brings snow and rain to the Indian Peaks of the Colorado Rocky mountains during the height of Autumn as Aspen trees give off a brilliant yellow and gold glow. Quite the crazy weather which brought me snow, rain and hail while photographing. For this image I used a Fotodiox circular polarizer and a Fotodiox Grad ND which helped to even out the exposure. The color was just really something to see against that sky, it really made it pop. Fun times! As far as processing, slight HDR masking to bring out the textures more within the scene. ---John
Photographed a few days ago. People think Fall is over in Colorado but it really isn't, you just need to know where to look. Photographed at Chatfield State Park, I studied this area for awhile and ultimately what caught my attention was the reflection and how the foothills and their lines were creating a wonderful sense of scale in the water. Add in some Autumn trees and you have the makings for something magical. I photographed this scene using my Tamrom 200-400mm lens which would give me the long reach I needed and create what I call "compression landscapes"; using a long lens to study the scene and to photograph what the human eye would normally miss. I was pretty much over the moon and very excited after taking this image. One of my favorite shots so far this year. ---John
As the sun rises in the east it brings new life and light to the ancient Bristlecone Forest at the Mount Evans Wilderness in Colorado. The wind was absolutely howling when I took this photograph and I had to really anchor my tripod pretty hard to get it. Then again a lot of the time it is windy up here at Mount Evans, however it is always beautiful!
Photographed Friday evening at Sloan's Lake in Denver, Colorado I stood here basically yelling at the sky and the scene which was folding out in front of me. I was completely in awe at what I was witnessing with how it seemed like mother nature suddenly turned into the world greatest fine art painter and decided to make the world her canvas, painting the sky brilliant shades color and dabbing in a brilliant aqua and orange into the reflection of the lake. I have seen and witnessed amazing sunsets in my time however this was without a doubt one of the absolute best I have ever seen. No questions even asked.Stay tuned, more to come! ---John.
Photographed on a very quiet Autumn morning on the shores of Lake Estes, Estes Park, Colorado. My meetup/workshop group had some absolutely amazing conditions to work with. We were serenaded with the sound of the Elk bugling as the sun started to rise and paint the peaks with alpenglow. Needless to say we were all quite excited by the scene that was starting to unfold before our eyes. Some days you thank the heavens above that you are a photographer and get to see and experience the things which you do while most people are in bed sleeping. This was one of those days... ---John.
12-21-2012 The day in which the Mayan's said the world would end. I decided to wake up early and head to Cherry Creek State Park here in Colorado to hopefully catch a good sunrise and photograph Bald Eagles. While the Eagle's were no where to be found, mother nature gave me a gift which more than made up for it. A sky which was simply amazing and colors which I absolutely fell in love with. Looking to the west, as shot here, it was simply amazing with the clouds reflecting the rising sun, moving as if they were dancing in the sky. If the world was ending then this was the way in which I envisioned, maybe an asteroid or two as well. ---John.
Photographed yesterday morning at Chatfield State Park, Colorado. I was awaiting for the sunrise looking east when I happened to glance in back of me and saw the sky this deep shade of pink and aqua and the moon playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. It was simply beautiful...like mother nature painted the sky....I love being a photographer at times like this! ---John
Golden Aspen trees reflect in a lake in rural Gilpin County, Colorado at the peak of Autumn. This was a really tough shot, perhaps one of the most challenging shots I have ever taken. The lighting was very tricky, changing by the second as was the reflection. With every little breeze, the reflection would completely disappear. The lighting would become very harsh and then the scene would go dark as clouds would roll over head. Patience pays off however and I think a lot seem to forget that and instead simply throw their arms up in the air and move on to a different location. Some things just take time and often we are rewarded greatly. ---John.
Sunset 9/1/2012 I just got word that Shutterbug magazine will be featuring this photo. It was also just featured in the "Caffeinated Photographers" facebook group top photos of August 27-September 2nd.
Autumn begins to approach on the first day of September at St. Vrain State Park in Lingmont Colorado as the trees start to slowly turn colors creating a gorgeous scene at sunset against the twin sister peaks of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker. The light was utterly surreal against the storm clouds and Verga (rain which evaporates before hitting the ground) For this photograph I decided to use a Minolta 70-2100mm F4 lens backed up by a circular polarizer and Tobacco Grad ND to hold back the sky. It was also photographed using my Sony A550's ability to shoot HDR in camera to make sure I would get the subtle detail in the foreground with the highlights and darks. Fall is now officially in the air and I am loving it! ---John.
Yesterday morning I woke up at 3am and headed to Brainard Lake, Colorado to photograph the sunrise. It was absolutely invigorating and refreshing with temps at 40 degrees and the wind gusting hard over the Indian Peaks and across Brainard Lake. For a moment I had a reprieve from the gusts and got a somewhat clean wildflower shot with little movement in this 2 second exposure. It sure was gorgeous and the light just danced!
I want to emphasize something here to those of you who are just starting out with photography and want to get better. The biggest thing you can do is make the effort to shoot in good light & wake up at ungodly hours to get on location in time. There is something about photographing in fresh air with no noise pollution, no people and having some of the best light you can imagine. This is perhaps the easiest thing you can do to better your work and best of all it's 100% free! Can't beat that now can ya? ---John
Sony a550 Minolta 18-200 lens Fotodiox CPL, Grad ND, ND8 Tripod & wireless release