The overnight hours are full of activity. On this particular night, high up in Rocky Mountain National Park, amid the hundreds of aircraft flying overhead, there appeared to be one that entered Earth’s atmosphere from a distant galaxy…popping in directly out of the Milky Way.
Normally, the aircraft passing through the Milky Way would be considered a distraction. However, I think this tells the story of how much activity is truly happening in the night sky whilst many are sleeping.
Bill's Milky Way
Spending a number hours overnight, high above Crested Butte at one of my favorite spots on Trail 403…the night sky was pretty amazing. Having a campsite not far from the trailhead, the hike up to this location was very easy, so I was able to get a few hours of shut-eye before getting up and hiking to the shoot location by 1:30am.
A little more cloud on the horizon than I’d have preferred, however, the night was filled with stars, a few periods of chilling on “Bill’s Bench” as I took it all in.
San Cristobal Milky Way
The night sky, from the marina off of CR-30 on Lake San Cristobal, outside of Lake City, CO.
This was our secondary shoot location and despite the forecast not calling for any clouds, we had clouds roll in fairly quickly and within 15 minutes of being on-location, the sky was completely obscured and some drizzle started around that time as well.
The Mt. Zirkel Wilderness is a great dark-sky location, so taking advantage of good weather meant an absolutely amazing night sky!
Millions of stars and a sky filled with the Milky Way!
Light Painting & The Milky Way
Taking advantage of a buddy’s headlamp lighting up a tree in the foreground, I captured 11 frames plus 1 black frame to stack the images in Starry Landscape Stacker to create a stronger image with less noise.
The Lake City, Colorado area is a great dark sky area with virtually no light pollution and scenery that, if shot well, can create some amazing night sky images!
To The Core
Imagine being blindfolded and guided into the great outdoors, then having the blindfold removed. Your eyes already adjusted, the billions of stars and the Milky Way exploding in front of you is what you see.
No light pollution, almost no wind and the great outdoors to take it all in.
Ida & Julian's Milky Way
I had plans to shoot here 10 days prior, but the weather changed late in the day, bringing clouds in … so I cancelled that drive/shoot and watched the weather for another opportunity. Living close to Rocky Mountain National Park is a blessing, as I consider the park my ‘playground.’
The lakes, laying in the bottom of the image below Mt. Ida and Mt. Julian are gorgeous and a destination hike I’ve been wanting to do for years, but would require an overnight (or three) to make the trek worthwhile.
Knowing there was still a lot of snow up in the high country, the weather forecast held true and I took advantage of the opportunity!
High up in Rocky Mountain National Park, my shoot location was actually very easy to get to and while it was July 4th, the temperature while I was on-location was hovering around 34F / 1C. A 8-10knot breeze made for slightly cooler conditions than I would have liked, but given the overall night-sky conditions, I was extremely happy!
Black + White
Images from my body of work, in black + white.
Deadhorse Point in Monochrome
Deadhorse Point State Park outside of Moab, Utah, USA offers some amazing scenes.
The canyons, the desert, the cliffs, the dizzying heights all make for some beautiful imagery!
Loch Vale, typically a place that most visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park go to during the summer months, is actually very spectacular in the winter months as well.
This particular day, the wind was howling like it does most days in “Rocky” in the winter months. There was as much as eight feet of snow as a base to snowshoe up to Loch Vale. The snow on Loch Vale itself, was thin…though the ice is solid through and through.
Olde School Kiva
False Kiva, in Canyonlands National Park, outside of Moab, UT, USA is not a particularly long hike, though it is a hike down to the kiva then the hike back up to the parking lot for the return.
The untold stories this cave and kiva could tell spark the imagination.
Olde School Grand Canyon
Driving up to Mohave Point, my vision turned to black + white and I could only see this composition in black + white.
The first time I printed this image, I printed on Fuji Metallic Pearl paper. The depth, the tones and the image characteristics were just amazing!!!
I have printed this on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 and can say it truly is a beautiful image.
Olde School Mt. Sopris
Heading towards Aspen, Colorado and the light was just right, so I had to stop and capture this amazing view!
Mt. Sopris outside of Carbondale, CO is a prominent mountain in the Roaring Fork River Valley.
Images from my body of work, taken in desert locations
A Lion, The Desert & Sunset
Outside of Amboy, California are two huge statues called Guardian Lion East and Guardian Lion West.
Nobody knows who put them there, nor do they know how they got there. There were no tracks or indications of a crane which is odd as these statues easily weigh a few thousand pounds.
Sunset came fast and I was lucky to be ready to shoot this gorgeous scene!
Big Red Butte's
Monument Valley is famous for countless movies made here. The red sand and the huge monolithic rock formations are famous worldwide.
Likely, I will return again and again, to try to better my image composition with the available light and weather.
Highlights and Shadows
Fisher Towers, off of UT-128 a few miles from Moab, Utah, USA has a number of trails you can hike and explore.
The light, the sky and the few clouds present were absolutely magnificent and I could not resist this composition.
Light the rim
Between morning twilight and sunrise, the clouds on the eastern horizon were starting to lift which allowed this tiny sliver of light to hit the far rock rim.
Clearly, the wind has had its effects here, as seen by the cant of the tree.
Sunrise at Deadhorse Point
Sunrise at Deadhorse Point on this particular day, almost did not happen.
The eastern horizon was awash with clouds until mid-point between morning twilight and sunrise. As the clouds started to lift, a small sliver of light appeared and then enough to bring some gorgeous color to the sky.
Golden Hour Cracked Eggs
The Bisti Badlands, located an hour South of Farmington, NM. In May of 2013, a photographer friend and I decided to check out the Bisti Badlands for ourselves after hearing much talk about the unique landscape.
The day we arrived, we set up camp and did a little scouting before we crashed for the night. We wanted to get up early enough to catch sunrise and be able to take in as much as we could since we had only allocated three days to explore and photograph.
When the alarm went off, we got up and enjoyed trekking around; sunrise was okay, but I will say that the blue hour just walking around Bisti Badlands and taking in all of the stellar and amazing landscape.
About 5:30pm, we looked to the West and saw one of those pesky Haboob’s and it was heading our way…fast! We did have to head west to get to our sunset location, but this made is both consider our options. Option 1 was to find a safe place to ride out the haboob and hope it did not last too long. Option 2 was beat feet back to the camper back at the parking area (about 2.5 miles away).
During the 5 to 10 minutes we discussed our options and looked at my handheld GPS to see what it calculated as time it would take to get back…the haboob had made up our minds for us. We had to find a place to hunker down where we could be safe, but also have a good view of the area as well.
Once we found a good place to hunker down, we set our packs down and then made three arrows using small rocks that pointed towards the parking area (a safety measureI felt was necessary).
From 5pm until almost 5pm, the haboob hammered the Bisti Badlands. I’ve experienced some wild weather in my days, but that was truly an experience I’d like to forget! I can say that I’m forever grateful that my sunglasses were meant for alpine climbing / hiking, so the side shields prevented quite a bit of the desert sand from sand-blasting my eyes. I put my skull cap on in an attempt to keep as much of the sand out of my hair as I could (though I would later realize that the skull cap did little to really keep the sand away (lol).
After the haboob passed, we started working our way to the sunset location (Cracked Eggs area). We were not out of the woods yet though. Sunset was still 20 minutes away, so this shot was the best I could create before we both felt it was wise to pack up and beat feet back to the camper at the parking area.
Images from my body of work, during fall foliage change.
Fall in Crested Butte, Colorado is one of our favorite places to shoot fall foliage. Forest Road 730 (Ohio Pass Road) is a mainstay during Spring/Summer/Fall, but especially during fall foliage.
The groves of aspens seem to go on and on!
This image was taken at peak color and a dramatic (and pleasant) surprise from the previous couple of years!
Anthracite Range Carpet
The Anthracite Range and the area around Forest Road 730/Ohio Pass near Crested Butte, Colorado, USA is filled with amazing and beautiful sights like this image.
During fall foliage, there are aspens changing for miles and miles!
Cradle The Bells
The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail at Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area is not super long at 1.9 miles, but the scenery and views of the Maroon Bells is just amazing!!
Getting there during fall foliage change means arriving well early (there is an entry fee for self-driving prior to 8am) if you plan to shoot sunrise. If you wish to just go up and take in the views, there are busses that run and will drop you off at no cost.
Gateway to the Gold
Anyone driving up Ohio Pass Road (FR730) towards Ohio Pass will drive past this ranch entrance and anybody seeing this would love to call this their ‘home.’
The ranch is a comfortable 326 acres and would definitely be some place I could call home!
Take the normal path means you miss out on the unique. You can hike off-trail through the woods, though you must be careful to not damage any of the flora & fauna on the forest floor.
The quiet, the serenity, the tranquility of the aspen forest along Ohio Pass Road (FR730) near Beaver Pond is one of our most favorite fall activities.
Fall Colors at Family Camp
In 2014, I embarked on a 26 day road trip from Colorado up through Minnesota, across the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, down the west coast of Michigan, then across the Amish Country of Ohio into Pennsylvania. From there, I made my way up into the Catskills of New York, then up into the Adirondacks. My family has a cabin in the Adirondacks near North Creek, NY and I was very fortunate to spend a few days there.
The memories of that area when I was a child were strong. The aromas of my grandfather’s fireplace always having a fire and the joys of family gatherings will long be held with strong reverence.
Giant Aspen Forest
This amazing location was shared with some great friends (and fellow photographers) from Moab.
The trees were huge. When I compare them to those on Kebler Pass near Crested Butte, the trees are perhaps slightly larger in diameter and the tree bark is a bit whiter in color.
The foliage was just brilliant with a beautiful golden glow!!
Pine Creek Wash, in Zion National Park, east of the tunnel is filled with opportunities to explore and create amazing compositions.
The foliage change this season was spectacular on a little early, which was great for us, as we were able to take advantage of the early change, en route back to Denver from Las Vegas.
What you seek, when you observe the minor details, will astound you. But, you actually have to ignore the wide-open and look for the tiny details.
While looking for a good composition up at Beaver Pond, off of Ohio Pass Road, I looked down at a tree stump along the edge of the pond and saw these two leaves, that had blown off the trees and settled into this crazy position.
Showing the amazing and true diversity of nature, we can only pray that our human nature will not live with blinders on, to the truths and realities of nature as it applies to our human existence.
Hiking up the path to Beaver Pond, I passed by one of the many small spruce trees. In this spruce tree, there were a couple of leaves that had blown off of the huge aspen trees within the grove.
The morning dew still covering the leaves was all I needed to create a macro image that will leave memories for me, for a lifetime!
Maple & Sandstone
Exploring the Pine Creek Wash in Zion National Park, this brilliant maple leaf was gently resting along the sandstone.
Resistance is futile when you see compositions such as this and shooting them is mandatory (in my humble opinion).
Images from my body of work, taken in mountain locations
After walking past the main body of Maroon Lake and rounding a bend towards the west end, you approach this bridge of West Maroon Creek, which provides access to the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail.
Overall length of the loop trail is 1.9 miles and offers gorgeous views, wildflowers (late spring/summer and early fall) and beautiful fall foliage.
For many visitors to the Maroon Bells, this lake goes unknown.
The hike to Crater Lake is a 3.8 mile round trip hike, gaining just shy of 700 feet of elevation gain and will bring you to the base of Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak (two of the many “14’ers” in Colorado).
Hiking up in the dark can be fun, though a routine 360 turn using your headlamp or a handheld flashlight to search for any wildlife (bears, mountain lions, moose, deer, fox, etc.) that may be nearby or stalking, is an important part of the hike.
When the weather conditions are right, you can get some amazing images, where the sky is filled with pastel colors and crazy beautiful still water reflections.
Arriving on-location at Maroon Lake early is something any photography should heed well!
For this shoot, I arrived on-location at 4am, a solid 2-1/2 hours before morning twilight. I wanted to be absolutely sure I had the prime location of my choice!!
Acquiring an image with still water and perfect reflection is something photographers desire, but know that conditions do not always favor the desire. On this morning, I was extremely fortunate, in that I not only had a prime location for perfectly symmetrical images, but also fortunate to have perfectly still water. The only thing missing was some character clouds to make it the shot of a lifetime.
Sunrise Bells at Crater Lake
Sunrise at the Maroon Bells is memorable any time you can view it, but when you get up at midnight, drive to the day-use parking lot and hike up to Crater Lake in the dark, then just allow nature’s music to sing to you, a sunrise like this one is beyond awesome!
Symmetry at Twilight
I was ponding some options for a photo shoot a few days prior to this trip to the Maroon Bells.
Snow still present, even in late May, along with no wind (and no clouds, dadgummit) made for a symmetrical reflective image to add to my collection!
Images from my body of work, taken in National Parks
Most people photograph Delicate Arch from the opposite side of where I am located in the image.
I was perched, precariously, on the edge of the sandstone with a 40’ drop about two feet behind me.
When I arrived at Delicate Arch, there were literally a hundred people lining the normal shot locations, so I had to get creative.
The light was magnificent and by shooting from this vantage point, I not only got a very unique image of Delicate Arch, but I was not having to shoot over, around, through all of the people! No photoshopping people out for me on this image!
Long Window Twilight
This image is take from a somewhat precarious spot, where you have to scramble up some rocks and over a small hump that takes a bit of doing, especially when you are arriving on location an hour+ before blue hour.
The first time I shot this image, I was definitely not thrilled with what I had scouted during the daytime the day before, but knew (through a good friend who is local to Moab) that this was “the” spot!
The first time I was here, I shared the rock outcropping with two other photographers, so I did not have the prime spot. That was my drive to return and get a proper shot from the prime spot.
On this trip, I was fortunate to arrive well before anyone else and had the rock outcropping all to myself until just prior to sunrise when three other photographers arrived and made there way to the [very] small area on this rock outcrop. I was glad I had the location all to myself for the main image I was wanting and decided to forego a sunrise image, so the other three photographers could get their images.
Scrambling over the rocks and back down and through North Window Arch, I felt very accomplished and happy to be heading back to the vehicle.
This prominent arch in the Windows Area of Arches National Park makes for a fantastic backdrop for sunrise, sunset and twilight.
The silhouette stands out proudly against the colorful sky.
This well known arch is weathering hard and may not likely be an arch sometime in the not too distant future.
Nature has its way and the sandstone just does not stand a chance against the weather.
Window Notch Twilight
Chisos Basin is the central location for visitors in Big Bend National Park.
From the visitors center, the trail makes its’ way to The Window, with a number of places along the trail where pictures can be made.
Sunrise at Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake (aka Valley of the Ten Peaks) in Banff National Park near Lake Louise is an extremely scenic location.
Arriving on-location in the dark, you do have to be aware of your surrounds and make sure you do not have an unexpected wildlife encounter.
Awaiting sunrise, the glacier blue water lulls you into a place of absolute serenity and peace.
A Sliver of Light
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is not quite as busy as the South Rim, but there are plenty of people visiting, staying at either the campground or lodge accommodations.
During my visit in 2014, I was fortunate to be the first person on location at Cape Royal. As I awaited the golden hour and sunset, a layer of clouds to the west lifted just enough to allow a sliver of light to light up the south rim across the valley from Cape Royal.
The sky and clouds above colored in soft pastels along with the warm glow of the sunlit south rim made for an amazing image!
Hopi Point Glow
On my way to Arizona to visit my parents for Christmas, the weather conditions were looking fantastic for sunrise, so I turned off the normal route and made my way to Hopi Point past Grand Canyon Village on Hermit Road.
Given it was mid-December, Hermit Road was open to vehicle traffic and there were not too many visitors in the park at 5am. By the time blue hour started, I was sharing Hopi Point with probably 20-30 others.
The temperature was probably low 30’s with a moderate breeze, making it feel a bit colder, but the sky was amazing and the clouds looked like cotton candy, which made for an awesome sunrise!
Powel Memorial Sunset
After making my way to Grand Canyon, I got myself set up in a comfortable cabin near Grand Canyon Village, geared up and started to trek the Rim Trail out towards Powell Memorial.
Having shot sunrise/sunset at Mohave Point, Hopi Point and many other places along both the North and South Rim, I had not done any photography at Powell Memorial.
This particular evening, the sky was absolutely magnificent, providing a warm, cotton-candy glow in the canyon.
Sunset at Cape Royal
Sunset Color at Powell Memorial
Located between Mariposa Point and Hopi Point along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Powell Memorial and Powell Point offered up a great vantage point for this magnificent sunset.
The Grand Tetons stand out nearly 7,000 feet above the valley floor. Grand Teton peak being the more prominent peak, it is easily recognizable to all visitors to the area.
Be Still, Let Nature Sing
The call water of Sprague Lake on this early Fall evening was just what the soul needed to rejuvenate as we took in another beautiful Colorado sunset in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Twilight Glow at Dream Lake
Despite the visible snow, this image was shot on a crisp, cool early June morning in 2016. The trek up to Dream Lake was pretty easy; not much snow or ice on the trail overall, but I did use my kahtoola microspikes to ensure a safe trek for those few spots in the shade were ice buildup was present.
Tyndall Glacier surrounded by Hallett Peak on the left and Flattop Mountain on the right is the primary focal point for this image.
This mid-October sunrise had typical Rocky Mountain National Park winter winds. Dream Lake was not placid at all, so I opted to do a long exposure to flatten out Dream Lake.
A few days prior to shooting this image, I had noticed a weather pattern forming that I felt might provide an opportunity.
I got up very early and drove up to Sprague Lake on this December morning. Made my way out to this point along the shore of Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, where I was able to leverage the reflected light glow of twilight on the ice of Sprague Lake.
West Horseshoe Park
January 2015 was not anywhere near what the locals were hoping for, in terms of snowfall.
As you can see, there is relatively little snow for a mid-January day, but there was just enough snow and some excellent clouds that provided for a spectacular image.
After spending the bulk of the day in other parts of Zion National Park and in the town of Springdale when the rains came in, the weather finally broke a little, so we headed back into the park and caught the bus to Zion National Park Lodge.
From there, we hiked up the Emerald Pools Trail hoping to take advantage of the rains, to capture images of the water runoff.
The rains had come and gone throughout the afternoon, making numerous runoff’s of water roar through the various natural spillways.
Sunrise at Towers of the Virgin
Towers of the Virgin are just one of many iconic rock formations that capture the imagination of those who visit Zion National Park.
On this last day of my trip to Zion in 2013, a fellow photographer friend and I got up and made our way from the campground to the back side of the Human History Museum, passing a few photographers who were not willing to trek out in the light rain that would eventually subside prior to sunrise.
Having this spot to ourselves was truly awesome. The light of sunrise lights up the West Temple rock as the sun makes its way over the ridge far to the east, well before it starts to light up the valley floor.
The Watchman; a rather prominent rock formation on the west end of Zion National Park rises high above the campgrounds and Virgin River just inside the park from Springdale, Utah.
In late January 2014, I was watching the weather and noticed a pattern of incoming weather that I thought could provide something more unique than I had ever seen, at Great Sand Dunes National Park…
After driving from Denver down to Alamosa and getting checked into the hotel room, I went out to Great Sand Dunes National Park and did some scouting, to re-familiarize myself with where things were and how long it took to get there. No snow just yet, but I could see something coming in from the west.
The next day, after attempting to go to the shoot location but could not get there, due to a blinding blizzard, I went back to Alamosa for some food and check latest forecast.
Mid-afternoon, I could see the snowfall was starting to let up, so I geared up and headed back to the park. Snowshoes on, backpack on and all ready to go, I headed out.
What lay before me was truly a magical scene. The Great Sand Dunes are definitely unique, all by themselves, in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. However, when a blanket of snow, 18-22” deep covers them…well, that makes them even more unique!
To-date, I have not seen the sand dunes get that much snow again, so I am very grateful to have been there and to capture an image of something that is truly one-of-a-kind!
Sand Dune Snow Blanket
When you think of sand dunes, you do not think of snow…but on this adventure, there was a 12-15” blanket of snow. Some spots were less, but using snowshoes to trek around Great Sand Dunes National Park was quite an adventure!!
Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin
Yellowstone National Park is filled with many amazing sights. The walkways around Grand Prismatic Spring were awash with visitors from the many tour buses that come to the park, so I opted to bypass all of that mayhem and hike out and up to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook, starting out from the Fairy Falls Trail parking lot.
Capturing the magnificence of Grand Prismatic Spring is something I could do for days on end, to get just the right shot, if given the chance (and did not have to worry about Grizzly’s, Wolves and a host of other potential predators).
Amid a flurry of wildfires through the Pacific Northwest, we were able to get a great shot of Mt. Rainier at Reflection Lakes before the smoke and haze made its’ way to Mt. Rainier National Park.
Twilight at Second Beach
Olympic National Park, located in the northwest portion of Washington State, has a lot more to offer than many realize. Towering peaks, a huge rainforest and some spectacular seastacks along a number of beaches.
After scouting out a few of the beaches, I decided that Second Beach outside of Forks, Washington was the best location to shoot sunset and evening twilight.
My tidal research prior to flying to Seattle allowed me to reap the rewards with this image of the seastacks (Cakesosta Seastack is center-image) at low tide at Second Beach.
Emerald Lake Magnificence!
Emerald Lake Lodge, located deep in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
Yoho National Park is just one of many national parks in the area that have magnificent views, amazing glacier blue-green water and spectacular wildflowers.
Keyhole from a distance
The Hoh Rainforest, a part of Olympic National park, has a number of hiking trails that will take you through some old-growth timber and one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States.
Athabasca River Canyon
Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park is north of the Columbia Ice Field on Icefields Parkway.
If you get out and explore a little, you will find some gorgeous compositions that are unique and offer amazing detail.
Images from my body of work, with water scene as the main focus
The eastern most point of my fall foliage road trip in 2014, I visited Acadia National Park for a few days.
Fortunate to have a campsite close to Otter Point, was able to hike down to the beach and capture this twilight sunstar rising over the Atlantic Ocean.
Blackwater Falls Twilight
Blackwater Falls in Black Water Falls State Park (literally a ‘back woods’ location), deep in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.
I learned of this from some locals as I was passing through this area en route to Great Smokey Mountain National Park on my 2014 Fall Foliage road-trip.
After crossing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which took far longer than I had scheduled (note to self: allow more time to explore), I was really scrambling to make it to Ludington, MI…I was very blessed to find a parking spot next to Waterfront Park, where I could quickly grab my gear and get set up for this twilight shot at the end of golden hour.
Misty Ocoee Sunrise
The last few days of my fall foliage road trip in 2014 were spent along the boarder of Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Leaving to head home, I traveled towards Chattanooga. The weather was being fickle, but that offered up a misty and gorgeous reflective images of Lake Ocoee.
Walking along Carlsbad Beach as the sun sets was a great end to this particular day.
Wanting to create a unique image, I think I managed to pull that off.
Sunset over Dana Point
Dana Point, California has a lot of pretty spots. As the sun began to set, I was very glad to have chosen the spot I did to take in (and capture) sunset.
The warm glow of the sun filled the sky and reflected on the water of the Pacific Ocean too!
Using a fast shutter speed, I was able to capture the surf spray with the gorgeous glow of the sky reflected on the water.
Cotton Candy Clouds at Sunset
Missing out on this sky would be a shame; the clouds looked like cotton candy.
Images from my body of work, taken where I find beautiful wildflowers
Cinnamon Mountain & Colorado Columbine
There were hundreds of Columbine in this area, but the two I shot here were the cleanest and offered the best composition.
The clouds looked like they were going to make for an awesome sunset, but dispersed before sunset, so this was the best it got that day.
Aquilegia Elegantula (Shooting Star Columbine)
Shooting Star Columbine are spectacular! They look so unique and when you come across a cluster of them, you just marvel at their beauty!!
Linum lewisii or Blue Flax are quite common throughout Colorado. Their stunning deep blue, almost purple color is hard to miss.
Macro Cutleaf Anemone (Anemone multifida)
Spending the day hiking Trail 403 from the summit of Washington Gulch road towards Gothic and back was filled with adventure.
Came across this small, yet bright wildflowers and had to throw the kenko extension tubes on my camera along with my 70-200 /2.8L II.
Poor man’s macro lens did a phenomenal job of capturing all of the intimate details.
Assisting another photographer with a photo shoot in Big Bend National Park, we saw a huge field of these globemallow on our way out of the park, en route back to his place in Austin (TX).
The wildflowers during this visit were the best they had had in a few years, so I was blessed to take advantage of the opportunities.
The intimate details of wildflowers often go un-noticed. When you shoot macro, you are able to see things that are often not as noticeable, like the fuzz on these Paintbrush wildflowers!
The small details of Scorpionweed are what captured my attention as I explored this field of wildflowers near the north gate to Big Bend National Park.
Mountain Bluebells & Dew Drops
Every July, wildflower lovers converge on Crested Butte and the surrounding area for the annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Crested Butte is known as the “wildflower capital of Colorado.”
Having spent time in Crested Butte for every wildflower festival for the last decade+, we look forward to getting out to Crested Butte to take in the views, the wildflowers and just spend as much time as possible!
This morning, we got up early and headed up Slate River Road to an area near Cinnamon Mountain where I know mountain bluebells and a host of other wildflowers grow. Overnight rains offered up some dew on the leaves, making for an interesting composition.
Paintbrush & Elephant Heads
North of Gothic, Colorado in the Gothic Natural Area, the East River flows gently through the valley from the snow that accumulates on Schofield Pass over the winter months.
Along the banks of the East River, the Indian Paintbrush and some Elephant Heads caught my attention with their vibrant colors.
Scarlet Gilia (Skyrocket)
While out trekking around the forest below Snodgrass & Gothic Mountains, north of Mt. Crested Butte, CO, these beautiful wildflowers caught my eye and I had to shoot these using my kenko extension tubes and 70-200 lens (a poor man’s macro lens).
The composition part was easy. Getting my tripod and camera set in a stable position, however, was not so simple. The hillside was a multitude of angles and a small boulder also causing the setup to be a little hairy. Stable was the key and after a number of adjustments, the setup was ready and the image could be created!
Kebler Pass outside of Crested Butte, CO, USA is heavily traversed throughout the late Spring, Summer and Fall. Once the snow falls, the pass closes.
But, on this warm summer day, the silvery lupine were standing tall and proud with East Beckwith Mountain rising up behind the wildflowers.
Sticky Gilia (Aliciella Pinnatifida)
The darker color of these wildflowers almost made me miss seeing them, as I walked through a small field of wildflowers in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
A soft light passing through the trees made for a gorgeous image.
The Brilliance of Columbine
Colorado Columbine is the state flower of Colorado. Before they acquire their magnificent color, they are a brilliant white color.
Hiking along Trail 403 near Mt. Baldy beyond the summit of Washington, my eye caught these tiny wildflowers that are about 3/8” in diameter.
The clusters of wildflowers were so small, I almost missed them as I traversed across a small rock outcrop on the trail.
Wild Rose (Woods' Rose)
Wild Rose are plentiful throughout the mountains of Colorado. This one was just begging for some attention along a pullout on Gothic Road in the Gothic Natural Area.
Cactus Flower - Focus Stack
Cactus flowers come in an array of color, from brilliant yellow to this orange-pink-red variant.
To get the most of this cactus flower, I shot a 5 image focus-stack.
Parry's Primrose Macro
Hiking in the James Peak Wilderness Area one afternoon, I happened to look down and saw this wildflower.
The colors were so vibrant and a beautiful start to my hike.
Richardson's Geranium (White Geranium)
A delicate wildflower with vibrant colors of pink, red and white, these Richardson’s Geranium wildflowers will capture you eye if you allow them to do so.
Rocky Mountain Penstemon (Penstemon strictus)
Common throughout the mountains of Colorado, these wildflowers grow in large colonies and the wildflowers are 1-3’ tall.
The vibrant purple color attracts the attention of bees, photographers and more.
During wildflower season in Big Bend National Park, Ocotillo are plentiful. Their brilliant red, green and yellow flowers are attention grabbers, as are the thorns of the ocotillo plants!
This is a macro shot of Harebells, using Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). ICM is a fun technique to create unique image compositions. Doing ICM with a macro shot elevates the complexity in terms of how much movement you must do, to get the composition ‘just right.’
Images from my body of work, where I find wildlife.