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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
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Landscapes

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Bristlecone in black and white

I’m no arborist by any means but Bristlecone Pines fascinate me.

They have the capability to survive in extraordinarily harsh environments and have longevity that is just amazing. The remnants of this particular tree reside right near treeline in Colorado so at about 11,000 feet in altitude – not a pleasant place to be in the winter.

More so, this tree could have lived to be 5,000 years old! It may very well have been alive at the time of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and indeed could date back to the Bronze Age when the Egyptian pyramids were built. Just an amazing thing to think about.

Black and white image of a fallen bristlecone pine tree in the Mount Goliath area of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white image of a fallen bristlecone pine tree in the Mount Goliath area of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

First look at the fall colors in Colorado’s high country

Taken along Old Fall River Road about half way between the base and top. In this particular area, it was a bit hit or miss (more miss really) as to finding fall foliage this past weekend. However, the higher you went, the better your chances.

Many locations, particularly those above 9,000 feet, in the state’s high country will peak this coming weekend. If you’re planning to view the show, this will be the primary weekend to do it – I know I will be up there!

If you are in the Centennial State and not sure where to go, I offer up some thoughts on my weather website here.

Fall colors make an appearance on Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall colors make an appearance on Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A sign of the change of seasons

Quite a day yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park… Not long after I took this I was wanting to head back down to the east side of the park where we were camped but they closed Trail Ridge Road literally 30 seconds before I was there.

With the rest of my family down below and the rangers being unsure as to when the road would open, I ended up taking the long way around – a three and a half hour diversion. Ugh!

I reckon on the plus side for my readers is that I do have some cool pics to share this week. 😉

Smooth flowing waters of Chicago Creek

This is a spot that a lot of folks go by as they head up to Mount Evans, Colorado. I suspect many just blow right by and never even notice it but it is worth a quick stop. The waters of the creek flow down toward the road and early in the morning the thick forest provides for some nice lighting. Using a neutral density filter allowed me to use a very slow shutterspeed to blur the waters and give them their smooth appearance.

The waters of Chicago Creek work their way through the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

The waters of Chicago Creek work their way through the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Patriot Day 2017 – Remembering the fallen

It is hard to believe it has been sixteen years since that fateful day. September 11, 2001. That date is forever emblazoned in my memory and in the hearts of all good Americans.

Like few other dates in our history, we can all remember exactly where we were when we learned of the attacks and recall in vivid detail the horror that followed. 2,977 people were killed that day and thousands more have perished since then in the War on Terror as we sought justice across the globe and fought to ensure no one could ever harm our nation as they did that day.

While we shed tears for those that died that day and since, we should also remember the other, too easily forgotten scenes that day.

The firemen and police officers who rushed to the scene and helped those in need, many sacrificing their own lives in the process. The office workers who helped their friends and co-workers down dozens and dozens of flights of stairs. The steel workers who helped to search the rubble of the buildings their fathers had built. The heroes on United Flight 93 who with the simple words, “Let’s roll,” battled their hijackers and ultimately sacrificed their own lives to save countless others on the ground. The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who dragged their compatriot’s bodies from the rubble of the Pentagon.

Certainly, September 11, 2001 will be remembered as one of the saddest days in our history but it is my sincerest wish that it will also be remembered as one of this country’s proudest. We stood together then, as the truly United States of America.

Perhaps now, when we seem so divided, it would be wise to step back and remember how on that day and the immediate days that follow, we were not left, not right, not black, not white. We were Americans. Indeed, we still are. Remember that and honor the fallen.

Remembering our fallen for Patriot Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)

Remembering our fallen for Patriot Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery. (© Tony’s Takes)

A smoky sunrise at high altitude

A lack of clouds typically doesn’t make for a nice sunrise but (for better and worse) smoke from wildfires in neighboring states helps. Below the 14,000 foot elevation I was at atop Mount Evans, Colorado, the smoke blanketed the landscape giving nice colors to the rising sun.

For these images I experimented with stacking three bracketed images for each one allowing for a wider dynamic range. This is my first attempt at doing this and think they didn’t come out too bad. Taken yesterday morning with my new Canon 6D Mark II.

Sunrise atop Colorado's Mount Evans with a smoky horizon in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise atop Colorado’s Mount Evans with a smoky horizon in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

A gorgeous scene soon to repeat itself

Golden colored aspen trees tower over the forest on Guanella Pass during the fall of 2016. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden colored aspen trees tower over the forest on Guanella Pass during the fall of 2016. (© Tony’s Takes)

I took a drive to the Colorado high country this morning and the leaves are just starting to hint at the change of seasons. In another couple of weeks, those trees will look like these aspen trees on Guanella Pass last year on September 24th. I can’t wait! I’ve already planned out at least one route that I will be taking.

High country mountain lake sunrise

Well, my photography this weekend didn’t work quite as planned. I had expected to have a healthy dose of moose but as it turns out, they were nowhere to be found. However, I did arrive at my destination yesterday morning in time to catch this glorious beginning to the day.

The colors were awesome, the sun’s crepuscular rays draw attention to the show and the reflection looked quite nice. Now if only there had been a moose walking in that water I would have been much happier with the capture. 😉

A glorious sunrise over Brainard Lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A glorious sunrise over Brainard Lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Low clouds and fog at Shadow Mountain Lake

Heading into the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park a couple of weeks ago I was forced to make a fast stop as I saw this scene start to unfold. There had been a good bit of rain the previous evening so it was very moist which helped fog and low clouds develop at sunrise. That moisture in the atmosphere helped diffuse the light from the sun as it climbed over the mountains to the east. The golden orb shed its light on the landscape below creating this very beautiful, peaceful scene.

A golden sunrise over Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A golden sunrise over Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Soft sunrise colors along the Colorado Front Range

Looking to the east, sunrise this morning really wasn’t anything too extraordinary. Turning around though provided a rather pleasant view as the rising sun lit of the clouds in pastels. Below, the Rocky Mountains and a corn field. Taken in Boulder County.

Sunrise paints the clouds in pastel colors to the north and west along the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise paints the clouds in pastel colors to the north and west along the Colorado Front Range. (© Tony’s Takes)

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