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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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Sunrise

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Smoke colors the summer sunrise

We have had our share of wildfires here in Colorado but nothing like what California and western Canada have been seeing. Smoke from blazes in those areas backed into eastern Colorado overnight last night creating this somewhat eerie scene this morning. It was pretty but of course the reason for it is not so great.

Smoke from wildfires in California and Canada colors the sunrise on Colorado's plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Smoke from wildfires in California and Canada colors the sunrise on Colorado’s plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Rising sun in the smoky high country

Down below, the sunrise was obscured by clouds. This morning I was at about 10,000 feet allowing a clearer view – kind of. While there were no clouds directly above, some were along the horizon as was smoke from wildfires in the region. The smell of the smoke was quite strong but the red sun made for a bit of a surreal scene and was kind of cool. Taken in Arapaho National Forest.

Smoke from wildfires in the region colors the sunrise red. (© Tony’s Takes)

Smoke from wildfires in the region colors the sunrise red. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wind turbine silhouetted by sunrise

My morning photo drive a couple weeks ago took me past these wind turbines and I couldn’t resist taking their picture. These are part of the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center located in Logan County, Colorado.

The facility, operated by NextEra Energy Resources, is one of the largest wind power projects in the United States. It has 133 1.5-megawatt turbines that are capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 77,000 homes.

Each turbine is 262 feet tall from the ground to the center of the hub making them rather imposing structures on the relatively flat lands of the Great Plains.

A wind turbine at the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center in Logan County, Colorado is silhouetted by the sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

A wind turbine at the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center in Logan County, Colorado is silhouetted by the sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

Smoky mountain morning

My wife and I headed to the top of Mount Evans today for a photo excursion. Lots of cool wildlife shots to share later but this came away as my favorite of the day. It was extraordinarily hazy at 14,000+ feet and the air was thick with the sight – and smell – of smoke from wildfires burning in Colorado. In color, the image wasn’t really extraordinary but a conversion to black and white provided a pretty cool look I think.

Black and white view of a hazy sunrise from the top of Mount Evans, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white view of a hazy sunrise from the top of Mount Evans, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Smoke makes for an other-worldly sunrise

It’s not often the sun is red and when it is, it usually comes from wildfires. Such was the case this morning as smoke from the 416 Fire in southwestern Colorado stretched to the Front Range. Certainly it is sad to see forests burn and we certainly wish it wasn’t happening but it does make for some pretty views.

Smoke from wildfires in southwestern Colorado create a beautiful sunrise.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Smoke from wildfires in southwestern Colorado create a beautiful sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

Cool morning clouds

The sunrise itself on this particular day last week wasn’t anything to write home about. However, looking toward the north, the clouds were kind of dramatic with just a hint of color on the horizon. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

A pleasant morning scene on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A pleasant morning scene on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Grasses frame the sunrise on the Great Plains

While daytime temperatures in northeastern Colorado were relatively mild yesterday, as the sun was coming up it was a bone-chilling 7 degrees. I really did not want to get out of my toasty, warm truck but as I saw this scene unfolding I had no choice.

A notable lack of clouds had me thinking the sunrise was going to be a dud but I was soon proven wrong. The golden orb coming up over the horizon bathed the water of Jackson Lake State Park in orange and the hint of fog / steam coming off the lake looked ethereal.

Since there weren’t any clouds above to highlight I opted for a panoramic crop of this one and think it came out pretty nice.

Grasses frame a sunrise across Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Grasses frame a sunrise across Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise brings to mind sailor’s warning

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.” I can’t help but think of that old saying this evening – I am a sailor after all. 😉

The sunrise on the Colorado Front Range this morning was amazing as always. Those gorgeous colored clouds and sky coupled with the frozen pond below were awesome.

However, Mother Nature is apparently set to deliver a potent storm on us tonight and tomorrow so I am of course, taking warning.

A beautiful sunrise on a cold, winter's morning in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A beautiful sunrise on a cold, winter’s morning in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Amber grasses at sunrise

This was on an extremely cold December morning on Colorado’s Great Plains. I was at Jackson Lake State Park primarily in search of eagles but as the sun began to crest the horizon and cast its golden light, I couldn’t help but divert and capture the scene.

A light frost had coated the grass helping to make it really shimmer. I then used a bit of a photographic ‘trick’ then allowed me to turn that rising sun into a bursting light.

This really is a cool technique and very easy for those that want to try. Simply stop your shot down as much as possible – something like f/22. The result is the ‘starburst’ effect you see here. It works best if the sun is somewhat obscured like through grass or leaves on a tree.

More of my landscape images here.

A starburst of the rising sun behind grasses on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A starburst of the rising sun behind grasses on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Video slideshow: Landscape top shots 2017

From high altitude mountain scenes to the relatively flat Great Plains, my travels this year allowed me to view and capture a wide variety of scenery.

For the most part I stuck relatively close to home in Colorado other than a late spring trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Nevertheless, I was able to take in the splendor of a wide variety of scenes, each one of which I am extremely grateful for having been able to witness.

I hope you enjoy the views as much as I did. If you like these, be sure to check out my 2018 calendars and photo book.

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