This made for a pretty danged nice view yesterday morning! The sunflowers are starting to bloom on the Colorado plains and this particular spot had some added bonuses. Of course you had the flowers but in the distance, also the majestic Mile High City and the Rocky Mountains. Throw in the setting near full moon above in the blue skies and, well, that was darned awesome for sure.
After two weeks with nary a click on my cameras, I was able to get out this past weekend and spend some quality time in nature. Sunday’s destination was Mount Evans which required a 4:00am departure from the house to make it up high in time for sunrise (those pics to come later). On the way home, I stopped by this little waterfall / creek area that I have come to enjoy. As always it was beautiful – lush and green with the sounds of mountain waters rushing down the hill. These beautiful bluebells provided a nice foreground for this shot and the creek’s waters accent the scene.
Last week I spent some time in my wife’s flower garden, mainly taking macro pics of the beautiful blooms. This gorgeous bee was taking advantage of the bounty, hopping in and out of the flowers. It was a bit interesting to watch as to get to the good stuff, the bee and to climb all the way into the flower. When it emerged, it would stop, clean itself, then move on to the next one and repeat the process.
With a late season snowstorm moving in, I headed to the backyard on Thursday to get some pictures of my wife’s blooming flowers before the cold and snow arrived. I figure they will not look anywhere near as nice after yesterday and today so wanted to capture some images while I could.
Macro photography is not one of my strong suits but it is fun to get out there and play around, particularly when the subject is right out the backyard. My wife spent three years revamping thousands of square feet of our yard from grass to drought-resistant flowers and has transformed it into a pretty cool space.
Hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful forest burned across Colorado last summer and fall. The devastation has altered the landscape for decades (centuries?) to come.
In less than a year, however, the forest has begun the process of being born again. In an area of Arapaho National Forest where few trees were left standing and those that are still upright are only blackened stalks, the floor of the forest has come alive.
Here, fireweed signifies the first of the new growth. We saw vast swaths of this beautiful flower, far more than what would normally grow had the tree canopy shaded everything. The purple / pink provided a nice contrast to the charcoal black.
I’m back! Not that you knew I was gone thanks to the magic of scheduling posts ahead of time but I just returned from a week of much-needed R&R in Yellowstone and the Tetons. It was an absolute fantastic trip despite the unusually warm weather and smoke from wildfires and I captured a good number of cool images.
As we have been to the area many times, we did mix it up a bit, checking out some new sights / sites including where this image was taken – Upper Mesa Falls in Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho.
If you are ever in the area, it is well worth visiting. The waterfalls were impressive but this was my favorite shot as it uses a technique I have been wanting to try out.
Getting the flowers to stay sharp while using a slow shutter speed to portray the speed of the water rushing by is not easy. It of course requires zero wind as you need the flowers to stay perfectly still and for the first time I was able to pull it off. This was taken from a busy boardwalk so I had to handhold the camera versus using a tripod which made it even tougher.
Ideally, I would have been able to secure the camera solidly and go even slower with the shutter speed further blurring the waters but as-is, I am pretty pleased with the shot.
Much more to come from this trip in the days ahead, including a bear or two or more. 😉
During our recent visit to southwestern Colorado, we were a few weeks too early to really catch any extraordinary wildflowers. There were, however, a few spots that required a stop and pictures to be taken.
Along Last Dollar Road not far from where the homestead from the movie True Grit is, the balsamroot was blooming in beautiful yellow. Clear blue skies lie above and in the distance, the rugged mountain peaks dominate the horizon.
With slightly overcast skies and calm winds, yesterday evening looked to be a good time to get out and play with some macro photography.
My wife’s flower gardens are starting to show some nice color with a decent little variety of subject matter. This type of photography isn’t normally “my thing”, but I do enjoy it and it is kind of nice to just walk out the back door and snap some pics.
Among the highlights blooming right now were columbine (of course!), iris, candytuft, basket of gold and a couple of others whose names escape me.
These gardens were made possible in no small part through a program with the City of Thornton and Thornton Water Conservation. We ripped up a ton of turf and replaced it with things like these that conserve water – and of course provide great photo ops. 😉
As I mentioned before, I didn’t really spend much time on the sunflowers this season. There was just way too much drama at the fields and way too much bad behavior and I didn’t want to deal with the stress.
I did manage a couple “drive-bys” though when out taking picture of other subjects. This one, taken mid-August, is one of my favorites.
The field itself was relatively small so it didn’t lend itself to a wider shot. Instead, I zoomed in, capturing a dense spot giving it a much bigger feel than what was really there. Plus, that one sunflower standing just a bit taller than the others was a nice draw.
I had been avoiding taking my annual trip(s) out to see the sunflowers northeast of Denver, Colorado. The evening thunderstorms that help to make those scenes dramatic have been non-existent and replaced by smoke and haze from wildfires across the northern part of the state.
Throw in a lot of bad behavior by other photographers and visitors (trespassing, damaging the crops), and my motivation to go out there has been pretty low. Last night though, I decided to head out with a buddy and give it a shot.
There were no clouds to speak of, just haze from the smoke. While the sunset wasn’t anything overly dramatic, it did provide some nice colors and silhouetted the mountains pretty nicely.
Shooting into the sun is a challenge that usually results in the foreground being too dark or the sky being blown out. To help mitigate that, this is actually three images shot immediately one after another – the first dark, the first at what the camera thought was a good exposure, and the third bright. I then took the three and merged them together on the computer, helping to bring out pretty decent colors in the foreground and capture the sky without blowing it out too bad.