A beautiful sunset this evening but, unfortunately, due to the Cameron Peak Fire which flared up this afternoon due to record high temperatures and strong winds. Massive smoke plume from the blaze (bottom right) as seen from Thornton, Colorado. Taken with my DJI Mavic Pro drone.
A pretty cool capture but, of course, the conditions that made it cool are not.
Much of summer here in Colorado was exceedingly dry and over the past few weeks, nary a drop of rain has fallen. Topping it off, we have been seeing record-setting heat. Those conditions set the stage for wildfires in the high country.
As of right now, we have four major blazes going, one of which is now the second largest in state history and will likely take over the number one spot before it is out. It is sad to see so much of our precious forests burnt but, the smoke from them has created some pretty amazing sunrises and sunsets.
Last weekend I closed out the day northeast of Denver, watching the setting sun. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky but as the sun went below the horizon, the mountains cast shadows onto the smoke while the sky was blaze orange. A neat scene, a sad reason for it.
A reminder to be sure to look ALL the way around when you are taking in the scenery.
Sunset to the west was gorgeous on this evening a couple weeks ago but the best show was in fact the other direction. As I was snapping pics to the west, I looked behind me to find this view.
The setting sun had colored the clouds to the east in pastel shades of red and orange. It was absolutely gorgeous and, in fact, better than the view toward sunset.
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.
Sitting out on the patio with my wife tonight watching this unfold, I couldn’t resist and went and threw the drone up for a nice look at tonight’s sunset on the Colorado Front Range. Sigh. I do love this place and will never tire of scenes like this.
Last week the Colorado Front Range saw pretty hazy skies due to wildfires to our southwest. While I certainly do not like the fires or the damage they cause, they do create some pretty darned beautiful sunsets and sunrises.
Last Wednesday evening I was out northeast of Denver photographing critters when this scene unfolded behind me. I of course quickly swapped cameras and began taking pictures the opposite direction.
The most prominent peaks just right of center are Mount Meeker and Longs Peak. The rest of the Rockies as seen looking west are also silhouetted by the orange glow of sunset and the haze.
I had high hopes for the show this evening and while it was pretty, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as I had hoped. Nevertheless, it is hard to complain when you can wrap up your workday with a scene like this.
Oh my goodness! I was trying to pay attention to the Denver Broncos game but found myself distracted by this scene outside. Sunsets here in the colder months just crank things up a notch. The wind aloft creates insane cloud formations and then you throw in that orange and blue, well, you have a stunning show like this.
Now that’s a sunset, eh? Sunflowers below, storm clouds with virga above and those Rocky Mountains dominating the horizon in the distance.
I was flipping through some recent pics and came across this one taken at the end of August that I hadn’t shared yet.
I was at this spot east of Denver, Colorado primarily to photograph the sunflowers but soon I became focused on also capturing the gathering storm clouds. They didn’t produce much but they did definitely add drama to the scene.
As my daughter and I headed home after an evening watching owls, I looked in the rear view to see a beautiful scene unfolding. We quickly pulled over at a local open space park and ran to get ourselves into position to capture the show.
The orange sunset colored the waters of the pond and above, dramatic clouds topped things off. In between the sun just dropping below those gorgeous, snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Definitely a great way to end the day!