Category Archives: Mountains
I saw this group of dandelions along the bike bath at Rolland Moore Park yesterday and just had to stop and take a photo. I find it strange how some people call them weeds and others don’t. I actually rode on a part of the bike trail I had never been on before. At the far west end the trail is the Spring Canyon Community Park. Wow, was I surprised at it’s size and beauty. It is nestled up against the foothills so the view is awesome. I found a picnic table situated among a butterfly garden and journaled for a while. I loved listening to a couple of meadow larks calling to each other. I think this will be a place I come to visit more often. Anyway it was my kind of morning. Continue reading
After two days of snow and an accumulation of 7-14 inches, depending on where you were in the city of Fort Collins, we had clear skies and sunshine. It was 6 degrees yesterday when I crawled out of bed at 6:00 am. The high temperatures never rose above freezing. But with the warm Colorado sunshine the snow quickly melts as natures prepares for the next snowfall. We are expecting 30% chance of snow again today.
As the above image shows most of my images are not of iconic or exotic places. They are taken close to home. I try to get out and explore whats’ near and always coming across new places, at least to me. I wander through the nature areas, local parks and the Old Town area of Fort Collins. If I have my camera with me I know there is an image to be made. Anyway here is the Colorado Front Range just after sunset last night. It was 18 when I took this shot. I must admit, as I walked back to the car I was wishing I was shooting a sunset in Key West. Maybe someday.
“As the saying goes, we see in terms of our education. We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect. And indeed it is socially useful that we agree on the function of objects. But, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs. Move on objects with your eye straight on, to the left, around on the right. Watch them grow large as you approach, group and regroup as you shift your position. Relationships gradually emerge and sometimes assert themeselves with finality. And that’s your picture.” - Aaron Siskind, The Art of Photography
It can be difficult to find new perspectives when capturing images from those popular locations people flock to like this image taken on the Foothills Parkway in the Smoky Mountains. People will sometimes be elbow to elbow as the sun begins to rise. The morning this image was taken a photography workshop was in progress so we had about a dozen photographers with tripods. So I moved away from the crowd looking for another angle and used a Nikon 80-400mm lens to bring the scene in closer and remove distracting objects. This is my picture.
Not sure if it was that evening or the next that I dropped and destroyed that lens. Still makes my stomach turn.
“You’ve got a handful of years to do your work, don’t you dare waste those moments whining instead of creating something amazing.” David Duchemin
Just few words about the above quote. Some statements or quotes will mean nothing while some are essential moments, shaking the sandy foundation we are standing on.
I’ve been passionately pursuing images for the past ten years. Prior to that I shot to record family events such as birthdays, vacations and an occasional flower. Admittedly, at one time I envisioned living a career as a photographer, raking in the money, but let that fall to the wayside as I focused my attention on raising a family and pursuing a career in engineering. I have no regrets there as I needed to be on that path.
I listened to those voices within telling me I was not good enough or worse yet I would never be good enough to make it as a photographer. To me photography as a career was for a select few with talent I did not have. I definitely did not look at photography as a creative outlet for me. And, I do not remember having a positive voice around me to offer support and encouragement. These dreams were kept buried within me, suppressed. The world around me suggested I work for a corporation to make sure I had medical benefits, put in 40 hours a week, put away 10% in a 401k and take my 2-3 weeks vacation each year. I now see photography as a work, my work, a way to express my creativity and has taught me about life, how to see it and be present to it. So, before the final sunset in this life I hope to inspire myself and others to pursue dreams and discover more dreams. We don’t need to wast the moments.
The itch to go camping after a 5 year hiatus caused a couple of oops on my part and the indulgence in a piece of blueberry pie. Let me explain. Continue reading
A sudden itch to go camping came upon me on Wednesday afternoon. So, I packed up the car and hit the road. Headed in the general direction of the Poudre Canyon looking for an open campsite in the high country. With the fall colors beginning I thought a Thursday and Friday night venture would not be as crowded. I was right on that but surprised to find very few people up there. With no one up there I pretty much had the pick of my choice. I settled on Sleeping Elephant campsite which has about 15 sites, all of them open. I selected number 12, paid my $13 and setup my tent. The birds and chipmunks were immediately talking about the intruder into their space, Not to be unfriendly I starting up a conversation with them. I told them I came up for some quiet and would do my best not to bother them. Seemed to work. The first image is my campsite and the second is an image of Elephant mountain from which they got the name for the campground. Continue reading
I apologize for the quality of this image but I want to post it anyway. It is my attempt at showing the size of this fire. I am probably 20-25 miles from the High Park Fire that has been burning since last Saturday morning. It is located just west of Fort Collins along the foothills. Here is a bit of information about the fire. The fire is burning and has burned all the area from about an inch on either side of this image. Here is a link to some better images.
The fire has now burned 52,000 acres. They are using nine helicopters and fixed-winged aircraft and over 1,300 fire fighters along with the help of the National Guard. Over 100 structures have burned – 48 of those being hones. In the above image you can see rain clouds on the left. However, this thunder cell created downdrafts, not rain, which stirred up embers that jumped the Poudre River at Stevens Gulch and is heading towards the Glacier View Meadows Neighborhood. Not good. We so need the rain!
Lately I’ve been feeling like my images are falling short, like something is missing within them. Questions run through my head. Am I being too critical? Do I need more practice at this craft, both in the field and at the computer? Am I burned out? Or do I have this dang blogging virus, I’ve heard about? It seems I never know what the images will be like once loaded into Lightroom. But, as I worked on this image in Lightroom my mind wandered back to the evening I took this image. I’d like to share some of those thoughts and feelings I had while taking this image.
This image came about as the result of my attempt to capture a few shots of the full moon. While setting up my tripod I peaked over my shoulder to west and saw this scene. I turned the camera around and took about a half dozen images. I bracketed for HDR but settled on processing only one image. I enjoyed the few moments and then turned my attention back to the moonrise. Shortly after the sun dropped below the horizon and the moon was hidden behind clouds and the camera was packed away, mother nature presented me with a glorious thunder and lightening show. In fact the whole evening had been a show! As the show moved on to the second act, I marveled at the power nature was giving me. I felt really small at the moment yet comfortable in my solitude. I felt chilled as the wind penetrated my light fleece. The chill made me think about those who were at home watching television or at the bar having a brew or two with friends. They were not feeling the cold wind or the first raindrops forming on their clothes. They were not seeing the outlines of farms on the horizon when lightening would momentarily light up the sky then seconds later hearing the clap of thunder. But, I also thought of those standing outside or looking through their windows, tuned into this same show. Those of watching were present to mother nature and for me it was a much needed time. Maybe nothing is really missing in my photography as the real purpose of this passion is to be there, tuned in to the “real” show. I saw, felt, smelled that moment. And, that’s what it’s about?
I’m off to work, hope everyone enjoys the weekend!
Perhaps the greatest tribute ever given to Muir took place in a private conversion between two great contemporary mountaineers. Galen Rowell once asked Rheinhold Messner why the greatest mountains and valleys of the Alps are so highly developed, why they have hotels, funicular railways, and veritable cities washing up against sites that, in America, are maintained relatively unencumbered by development. Messner explained the difference in three words. He said, “You had Muir.”
I’m thankful for: my health, my family, those who are like family, friends, pumpkin pie, passion, love, joy, peace, serenity, quiet time, second chances, failures, my new wheels, each season, a birds morning song and each sunrise and sunset. I hope and pray everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!