Blue hour bulb/ND panorama of snow fields, cirque, and summit of Mt Sopris from Upper Thomas Lake at Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, White River National Forest. It was hard to get the exposure right as the light was fading- you can probably tell that the panorama gets darker from left to right as I left the exposure times the same for each of the frames in the shot. The second panorama is from the following morning- I used a B&W conversion to try to emphasize the texture of the rocks and clouds.
Upper Thomas Lake and Mt Sopris at Blue Hour (2019),
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado (16″x35″)
Upper Thomas Lake, Mt Sopris, and Morning Clouds (B&W),
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado (16″x40″)
Earlier this summer, I backpacked up to Thomas Lakes in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of Colorado and took a few photographs along the way. I’ve always loved this stretch of hike- the trail switchbacks through an open field, then crosses the top of a hill and enters a grove of aspen as it ascends to Thomas Lakes.
Trail through Field to Mt Sopris and Sopris (2019),
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado (16″x46″)
Last summer was quite dry and hot on the Western Slope of the Rockies in Colorado- smoky air from forest fires and streams and waterfalls that trickled instead of gushed. This summer, I took my annual walk up to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon and photographed the falls- there was much more water, with falls spouting out of the cliffs in multiple places. Here is a 30-second exposure of the falls at Hanging Lake.
Hanging Lake and Falls (Bulb Exposure, 2019),
Glenwood Canyon, White River National Forest, Colorado (11″x18″)
After the fires this summer, views of Mount Sopris from Carbondale and the surrounding area were sadly hazy and smoky. A few evening rain clouds blew in over Sopris, but there wasn’t enough precipitation or wind to fully clear the air, leaving the views of one of my favorite mountains slightly obscured.
Sopris, Clouds, and Smoke, near Carbondale, CO (12″x18″)
Fortunately, on my last night in the area, the winds changed direction and pushed some of the smoke out of the region. It felt like I’d put on glasses- the view of Mount Sopris appeared crisp and well-defined as the setting sun cast a pink glow on the flanks of the mountain.
Sopris and Evening Clouds, near Carbondale, CO (12″x18″)
I stopped to photograph Hayes Creek Falls along Colorado-133 (south of Carbondale, just west of Mount Sopris). Water was barely trickling over the Falls, so I crossed CO-133 and shot a few bulb exposures of the water flowing around the rocks in the Crystal River. Hoping this area recovers from drought and fire season.
Crystal River (Bulb Panorama), near Bears Gulch, CO (16″x54″)
Crystal River (Bulb Single Frame), near Bears Gulch, CO (10″x18″)
As we approached Winfield from Hope Pass along the Continental Divide Trail, the clouds parted near the horizon and allowed a few rays of golden light to shine across the valley onto Emerald Peak, Mt Belford, and Mt Oxford.
Light on Ridge near Hope Pass, near Buena Vista, CO (12″x18″)
While in Colorado this summer, I helped a friend scout Hope Pass for the Leadville 100. Before stopping for lunch at the saddle (~12,500 feet elevation), I took this panorama to the west and north looking back down the valley towards Twin Lakes.
Trail to Hope Pass, Continental Divide Trail, near Buena Vista, CO (16″66″)
Visiting the same location year after year forces me to try to see the same scene from new perspectives. This summer, I spent more time to the right of the falls taking a few long exposures of the water flowing out of the limestone at Spouting Rock above Hanging Lake.
Spouting Rock (Horizontal #3, Color, 2018), Hanging Lake, Colorado (16″x20″)
Spouting Rock (Vertical #3, Color, 2018), Hanging Lake, Colorado (28″x16″)
Here are a few more panoramas taken around sunrise at 14,000+ feet in Colorado.
Ridge Line from Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x50″)
Ridge Shadows to Mt Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x70″)
Rising Sun over Mt Lincoln, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x64″)
After hiking up the flank of Mt Democrat, we turned to the east and headed towards Mt Lincoln to avoid the large crowds on the first peak. We followed the ridge to Mt Licoln, ate breakfast, then walked up the side of Mt Bross and down to Kite Lake. The mining equipment, pits, and trails are quite the spectacle at 14,000+ feet .
Mining Equipment, Trails, and Mount Democrat, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x67″)
Scree and Talus Field on Mt Bross, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)