Saturday, July 12, 2008

Colorado Trip

Colorado Trip

Following is a report from my trip to Colorado starting July 7th 2008. The main destination was the Crystal Mill. This sits just outside the tiny town of Crystal, Colorado. Crystal is about 4 miles of some of the roughest 4 wheel drive "road" I have ever traveled from Marble, Colorado. It was worth it.

But first,my trip started from Prescott, Arizona, where I live. The first night I camped along the West Dolores River, which is just north of Cortez, Colorado. All the streams and rivers are running high with snow melt. The Rockies had a hugh winter snow pack and it is still running strong. The second day I stopped in Telluride, Colorado. I hiked up to the house/power plant that you see in the first picture. This stands above the town of Telluride and is a small hydroelectric plant and a house that a pleasant couple lives in from about June to late fall when the snow gets too deep. What a view from ones back yard !! This image is made up of four separate pictures tone mapped with Photomatix.

I hiked on up above from the house/power plant and found the next image. The light was not right at the time so I continued up the path. I finally reached a point where it was get wet from a stream crossing or turn back. At this point I was probably 2,000 feet above Telluride. I turned back. When I got to the small stream flowing over the rocks and thru the plants, the light was perfect. It provided just the right back light.

Next it was over the mountains to Ouray, Colorado via Imogene Pass at 13,114 feet. I believe Imogene Pass is the highest pass for vehicles in North America. As you can see from the next image, I made it with my trusty Jeep Cherokee. This was one rough drive from 8,750 feet elevation of Telluride to the summit.

The next image is a small alpine lake in the mountains just east of Ridgeway, Colorado. The is an HDR image composed of 24 separate pictures processed with PTGui software. I really liked the interplay of the reflections of the trees and the logs in the water. Fortunately there was no wind.

Next it was across the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to my primary destination, Crystal Mill. In my previous post I talked about pre-visualization. The image I had in my mind was one of this Mill by night with multiple flashes. I used five electronic flashes triggered remotely from the camera with Pocket Wizards. I wanted a little glow in the sky so I took the primary picture about 20 minutes after sundown. To get the silky water of the falls I combined the flash picture with a long exposure shot without the flash. I "processed" this image in Photoshop to get just the right amount contrast, etc. I've included more shots of Crystal Mill. Which do you like the best? Post your comments please.

The next image is of Roger and Bonnie Neal. They live in Crystal during the summer and you can buy Roger's books of Crystal from his home there where this image was taken. I spent some time with Roger and Bonnie. Roger was kind enough to show me some hidden secrets of Crystal. Thanks Roger.

My last stop was Independence Pass just south of Aspen, Colorado. It is 12,093 feet elevation. This is an easy but beautiful drive. I did one hike near the pass starting at 11,500 feet to Linkins Lake at about 12,000 feet. Boy is the air thin at 12,000 feet. The last picture is of Linkins Lake.

Thanks for viewing. Hope you enjoyed.


Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

I liked your night picture with the tree and rock background

Lloyd said...


Ran across your blog from a post on DPReview. Loved the pictures, I like to do long/nightime exposures too and I bow to your skills. Have to admit that I liked your 2nd shot of Crystal Mill the most, the daylight one with more water in the foreground. I really liked the movement of the water.

Keep shooting and I will keep looking!


Shaft said...

A ginormous success for the "Colorado Trip". I was simply
drawn in by the 7th image down of
Crystal Mill with the feeling of
floating in air, gazing across the river at the Mill in all its glory.
The inclusion of such depth, width,
texture and color around the Mill provides, I believe in the minds eye, the ultimate framing for Crystal Mill. Looking forward to more of your "minds eye" journeys.