These photographs were taken after a very long evening hike in a downpour of rain. Cold and wet, I was still awe-struck by this breathtaking beauty of Gothic Mountain and Mt. Crested Butte. We photographed until sunset and then had a long hike in the dark with headlamps to guide us through the muddy trail. Upon reflection, I felt so insignificant in the universe at the top of the peak and yet I know that one act of kindness each day is so significant. I am so grateful for this awareness.
If you have a zoom lens or an additional lens with a different focal length, challenge yourself to see the landscape before you with differing perspectives. These photographs were taken during the same morning sunrise from Kebler Pass in Crested Butte, CO. The featured photograph is the East-West Beckwith Range; the photograph above is the Ruby Range. This is a reminder that life is constant change – different light, different clouds, different color all displayed within minutes. We can either be in the moment and go with the flow or miss opportunities presented to us. We can limit our view and focus or we can expand our perspective. We do have choice in our world.
Dramatic — sensational — beautiful — glorious — magnificent.
These landscape big sky images were a privilege to behold and a privilege to experience. However, it was my choice to stop and notice. When was the last time that you stopped and noticed what is around you, above you and within you? Try it sometime. As for me, these are choices that support my life for the better.
“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” ~ Victor Hugo
“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I cannot believe that it is the end of summer already. So, I wanted to share some of the beautiful wildflowers that I have experienced. I tend to do a lot of macro photography, however, sometimes it is best to view an array of wildflowers covering a broad area. When they move in unison with the wind, they become nature’s choreographed dance of delight – just to be…
May this bouquet of wildflowers brighten your day and make you smile.
“The earth laughs in flowers.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is beautiful Mt. Crested Butte after a storm and there is something very etheric and spiritual about this image. The brilliant light appears in the sky as the rainbow fades. Light, cresting the top of the mountain, beckons our attention. The wildflowers sparkle after their evening bath as their colors display a more saturated deep hue. The entire visual seems to convey the divine and divinity. Each day is not always sunny and a storm does brings new light and glory. It is like life. Each day may have its challenges, however, each experience brings forth a new depth to our character. Many years ago, I wrote: “When we accept the rain in our life as growth, we are sure to see a quiet development of our character.” I think these words are still true today. I acknowledge all those who face the storms of life with courage and, as a result, become better people. Your new-found courage allows you to reflect the light of your brilliant personality and convey a deep conviction for your truth. I honor you all…
Elements of good photographic composition include a combination of shapes, lines, balance and repetition of design. These photographs were taken early morning, immediately after sunrise, and have nice compositional elements. There are matching crescent shaped upward and downward arcs (as many as 3 in one photograph) with the beautiful lupine and mountains and sky. Also, I used hyper-focal distance focusing with my wide angle lens to get both the flowers and distant mountains in focus. There is a free App that you can download onto your phone ipone.dofmaster.com that you may find helpful with this technique. You just dial in your camera type, lens (multiply a digital lens by a factor of 1.5) and f-16 to determine the distance your camera needs to be set from the foreground and the hyper-focal distance on your camera lens. For example, I was using a 17 mm wide angle lens and multiplied it by 1.5 to get a 25 mm lens setting for my calculations. Sounds complicated? Well, it is until you practice it. Also, once you determine your numbers/settings, they are always the same for your specific wide angle lens. Hyper-focal distance is worth studying and it is a great technique for placing wildflowers as a foreground center of attention in photographs. I want to thank Raynor Czerwinski, a photographer in Crested Butte, who helped me to learn the technique. Check out his website at www.lucidlandscape.com and, if you are ever in Crested Butte, it is worth it to take photography lessons with him. He is a good instructor and knows his craft well.
In the previous post titled “Divinity,” there are two very nice compositional elements and I challenge you to find them. There are two triangles in the green landscape – one on the left that is light green and one on the right that is a darker green. Also, the lighting on the mountain matches the triangle shapes and adds repetition of design. Enjoy!
Macro photography is one of my favorite types of photography. I love to see and feel the complex design and shapes of flowers. I love to feel intimate with the landscape. Also, macro photography involves a lot of patience waiting for the wind to be still as many of these photographs require exposures of 1 second or longer. I used a 60 mm macro lens for these columbine images and two of them were photographed immediately following an afternoon rain. So, the raindrops were still visible and clinging to their newly-chosen home. Please check out my “New Images Gallery” to see more columbine that were photographed during this photo excursion. The key to good composition with macro photography is creating a background that is not distracting to the main flower. So, be aware of depth of field and intentionally create blur in the background with camera settings. Also, getting key elements of the flower in focus (for example: pistil, petal and raindrop in the featured photograph) creates the “wow” factor.
There is a poem, author unknown, called the “Rainbow Bridge.” I am sure that it will resonate with almost everyone who reads this post.
“All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…”
Crested Butte, CO, is known for its wildflowers and festival to celebrate them in July. Recently, I traveled to this area and participated in a Wildflower Photography class led by our instructor Keith Snell. Keith is a great photography teacher and you might want to check out his Spirit of Photography website. I participated in this class last year and it may become a yearly experience for me as it is awesome! These scenes exemplify the outstanding color variations of nature photography.