Our Yellowstone trip log starts with “Hell’s Half Acre” – the place where the movie “Starship Troopers” was filmed. Remember the scenes when troopers fought with bugs in an alien desert? These look pretty darn close, don’t they? :)
This is the second part of our trip log to San Juan Mountains. You can see the first one right here. For the second part of the trip, Lola unfortunately could not join me (she was too busy shooting important events) and I was fortunate to have Sergey accompany me on another photo tour to southeast of Colorado.
Let me start off with my favorite image of the second part of the trip that I captured at Maroon Bells in Aspen (image as is, no post-processing):
Now that I have just a little bit more time on my hands, I am able to go back and review some of the images that Lola and I snapped when we went for a road trip to San Juan Mountains of Colorado a couple of weeks ago. One thing for sure, it is hard to guess the exact time when the colors will be at their peak and when the leaves are going to fall, since it changes year after year. If the cold hits the mountains early, the leaves change colors early. Although Denver has been pretty warm this fall, I had no idea how warm or cold it would be in the mountains. So without much thinking and guessing, Lola and I quickly packed our gear and took off to see the San Juan County. Our objective was to see Ouray, Telluride and the surrounding areas, test the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G DX VR lenses and come back with good pictures. I think we managed to snap a couple of good images, although the weather yet again did not cooperate much with us.
I hate to admit it, but this was my first time travelling to that part of Colorado – I have been living here for over 13 years! Everybody kept telling me to visit the “Switzerland of America”, but various circumstances and other travel plans have been putting off my trip year after year. This year has been super busy for Lola and I, for which we are certainly grateful, but at the same time, it left very little time for personal and family travel. But there is a big difference between a photography trip and a family trip. We knew that our kids would not enjoy it, so with promises to take them to Micky later this year, we took off.
Do you dream of pictures? Most passionate photographers do. Some dream of a beautiful location with the right lighting, while others dream of perhaps a perfect subject in a perfect environment. Whatever the dream is, the goal is to create a unique, beautiful image that will trigger the emotions of the viewer, touching their deepest senses and ultimately creating a very positive experience – a picture worth a thousand words…
I had a dream like that for a while, perhaps after seeing Yellowstone for the first time. The raw nature, strangely beautiful and colorful pools of hot spring water and geysers left some unforgettable memories in my head and I have been dreaming of some images of Yellowstone ever since. While there are plenty of pictures of Yellowstone out there, most of them show the famous Yellowstone Falls or some other waterfalls, geysers and hot springs. Most other photographs are of bison, wolves, bears, moose, elk, deer and other animals – the wildlife part of Yellowstone. Landscape photographers certainly give a lot more attention to Grand Tetons, largely because of Ansel Adams’ classic photographs and also because the Tetons are very “contrasty” and beautiful, especially in fall.
Lola and I took a short trip to Wyoming this past weekend and decided to check out Yellowstone and drive through Grand Teton National Park on the way back. Obviously, I already knew that I would not be able to capture anything good from the Tetons, since we were planning to leave Yellowstone at around noon time – the worst time of the day for Tetons, especially when it is hot. On top of that, the wildfires of Yellowstone and the surrounding areas contributed to the thick haze, making it extremely difficult to capture images during the day. Here is the picture of Grant Tetons with fall colors that I captured right before we took off home:
After a crazy work and travel schedule, we are now back! San Juan mountains were breathtaking, I cannot believe that I have not been there before, although I have lived in Colorado for over 12 years now. The colors were beautiful and vivid, but the skies were too clear without a single cloud…
The summer is over and I’m putting together a plan to photograph the fall colors of Colorado. The whole transition from green to yellow, then from yellow to red before the leaves fall off from aspens happens in a very short window of time, lasting 2-3 weeks maximum. If it gets rainy or windy, the leaves fall off even quicker, leaving very little time to photograph the magic of the fall.
It was still about a week early as of last weekend, with the greens getting lighter in color and some trees already getting some yellow tint:
Shot with the Nikon D5000 and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.
I have so much gear to test, that I’m having a tough time to get out and shoot. Last week I woke up early for some birding at a nearby park and saw this sunrise on the way:
The sky redness you see in the above image stood for several minutes before the sun started coming out of the horizon. After taking a couple of shots, I enjoyed the moment of tranquility and as I was getting ready to leave, found this wood piece close-by:
Too bad there were not any boats around, since it is a small lake…
Captured with Nikon D300 and Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.
Seeing a storm during a sunset is a rare event. As I was driving from a nearby park home with the family, I saw a small rainbow on one side of the sky:
And the below image just a couple of minutes later on the other side:
I wrote this tutorial for those who want to learn about panoramic photography and how to photograph and stitch panoramas using a point and shoot or DSLR camera. The technique consists of two parts – photographing a scene using a camera and then using special software to align and stitch those images together to form a single panoramic image. I will go over both and will show you how to create stunning panoramic images of any subject, including landscapes.
The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G is very wide on FX – so wide, that it can fit lots of foreground in the frame. On one side, it is very nice, because you can highlight the front objects, but at the same time it can be a little negative, since it makes background objects look tiny. Here is where a large cannon used to stand before:
And by walking a little closer to the shore, I got this beautiful view: