A Challenge In Utah

I had a crazy nine days in Utah exploring areas I had not been to before, while trying to capture some fall color. The Weather Gods gave me clouds only on one day so most of the time was spent searching for more intimate scenes that would not have sky in them.

After flying into Las Vegas, I made it up to Snow Canyon State Park for sunset. I hiked out to an area called Petrified Dunes, which seemed like a perfect name, as the mounds of rock looked as though they might have been sand at one point. I was even allowed a few clouds, although that would be the last I would see of that for days.

Utah, Snow Canyon, Sunset, Red Rock
Snow Canyon Sunset : Prints Available

The following was a long day to get up to Hanksville to explore the canyons south of there to Hite, Utah and the area around Lake Powell. On a previous trip there in August, I did not get the chance to photograph the east side of Factory Butte before sunrise during what is known as “blue hour” for the bluish cast that you get before the sun comes up.
Utah, Factory Butte, Desert, Shadows, Blue Hour
Desert Shadows : Prints Available

With that accomplished, it was down to the area of red rock canyons around Hite. This was the one day that I actually had clouds! I did my best to make the most of it. The Cottonwood trees turn yellow that time of year and the ones there did not disappoint.
Utah, Hite, Red Rock
The Beacon : Prints Available

Utah, Hite, Canyon, Red Rock, River
Canyon Explosure : Prints Available

Utah, Hite, Canyons, Cottonwood, Tree, Red Rock, Fall Color
Hidden Away : Prints Available

Utah, Hite, Fall, Color, Canyon, Cottonwood, Scene
Standing Alone : Prints Available

Capitol Reef National Park is west of Hanksville, and while a small national park, it has some neat rock formations and some really nice Cottonwood trees, some very old.
Utah, Capitol Reef, National Park, Fall, Color, Red, Canyon
Cottonwood Contrast : Prints Available

Utah, Capitol Reef, National Park, Red Rock, Canyon
Corner Spire : Prints Available

Utah, Capitol Reef, National Park, Canyon, Fall, Colors
Capitol Colors : Prints Available

After three days there, it was time to head back down to Zion National Park to see what fall color scenes I could get there. On the way there, I wanted to stop at the colorful Paria Canyon, a place that had simply escaped my attention before. I arrived at the perfect time, late in the afternoon. This was just an unexpected bonus and exceeded my expectations.
Utah, Desert, Colors
Desert Flow : Prints Available

Utah, Canyon, Color
Cascading Colors : Prints Available

I finished up with three days in Zion National Park. Photographing the towering rock formations was just not an option as there was not one wisp of a cloud. Plain blue skies just don’t cut it. So, the challenge was on. I have been to Zion before, but always had nice clouds. I was now going to have to work for it, finding good scenes without clouds.
Utah, Zion, National Park, Canyon, Shadows,  Red Rock
Vertical : Prints Available

Morning Warmth : Prints Available

Utah, Zion, National Park, Kolob, Canyon, Fall, Shadows
Zion Shadows : Prints Available

Utah, Zion, National Park, Temple, Sinawava, Red Rock, Canyon
Sinawava Colors : Prints Available

Utah, Zion, National Park, Canyon, Fall, Color, Red, Yellow, Orange
Zion Red : Prints Available

Utah, Zion, National Park, Fall, Color, Canyon, Surprise
Canyon Surprise : Prints Available

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Fall in Yellowstone & The Tetons

Although I have photographed in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks before, I had not been there in the Fall. I have been spending the fall season shooting in Utah and Colorado in the past, but it was time for a change.

We spent the first part of the trip in Yellowstone, and while there are not Aspens or other trees that turn color there in the Fall, there is so much else there.

The hot springs at the Geyser Basins, Grand Prismatic in particular, offer a wonderful opportunity to capture some great colors with the rising steam.

Prismatic Gold : Prints Available

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Thermal, Basin, Spring
Into The Sunset : Prints Available

The massive waterfall in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, never ceases to amaze me. It was suggested that the landscape around it formed the shape of a heart. I didn’t see it before, but I do now.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Grand Canyon, Waterfall
Canyon Falls : Prints Available

I have previously passed on shooting Gibbon Falls, but it occurred to me that maybe a close-up of the lower part of the falls would work. The light was hitting the rocks in the upper right and it worked beautifully. Sometimes you just have to give some locations some extra thought.

Wyoming, Yellowstone, National Park, Gibbon, Falls
Gibbon Falls : Prints Available

After Yellowstone, it was on to the Grand Tetons. We were excited by the opportunity presented to us with an unexpected snowstorm covering the mountains. It is so rare to have an early season snowfall. While we waited for the skies to clear, we spent a few days tracking down some really nice fall color scenes.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall Color, Aspen, Tree
Fall Mix : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Aspen, Trees
Aspen Angles : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Leaves
Red Moment : Prints Available

I even delayed my flight out to be able to be there when the weather improved and the mountains were visible. It was two incredible days. On the third day, as I headed to the airport, the snow moved back in and the mountains were gone, once again. I didn’t mind. I had been given photographic opportunities that were previously only in my wildest imagination.

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Oxbow, Bend, Moran, Snake River, Reflection
Rare Reflection : Prints Available

Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Storm, Mountains
Peak Storm : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall Color
Snake River Colors : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Tetons, National Park, Mormon Row, Barn, Clouds
North View : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Snake River, Fall, Winter
Seasonal Mix : Prints Available
Wyoming, Grand Teton, National Park, Fall, Color, Snowstorm, Mountains, Oxbow Bend, Snake River
Soft Morning : Prints Available

Next up will be an exploratory trip to Utah to locations that I have not been to before, some quite remote. Of course, I’ll be searching for fall color.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. We appreciate all those that follow us. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography and https://www.instagram.com/josephfiler

Colorado Fall Color

Jason and I arrived in Southwest Colorado hoping to find that there had been an early snowfall on the mountains like last year, but it was not to be. So, we made the decision to focus on scenes that were not so dependent on mountains.

With the clear morning skies, the first subject on the list was the rather well known group of curved aspen trees near Ophir, Colorado where the rising sun would provide some nice back lighting on the aspen trees along with a beautiful sun star.

Colorado, Ophir, fall, color, aspen, curved
Curves : Prints Available

Just south of Telluride is Cushman Lake, one of the prettiest fall color settings in Southwest Colorado. It had been windy for days, which causes ripples on the water and prevents the lake from having good reflections of the trees. We finally got a good forecast of calm winds so we got there before sunrise and were well rewarded.

Colorado, Telluride, Cushman, Lake, Fall, Color, Reflection
Morning Reflection : Prints Available

Colorado, Telluride, Cushman Lake, Fall, Color, Aspen, Tree,
Above The Lake : Prints Available

Colorado, Telluride, Cushman, Lake, Fall, Color, Reflection
Morning Calm : Prints Available

The remnants of Hurricane Rosa that had come ashore in Mexico were on their way to Colorado. The viewpoint of Mount Wilson near Telluride was the perfect place to capture the incoming weather. The morning sun was still shining on the mountain and the aspens in front of it when storm clouds began building behind the mountain. I could not have asked for more.

Colorado, fall, mountain, Mount Wilson, Storm, Clouds
Southwest Storm : Prints Available

We continued searching the back roads around Telluride for good fall color scenes and came across a stand of aspens where an old road appeared to go through them. It was raining, which did a nice job saturating the color of the leaves, but had me heading back to my dry car without spending time to see where the old road went. Maybe next time. Down yet another back road was a stunning setting showing off the contrast between the pines and the aspens.

Colorado, Telluride, Fall, Color, Road, Aspen
The Old Road : Prints Available

Colorado, fall, Telluride, trees, aspen, color
Constrast Of Colors : Prints Available

Not too far northeast of Ridgway, Colorado this unusual ridge with Courthouse Rock makes for a wonderful fall color scene. At sunset, it sits high above to the east allowing the setting sun to light it up beautifully. On this day, the sun was not blocked by any clouds as it made its way to the horizon behind us, providing us with a warm glow on Courthouse Rock.

Colorado, Ridgway, Sunset, Courthouse, Rock, Fall, Color
The Courthouse : Prints Available

We headed to Crested Butte in search of some new scenes. The leaves had begun to fall off most of the aspen trees, but we headed out early on the winding dirt road west of town where some very nice fall color scenes can be found. On the way back to town, we came around a curve and there it was, this wonderful grouping of pines and aspens that we couldn’t see when previously heading the other direction. Everything about it was perfect, with the pines surrounded by the aspens on the left and the grouping of the white aspen trees on the right.

Colorado, Fall, Color, Crested Butte, Ridgway, Telluride, Aspen, Tree
Fall Contrast : Prints Available

It was on to Aspen to see what was happening with the fall color there. The iconic image at Maroon Lake was not possible due to extremely low water levels and still no snow on the mountains. So, we headed up Fryingpan River and were able to capture a nice scene of the Cottonwood trees overhanging the river. Just like Aspens, they turn yellow in the fall, as well.

Colorado, River, fall, Cottonwood, Aspen
Cottonwood Colors : Prints Available

Finally, during the last two days of our time in Colorado, it began to rain, with snow at the higher elevations. The best place to capture snow on the mountains was going to be at McClure Pass, west of Aspen. On our last day, we got there before sunrise planning to photograph from the river at the bottom of the valley, but found the entire valley to be covered with low clouds and fog. I thought our day was done, but then decided to drive to the top of the pass to see if we could get above the clouds. It worked, and we were rewarded with two incredible images.

Colorado, McClure, Pass, Mountain, Fog, Fall, Color
Morning Light : Prints Available

Colorado, Mountain, McClure Pass, Fall, Color, Sunrise
Above It All : Prints Available

Next up will be a November trip to Death Valley and the red rock country of Utah during the peak of fall color there.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. https://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography

Fall Color In Colorado

The San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado can simply be spectacular in the fall if you have the good fortune to have some snow on the mountains. The last time we were there, two years ago, there wasn’t much snow and it was somewhat disappointing. As we headed south from Grand Junction and got near Ridgway, we could see there had been snow!

We headed to an area known as the Dallas Divide for sunset and captured the first photo you see below. It was the best sunset I had ever seen there. In the days that followed, we had more success at other nearby locations.

Sunset On The Divide : Prints Available
San Juan Sunrise : Prints Available
Sunset On Sneffels : Prints Available
Mountain Sunrise : Prints Available
Mountain Winds : Prints Available

We came across this out of the way location by chance. The horses in the pasture were fenced in by the rustic wood fence, which was just what the image needed in the foreground. If I go back again, I’ll have to take some apples for the horses to get them closer to me.

Fenced In : Prints Available

It is said that the shootout scene at the end of the original “True Grit” was filmed in the pasture here beneath Chimney Rock. Other scenes were filmed nearby in and around Ridgway, Colorado. The clouds at sunset above the Rock almost look like smoke coming out of the Chimney.

Smokin' Chimney : Prints Available

I really love it when I can find some nice ferns under Aspen trees in the fall. We were driving through an Aspen grove area near Crested Butte and I let out an excited “Stop, Stop” to my friend who was driving when I saw this scene. Long hours and lots of searching can really pay off big.

Aspens and Ferns : Prints Available

More Aspen trees photographed in the area.

Endless Aspens : Prints Available

I was delayed getting this report done as I have been working on my New Website! Everything is now found at www.josephfiler.com. There are some boring Google search reasons for the change, but aside from that, it is designed to load images faster, work on all sizes of devices from desktops to phones, show what is in the galleries at a quick glance and be easier to purchase prints. I still have some small tweeking to do, but I am really pleased with it.

Next up will be a trip to the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway at the end of January. The winter mountain scenery on the rocky coasts there is incredible and there is also a good chance of seeing and photographing the Northern Lights.

Thanks for looking and feel free to share. You can also follow the journey on Facebook for more current photographs that may not be on the blog. http://www.facebook.com/JosephFilerPhotography

Fall In The Georgia Mountains

There are a variety of options in late October for fall color. This year, I was visiting with family in North Georgia, but I knew there were some opportunities there. I did my usual research in advance, made notes of my main targets and headed out.

I was pleased to see how much color there was in some of the locations. I don’t often shoot a scene with a road in it, but the paving was new, dark, wet and begging to be included. So, I obliged.

Georgia, Chatahoochee, Fall Color, Fall, Mountain, Road
Fall Road : Prints Available

As with anywhere, you have no idea if you are going to have any decent color in the sky at sunrise or sunset. Over the years I have done this, I would say it is about 20% of the time something good happens. This is making the 5am and early alarms harder to get up for. We did manage two good sunrises and one good sunset.

Georgia, Mountain, Fall, Sunset, Chattahoochee
As The Sun Sets : Prints Available
Georgia, Mountain, Sunrise, Fall
Georgia Sunrise : Prints Available
Georgia, Chatahoochee, Mountain, Sunrise
Chatahoochee Sunrise : Prints Available

Pretty much anywhere in mountain areas, there are going to be waterfalls. The first one, Brasstown Falls, required hiking a remote trail and then sliding down a steep, wet, muddy embankment on one’s rear end while carrying the gear. Clothes had to be washed, but it was well worth it.

South Carolina, Brasstown Falls, Waterfall
Georgia Cascade : Prints Available

The other waterfall doesn’t have an official name and is located at the end of a long dirt road along Dick’s Creek. The first morning, to my surprise, several guys and their large dog were there fishing off the rocks on the side and I just couldn’t get a good image without them or their dog in it.. I got there maybe 30 minutes after sunrise, which I guess was too late. The next morning, I got there before sunrise and beat them to it. It’s amazing who you can run into when you least expect it.

Georgia, Dicks Creek, Dicks Creek Falls, Waterfall
Streaks And Swirls : Prints Available

Next up in November are the South Georgia swamps, where the cypress trees should be displaying their fall colors. I’ve got my locations well planned, and just hope I don’t have to compete again with guys fishing.

Thanks for looking, feel free to share!