Utah and Colorado Fall Color

Utah and the Wasatch Mountains were the main target for western fall color this year, because different from Colorado, in Utah some of the leaves turn red in addition to yellow. Mark, from my office, came with me and did a fantastic job handling the driving. The weather didn’t cooperate enough to give us a wide angle view of mountains with red foliage, but we did have some success finding some really nice settings with fantastic colors.

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Pink Splendor : Prints Available
Utah, Wasatch, Mountain, Fall, Color, Aspen, Tree
Utah Colors : Prints Available
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Fall Ferns : Prints Available
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Utah Aspens : Prints Available

Part of our plan was to take a few days over in Colorado and photograph a couple of my favorite locations there. Near Aspen is Maroone Lake, known for its reflection of the mountains in the lake. We had to get there 2 hours before sunrise to get a good spot because well over 100 photographers will show up there each morning during the fall.

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Sunrise At Maroon Lake : Prints Available

Another location near Aspen is the view of Capitol Peak. The last part of the long dirt road to get there is an extremely rough section that requires a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle and some good experience navigating it. Our rental F150 4×4 did the trick, although it was a little more exciting at a few spots than we wanted. But in the end, it was worth it.

Colorado, Aspen, Fall, Color, Capitol Peak
Capitol View : Prints Available

The color in Colorado was the best it has been in years. The view at McClure Pass was a prime example. Last year, it was half green and half bare. What a difference a year makes!

We also headed down to the aspen grove near Crested Butte. Nothing says fall in the western United States like the yellow aspen trees. The trick is finding some settings with some nice undergrowth with color.

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Aspen Burst : Prints Available
Colorado, Aspen, Trees, Fall, Color, Crested Butte
A Little Backlighting : Prints Available
Colorado, Aspen, Trees, Fall, Color
Morning Aspens : Prints Available

We drove over 2,500 miles scouting for locations, and while the days were long, we still had a lot of fun. I have a feeling I’ll be back there next year.

Next up is October fall color in North Georgia. Will report on it as soon as I can.

Summer On The Maine Coast

In August, the sun rises and sets in Maine from the best locations. The other issue on the coast is the tides. You really want to be there when the tide is close to high at sunrise and sunset to avoid the look of low tide, which is not that attractive.

So, with the timing figured out, it was off to Maine. I have been wanting to photograph the very picturesque Portland Head Light for several years. I stayed in Portland for five days just to be sure I got the sky that I wanted and it worked out great. One day at a location is just not going to get you the best results. It can be a little boring, but that’s just the way it goes.

I spent the other half of my time four hours north at Acadia National Park. I had been there a couple of times before, but did not get the results I was looking for on Cadillac Mountain or at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. In between, I was able to capture some nice images at the Cobblestone Bridge.

Success feels good in any form, and this was no exception. Next up will be the Wasatch Mountains at the end of September for fall colors and mountain vistas. I haven’t been there before and look forward to some serious exploration of the area. I may even sneak in a special side trip.

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Sunset At The Light : Prints Available
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Mountaintop Sunrise : Prints Available
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Harbor Light : Prints Available
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Steps On The Trail : Prints Available
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Boulders And Stones : Prints Available
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Side Glance : Prints Available

Iceland Waterfalls & Canyons

Kelly and I went to Iceland four years ago, but it is too much to cover in one trip so we finally made our return in July. I had done much more research and planning this time so I wouldn’t leave out anything of importance. The first trip is always one of learning and you try to fill in what you missed on the second trip.

Road 1, or “the ring road”, circles the island. I really wanted to travel the entire road, which we did this time, driving clockwise around the island and over 2,000 miles during the 10 days we were there. This enabled us to photograph Godafoss, the largest waterfall, which is on the north side of the island.

There are challenges to photographing in Iceland. I can’t begin to pronounce any of the names of the locations. It is an old Viking language that seems closer to Klingon than anything else I am familiar with. Fortunately, cell phones and the internet works most everywhere so Google Maps on the phone kept us from getting lost. We didn’t have that advantage four years ago. Summer days are about 20 hours long, food and restrooms can be hard to find and some of the driving on the winding, two lane ring road is crazy. But who cares, we were in Iceland!

Flight delays in and out of New York’s JFK airport caused us to get there a day late and miss our first night near Kirkjufellfoss, but we cut short another location at the end and got there and had great success. You just have to be flexible with your schedule.

In the end, we accomplished our goals and came away with the images we were hoping for. There are definite some that will wind up on the wall. The person in the red jacket at the base of the waterfall is Kelly. She got a little wet, but it made the shot adding scale.

Next up will be an expedition in August to Maine to photograph some of the famous lighthouses there.

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Godafoss Sunrise : Prints Available
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The Curve Of Godafoss : Prints Available
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Hobbit Canyon : Prints Available
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Canyon Color Spectrum : Prints Available
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Twin Fall Canyon : Prints Available
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Icelandic Cascades : Prints Available
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Pure Power : Prints Available
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Skogafoss Curl : Prints Available
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Seljalandsfoss Sunset : Prints Available
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Kirkjufell Sunrise : Prints Available
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Triple Falls : Prints Available

Spring In Oregon

When you think of Spring, you usually think of April. Flowers are blooming, the trees are lush and green, snow is still on the mountains and the water is flowing in the waterfalls. After some considerable thought as to where to go, Oregon was the choice to capture all of this.

We started with a couple of days on the coast hoping for some cool Pacific sunsets. It just wasn’t happening, so we headed inland for the Spring time targets.

First, we stopped at Silver Falls State Park, as I wanted to photograph Middle North Falls, which we had not done before. To get close the ferns for the foreground, I had to setup where water from an overhead outcropping was dripping heavily on my back. I was warm so I didn’t pack the waterproof jacket for the hike. Live and learn, I suppose.

Next, we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge. In spite of previous trips there, we had not photographed Latourell Falls, a thin, but very tall waterfall. As I stood there, I couldn’t help wondering why we had not taken the time to work this beautiful waterfall before.

The creeks in the Gorge are surrounded by such lush greenery, and to me, are much more attractive than those in the east that I grew up with. Along Gorton Creek, there is this wonderful footbridge that crosses it. The light was great and it made a captivating image.

Mount Hood was magnificently still covered in snow from the winter. We drove what seemed like every backroad there was on the north side looking for an open view where it would not be hidden by trees. On the last dirt road we tried, there was a clean pasture with a view. Persistence does pay off.

In the hills a few miles east of the Gorge, the flowers were in full bloom. It only lasts for a couple of weeks and we were fortunate to be there at the peak of color. We managed to find a couple of nice compositions, one with the yellow Balsam Root flowers under a really neat tree in the morning and another with them facing us in the sunset. This may be my favorite of the trip!

Next up in May are the Canadian Rockies. It should be early enough to still have snow on the mountains, but late enough for side roads to be open. At least that’s the plan.

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Water Drapes : Prints Available
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Spring Drama : Prints Available
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The Crossing : Prints Available
Oregon, Mount Hood,
Morning At Mount Hood : Prints Available
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Rowena Sunset : Prints Available
Oregon, Rowena Crest, Columbia Gorge, flower
Flower Tree : Prints Available

Firefall and Flowers

In February, I headed to Yosemite National Park to photograph the phenomenon known as “Firefall”. For about a week in February, the setting sun lights up Horsetail Falls on El Capitan, resulting in a look of the falls being “on fire”.

Due to the California drought, it’s been about 6 years since there has been enough snow on top of the mountain to create enough snowmelt water for this to happen. Needless to say, there were some pretty big crowds to navigate. The result was well worth it!

In March, Jason and I headed up to the Carolina coast. Our first target was the trees in Lake Matamuskeet, North Carolina. Unfortunately, three days of skies that were either clear of any clouds or covered with solid heavy clouds. Either way, there was no sunrise photograph to be had, so we had to move on.

We headed down to Charleston to check to status of the spring lower bloom at Magnolia Plantation. The main targets were the long white bridge and the flowers under the oak trees. We were there last year, but it just wasn’t happening so we came away empty handed. This year, we were pleasantly surprised to see a rather healthy bloom and, over several days, captured exactly the images we were hoping for.

So, two very different locations and two goals accomplished. Next up, I’ll be leaving mid-April to Oregon with Kelly. It will be my fourth trip to Oregon, but we’ll be working some areas we have not gone to before. Oregon is, obviously, a target rich environment.

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Firefall : Prints Available
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Yosemite Moonrise : Prints Available
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Magnolia Flowers : Prints Available
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Spring Reflections : Prints Available
Magnolia Splendor : Prints Available
Spring Oak : Prints Available
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Serenity At The Bridge : Prints Available