October 1502

A scenic week

I didn't even leave the valley this week and I've seen some great stuff! 

First on Sunday we had that Super Full Blood Moon, the lunar eclipse. I always like to get some photos of an eclipse because I find them interesting. 

First shot was early in the evening and the eclipse. I drove up into the hills east of Gunnison to get the changing aspens in the foreground with Mt. Chipeta on the continental divide behind. The left side of the moon was starting to darken.



For totality I was back home again. Being up where I was for moonrise didn't matter much once it was dark so I figured I'd hang out with my family on the porch. This shot is a little cliche, but it was just irresistible to grab one with an old manual 300mm lens on a tele converter that doubles the magnification of the lens for an effective 600mm.  



Then on Thursday night we had thick gray clouds within 10 minutes of sunset but I could see a gap developing near the horizon. Hoping the sun would come through and light up all the clouds I went to a nearby location on Tomichi Creek. The hole did open up and the resulting sunset was one of the best I have ever seen. I'm glad I was able to anticipate it!




Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Astrophotography | Nature | Photography

September 1509

West Elk Bicycle Classic

We had a beautiful day this year for the WEBC. A couple hundred or so hearty souls made the trek from Gunnison to Crested Butte the long way on Sunday. That's 135 Miles and 9000 Ft. of climbing! Nice job riders! 

I have a big gallery of rider photos you can buy as prints or downloads posted here.


Riding bikes is fun!



This 11 year old, Kaden rode the entire thing in a very respectable time. Amazing!



Dave Wiens leads the breakaway that would become the podium up Kebler Pass. 


Tags: | Categories: Action | Cycling | Photography | Sport

August 1517

Wakeup call!

4:45 this morning Mother Nature decided it was time for everyone here in the valley to WAKE UP!

This is a composite of 12 photos over a 9 minute period. The lightning was almost constant for a while!


Tags: , , , , | Categories: Nature | Photography

July 1531

How time flies

It's been so long since my last post! If you are following please accept my apologies. Time flies when I'm having a fun summer!

Here are a few images I've been happy with since that last June ski session. 


It's been stormy quite a bit. More than it's been clear which is unusual for a Gunnison Summer!



We had a nice 4th of July celebration. I went up on W (Tenderfoot) Mountain to get this shot of the fireworks, town, and the mountains to the North. 



The carnival came to the neighborhood with the rodeo.



So we went camping to escape the noise. 


Tags: | Categories: Nature | Photography

I met the guys who call themselves the Non-Native Crew at the top of 12,000 Ft. Cottonwood Pass last week for a sunset shoot. A group of free skiers from elsewhere who now live in the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. They make some fun videos and do freeride events and generally tear it up on skis. Conditions were pretty good, especially considering it's June.

We had a good shoot with the big kicker they built. The light and sky cooperated well and I got some photos I'm happy with. Thanks guys, let's do it again sometime!


Tags: , , , , | Categories: Action | Photography | Skiing

The first clear evening in a while also happened to be the day of the full Strawberry Moon. So I managed to convincemy family to come out with me for a full moon photo outing after dinner.

We tried something I have been wanting to do for a while, with me shooting across a little valley to my wife and dog on some rocks. I feel like the photo came out pretty well but I also identified some things I could do better so I may try again next month. But we had fun and I think it's a fun image.

In the mean time here is one I thought came out pretty nicely. A big challenge is dynamic range. The dark foreground to the bright moon is a wide dynamic range that many cameras would struggle with. 

Pentax K-3, Pentax DA* 60-250/4


Tags: , , , , , | Categories: Astrophotography | Hiking | Photography | running

It took a while to go through and upload them all but they are now up and available.


Full Growler (and Meowler) photos here

Half Growler photos here

To find your photos, use the search function (magnifying glass, upper right) and enter your bib number, a space and either FullGrowler2015 or HalfGrowler2015. Let me know if you have any trouble. Also keep in mind not all the photos are tagged so browse a little if some of the bigger scale scenics interest you. 


Tags: , , , | Categories: Action | Cycling | Photography | Sport

I took a lot of photos at the Growler over the weekend. I've been processing them, tagging with bib numbers, and uploading them since. Now Saturday's Half Growler photos are ready and Sunday's are still being uploaded (it takes about 24 hours just to upload them!). I hope you all had fun racing on our awesome trails. Maybe see you out there again soon!


So the Half Growler Photos are available here.

Full Growler photos should be available tonight or tomorrow. Watch this spot for the link. Thanks!


Tags: , , , , , , | Categories: Action | Cycling | Photography | Sport

May 1511

May powder!

I made my annual pilgrimage with a buddy to ski American Basin over the weekend. We try to hit it when the road (Cinnamon Pass) gets plowed to the basin which is pretty high up. Our timing has always been pretty good on these trips and this year was no exception! 

It's was like a mid-winter powder day! Great fun and we skied a new line, Independence Couloir which was fantastic. I carried my Pentax K-3 with my trusty ski lens, the weather resistant DA 18-135. Great combo for adventure!

We left at 4am to get skiing as early as possible. 


After a couple of miles we put the skis on our backs and booted up the first objective. 

Hard work!


The payoff was well worth it!


We skied another run on the flank of Handies after this. It was also fun but the flat light made skiing tough and photography less rewarding. 

An amazing day overall, especially considering it was May 9th!

I also had a chance to try out the new Merge to Panorama function in Lightroom 6 with a series of four photos I took on the way up Cinnamon Pass. Seems to work well and was very easy to do.


It's really nice to be able to stitch raw files right in Lightroom. Very convenient and the results look good to me!


Tags: , , , , , , | Categories: Action | Photography | Skiing | Sport

With all these eclipses this year I'm getting lots of practice trying to get photos of them. 

The recent April 4th one was a good one to catch. It was an early morning with the totality happening around 6am, but compared to others that's pretty reasonable. 

My hope was that there would be a little bit of pre-dawn light to illuminate the landscape so I could get a shot with the moon and some landscape in it. As I'm sure I have said before, I don't really care for moon photos are are only of the moon. We all know what the moon looks like, I want to see it as part of a landscape to give it more context and make a unique image. 

I had a couple of ideas for compositions and after quickly realizing my first idea (the moon under a balanced rock) wasn't going to work because I had to be too close to the rock to align it. 

Plan B was to visit a favorite bent tree which has some good usable angles to combine it with something in the sky. I was still closer than what would be ideal, but decided to work with what I had so I wouldn't miss this short event while searching for a composition. 

Photography is about compromises. The ones I had to make to get a decent exposure (lens wide open + high ISO to keep exposure times short) made it so I still couldn't get both the moon and tree in focus in a single photo. So the image below is a combination of two exposures, one with the tree in focus and one with the moon in focus. Although I prefer not to have to combine exposures, that is what I needed to do to make this image look the way I wanted. 


Since I was in a nice area (Hartman Rocks) I hung around for the sunrise because why not? The sky was cloudless, which isn't usually a good thing for landscape photography. Keeping this in mind I wanted to capture what was interesting about this sunrise, the nice light hitting the landscape. I came up with the composition by climbing a similar rock outcropping to give this high perspective. I was rushed as I knew this light wouldn't last. I got a variety of heights and liked this one the best. It shows what is nice about Hartman Rocks with the snowy mountains in the background showing context. With both of those elements bathed in golden light, it's hard to get a bad shot. 


As a little bit of an aside, I tried some in-camera RAW HDRs for some of these shots. While I like the idea, I ended up liking a single "regular" shot the best of the batch. The HDR just didn't look as natural to me and it even had a little bit of flatness to it. The contrast in this single exposure really seems to help the image pop so that is why I went with this one. For additional pop I processed the image in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro.


Tags: | Categories: Astrophotography | Nature | Photography