Monthly Archives: March 2014

Casper Mountain Road – Casper, WY

The other week, as a spring storm cleared out of town, I ran up the Casper Mountain Road to try to get a few shots of the fresh snow.  The snow was really wet and heavy down in Casper, but up the mountain, I was surprised by how light the snow was and also that all the trees were covered in frost!  The sunset wasn’t all that bad either…  🙂

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Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Backcountry Skiing in the West Elks – Colorado

I may have moved to Wyoming, but I still have a lot of ties back in Colorado; ties to friends and also ties to the mountains.  I am especially fond of the West Elks and particularly the Ragged Mountains, a sub range of the Elk Mountains.  The Elks are the same mountains that surround the popular ski town of Aspen, Colorado, but the West Elks are much less traveled.

It was in the West Elks where I went backpacking solo for the first time and also where I fell in love with backcountry skiing.  The tiny town of Marble is an incredible place; buried in the mountains and bordering wilderness areas on three sides, the scenery around this town with population of less than 100 will likely never change.  Also, the quarry that supplied marble for the columns of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial came from this secluded corner of the Rocky Mountains.

Last weekend, a couple for friends and I drove up the road to the quarry to access some of the best backcountry skiing terrain I’ve ever explored.  Powder hunting was my primary objective, but I did stick my small Canon mirrorless camera in my backpack to snap a few shots along the way…

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Mika the husky surveys the scenery as Lee pauses just before topping out on our goal for the day.

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It is hard to get a good look at your line below with cornices blocking the view.  Still, the more distant views aren’t anything to complain about!

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Cornices?  What cornices?  Mika isn’t concerned about approaching the edge and getting a better view!

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It’s a long and steep trip up from the valley floor.  The only way to get to the top is by putting one foot in front of the other; Jason is busy doing so in fine style as he nears the last pitch of uphill.

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Lee drops in along a steep ridge while Mount Justice looms in the distance.

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Lower in the bowl and out of the steepest terrain, Lee lets loose and makes big and fast turns down the mountain.

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After Lee enjoyed his run down the mountain, Jason dropped in and enjoyed the untracked powder snow.

I absolutely enjoy Wyoming, but to be plain and simple, I miss this special place…

 

Categories: Nature, Skiing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m Addicted to Photographing the Sun

Reviewing my images lately, I’ve noticed I’m getting addicted to shooting directly into the sun.  At least for me, including a celestial body in an image, whether it is the sun or the moon, adds additional interest and keeps me examining an image longer than I would have if it were not there.  In fact, when reviewing my all time favorite images, well over a third of them include either the sun or the moon!  If you follow my photography but had not noticed this trend, scroll on down!

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I’ve found it is easiest to shoot the sun when it is still very low on the horizon.  In fact, so low that part of the sun is still below the horizon.  The sun is so bright, that even if only a part of the sun is above the horizon, it is plenty bright and can present a challenge to obtaining a proper exposure.  But, thanks to the digital revolution, there is no waste; I just shoot and shoot and shoot until I get an exposure I like!

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Although the middle two images in this post are from Grand Teton National Park, I took the first image a short drive outside Casper, Wyoming. I took the last image (below) outside my childhood hometown of Pierre, South Dakota.  If you pay attention, you can find incredible landscapes right out the back door of pretty much anywhere.

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When looking at all these images, I can’t help but remember the mad dash to get a picture pulled together before the sun rose (or set) from the horizon.  Even though I am reminded of my stress when I took the photo, hopefully you are reminded of the beauty in nature that is all around us.

Thanks for stopping in and having a quick peak!

 

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Favorites Images from 2011

In 2011, I spent a significant portion of the year working in the San Luis Valley around  Alamosa in Southern Colorado and quite a few of my images reflect my time spent in that area of the state.  However, I continued to explore the wild spaces around “home” in the central mountains of Colorado.  It seems every time I go hiking in the wilderness that is right outside my backyard, I see more spots off the beaten track that I want to explore.  Just the mountains of Central Colorado could keep a hiker busy for a lifetime, not to mention all the other backpacking opportunities that abound in the American West!  I typically shoot landscapes, but I included a few images of backcountry skiing and snowboarding.  The majority of my skiing in 2011 year was around the Wolf Creek Pass area on the Eastern side of the San Juan Mountains but I did make it over to Silverton where the mountains are so big and rugged I imagined I had been somehow magically transported to Alaska!

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Aspen Porch – Aspen, Colorado

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Mt. Blanca Star Trails – San Luis Valley, Colorado

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Moon and Wind – Sanford, Colorado

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Couloir Skiing – Silverton Mountain, Colorado

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Rime Trees – Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

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Self Portrait – Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

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Horse Portrait – San Luis Valley, Colorado

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Horse Pasture – San Luis Valley, Colorado

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Moon Rocks – Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado

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San Luis Sunflowers – Outside Sanford, Colorado

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Clearing Storm – San Luis Valley, Colorado


Categories: Architecture, Hiking, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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