Fall Aspens Along Chalk Creek, Chaffee County, Colorado

This photograph of fall aspens along Chalk Creek in the Collegiate Peaks of the Sawatch Range was taken from below the historic ghost town St Elmo. I didn’t plan the shot, we were driving back from visiting St Elmo when I decided to pull over at a tempting spot. Lighting was less than ideal – it was about 3PM and mostly cloudy. I managed to catch a moment when the sun peeked out (to the upper left), back-lighting the aspens on the left bank and directly lighting the ones on the left bank. I didn’t use a polarizing filter so I had to tone down some of the highlights on the water and rocks. I hope to revisit this spot under better lighting conditions.

Click on the image below for a larger version.

aspen, Chaffee County, Chalk Creek, Collegiate Peaks, Colorado, fall

Fall Aspens Along Chalk Creek, Chaffee County, ColoradoPurchasePrint

Technical details:

Canon 5D Mark III 1/25 second at ISO 100 with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II at 24mm & f/22, no filters. Shot hand-held while precariously crouching on the rocks next to the creek.

The Castle, MilkyWay and Cloud Reflections over Wellington Lake, Park County, Colorado

The Milky Way peaks out from behind clouds over The Castle, casting reflections on Wellington Lake in Park County, Colorado. This is mosaic of 21 images – over the time it took to capture all the frames, the clouds motion created an interesting blur.

The original is very large – 9398 x 11095 pixels, ideal for very large prints available here

Click on the image below for a larger version.

The Castle,MilkyWay and Cloud Reflections over Wellington Lake, Park County, Colorado

The Castle,MilkyWay and Cloud Reflections over Wellington Lake, Park County, ColoradoPurchasePrint

Technical details:

Canon 5D Mark III with a Rokinon 24mm 1.4 at F/2.0. Twenty one 30 second exposures at ISO 3200.  I have had bad experience with strong magenta casts in the shadows with Photoshop ACR. I have found a way around this – first convert the RAW files to tiffs with IrfanView then stitch the tiffs into a mosaic in Photoshop CS6.

Once the mosaic was put together, I made several adjustments in Photoshop using gradient filters to bring up the reflection and tone done the sky background and various selective adjustments (Select -> Color Range, levels, curves & color balance) to increase contrast in the clouds and reduce their yellowness.

Milky Way Over South Park Colorado from Kenosha Pass

Photo of the Milky Way over South Park, Park County, Colorado taken from Kenosha Pass.

Click on the image below to view a larger version

Milky Way Over South Park, Colorado View From Kenosha Pass

Milky Way Over South Park, Colorado View From Kenosha PassPurchasePrint

I took this at the Kenosha Pass overlook off of Highway 285 in Park County, Colorado. Its an HDR, sort of, 6 images. I say sort of, because the exposures were all the same but had different compositions. After not being too happy with the individual shots, I wondered if I could stack them, so I tried a few apps I have to align and stack images, but none did any good so I tried Merge into HDR in PhotoShop and it did a pretty good job.

After combining the images, I did various tweaks to reduce the sky glow with gradient filters, slective levels (select color range then levels) and some tweaks to reduce color blotching,

Exposure details: Canon 5d Mark III at ISO 3200 for 25 seconds with a Canon 16-35mm 2.8L II wide open at f/2.8 .