2014 is quickly coming to a close. It’s truly unbelievable how quickly 2014 passed by, something each progressive year seems to do at a more expedited pace then the previous year. 2014 was a watershed year for me. I made numerous changes to both my photography and personal life that allowed me to spend more time in the field, specifically Rocky Mountain National Park as well as devote more time honing my craft and working on my portfolio of images.
It’s been my goal for sometime now to be able to devote more time in the field photographing Rocky Mountain National Park and this year everything came into alignment and allowed me to dedicate myself to photographing Rocky on a near daily basis. It’s been productive and enlightening to be able to spend so much time in a place that I feel a very deep connection to, one that feeds my soul and creative muse. I’m hoping to continue to build momentum and continue to grow and improve my portfolio of not only Rocky Mountain National Park as well as the area around Boulder and the Boulder foothills and mountains.
My to-do list of locations to photograph keeps growing and even with the ability to dedicate as much time as I have done in the past year, sometimes there just aren’t enough days in the year or hours in a day to get to all the locations one dreams about when looking over a map. So I’ll keep pushing ahead enjoying the time I able to get out into the field and make an attempt to avoiding fretting over missed sunrises and locations realizing one can only be so many places at a time.
As 2015 approaches I’m looking forward to moving my photography business forward while continuing to learn new skills and improve my craft. I’m also looking at providing a photography guide/tour service for photographers in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m still in the process of working with the Park Service, but should by the start of spring by licensed, insured and registered with Rocky Mountain National Park to provide photography tours within the park. Look for more information and rates on my web site in the near future regarding photography tours in Rocky Mountain National Park.
So with a spate of snow and arctic cold weather bearing down on us here in Colorado I’m going to do my best to see if I can still manage to create a few more images before 2014 waves goodbye and we usher in 2015 and wrap a nice bow on what has been a banner year for me.
We all dream about setting up on location and waiting for a stunning sunrise to unfold before our camera. It’s the kind of dreams that get people out of bed at zero dark thirty so they can be ready and on location just for the chance they may photograph something special. The truth of the matter is that even though magazines, coffee table books and the internet are chock full of locations with screaming light, more times than not one will not experience epic light or optimal conditions while out in the field photographing.
We all need to make the most of our time in the field. You’ve put a lot of time, energy and money into being at the right place at the right time. There’s no reason a busted sunrise needs to be a make or break proposition, especially when photographing in one of the most beautiful locations in the continental United States such as Rocky Mountain National Park.
This very situation unfolded when I was out in Rocky this morning. In fact, I have this very scenario unfold when out photographing Rocky Mountain National Park countless number of times. Once I get over the self pity of not being in one of the worlds most beautiful places for a spectacular sunrise or sunset, I gather my thoughts and start to think of ways I can make images in the moment and under the current, even is less favorable conditions. You know what?, these kinds of days in the field have yielded some of my most original as well as most satisfying personal images.
While they may not all be book or magazine cover material, finding compositions and working under conditions and lighting that may be deemed by some as less than optimal, allows a photographer to free his mind and create unique, subtle images that help to unveil the more modest side to beautiful locations like Rocky Mountain National Park.
So by all means sacrifice and seek out epic and spectacular sunsets. Get up early, stay late, hike the extra mile. Do so with an open mind however. Be ready to switch gears if the light and clouds don’t materialize how you were hoping they would. Slow down instead. Look for the overlooked, the patterns in nature whispering, not screaming for you to photograph. Look to create a more personal and unique body of work on days like these. Most of all enjoy your time and efforts in the field regardless of the conditions.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are keeping busy spending time with family and friends this holiday season leading up to Christmas and the New Year. I’ve been busy with both my photography as well as chaperoning family members whom have been in town the last few weeks around the beautiful state of Colorado. It’s a great time of year to wind down, enjoy the festivities, spend time with family and take time to reflect on the accomplishments of this last year.
We’ve been having a mild start to our winter season here along the northern Front Range. There has been only a few small storms that briefly coat the mountains in white and at this juncture in the season, strong winds have been more plentiful than snow. Of course as photographers we want the seasons to be as dynamic and unsettled as possible because as is typically the case, bad weather leads to great photographs. Long term weather models continue to show more of the same as far as the weather is concerned but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this just means the weather will do a one hundred and eighty degree turn sometime around the new year and become more unsettled.
Even with the relatively uneventful early winter season, there has been plenty to photograph during the shoulder season both in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as along the lower elevations in and around Boulder. While snow has been sparse, we have had our fair share of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. In fact I would have to say that in the sixteen years that I have been living in and photographing Colorado, 2014 has been a banner year for beautiful sunrises and sunsets along the Front Range.
So while many of us our looking back over our accomplishments and images from 2014 as well as looking forward to new adventures and opportunities in 2015, I’m hoping to finish out 2014 with a few more beautiful mornings in the field spent photographing these spectacular sunrises we’ve been having this year. Who knows, maybe we will even get some of the white stuff to help out before the year closes out.