Back Home In Rocky Mountain National Park

The Gable towers over Odessa Lake
The Gable catches the early morning sun as it towers over Odessa Lake in this impressive view from Joe Mills Mountain. Technicial Details: Canon Eos 1ds III, 24mm TS-E f3.5 L II
It sure is good to be back on my home turf again. While I had a blast photographing back in New York, it felt great to get up to Rocky Mountain National Park again amongst the pristine Colorado alpine scenery and dry mountain air. I had the opportunity one morning to head up to Rocky to photograph for the morning. I was hoping for some clouds to provide some nice diffused light to capture some images of wildflowers. Instead I awoke to nearly clear blue skies. I had decided the day before that I would hike into the Lake Helene area of Rocky Mountain National Park from the Bear Lake trailhead. This is a good area to find wildflowers amongst the rocky slopes including the ubiquitous Columbine which is of course Colorado’s state flower.

While I have good images of Lake Helene and Two Rivers Lake, I still have some different compositions I would like to work on. Leaving the Bear Lake trailhead at 4:30 AM, I arrived at Lake Helene to clear blue skies and a pretty stiff breeze. There would not be an epic sunrise over Notchtop mountain this morning, nor would one be able to capture a reflection in the choppy alpine lake. I left Lake Helene to the two photographers already setup along the shore. On the hike in as dawn was approaching, I could see some clouds off to the north. I was hoping these clouds would slide on south towards one of the two lakes I had planned on shooting. After ditching Lake Helen I hurriedly headed over to a rocky outcropping that looks down on Odessa Lake from the flanks of Joe Mills Mountain. It was a perfect view of Odessa Lake and the Gable, and those clouds I had spotted off to the north were in perfect position for sunrise. I’ve wanted to capture an image from this location for some time, but I’ve always been lured to one of the nearby lakes instead. Even though I ditched my original destination, the stars aligned this morning and I managed to capture an image that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I have to say, it feels great to be back home.