A few weeks back I was interviewed by David Johnston for the podcast he produces, ‘The Landscape Photography Show’. I’ve been a big gan of David’s photography as well as a listener to his podcasts for years dating back to his original set of interviews prior to this latest incarnation of his show.
We had a great discussion about a wide range of topics related to landscape photography, life, business and some other interesting topics as well. It’s always fun to be interviewed, and podcasts are a personal favorite of mine. Spending countless hours traveling and in vehicles, podcasts help to fill a lot of time for me when I cant be out in the field photographing or working with clients.
If you would like to hear the podcast and interview, follow the link at the bottom of the page. If you follow my work or are interested in heading out into Rocky Mountain National Park with me on a photography tour or workshop, you can get a little better feel of who I am and how photography, or more specifically landscape photography has played an important part in my life.
Regardless, I highly recommend you subscribe to David’s Landscape Photography Show and check out the long line of interviews he’s conducted with some of the heavy hitters in the landscape photography genre. It’s a great show and a fun listen.
It’s always nice to get out of your comfort zone a little and go photograph a different location. In my case, I spend the majority of my time photographing Rocky Mountain National Park. I specialize in photographing Rocky Mountain National Park, lead workshops and tours in Rocky Mountain National Park, and consider it my favorite location to photograph. With that said, I get as excited as my clients do anytime I get a chance to head out to a different destination and photograph something a little different.
With my RMNP tour season winding down and snows starting to fall in the high country of Colorado, a quick jaunt back to New York State at the end of their fall color season is always fun. With my daughter out of school for a few days, we thought it would be a nice time to head back east and visit my 78 year old mother. While the purpose of the trip was to spend time with mom over the weekend, being a working photographer means sneaking out before everybody wakes up for the day and getting a short, but productive morning shoot in.
With only one morning to photograph before heading back to Colorado, I headed out to an old familiar and favorite haunt of mine. Harriman State Park, just across the Hudson River from where I grew up is an amazing location in fall. Lakes, streams and some of the best fall color anywhere near New York City makes Harriman State Park both a favorite of mine, and a location I can spend a few hours at in the field without missing time with the family.
While we were delayed in Denver, we landed on the backend of a large Northeaster that had just scooted up the coast. Even with all the wind and rain, most of the foliage in Harriman State Park still looked pretty good as of last weekend.
My one morning in Harriman State Park dawned clear and cool. No clouds in the skies, or overcast lighting to take advantage of the beautiful fall color but as is always the case, one just needs to adjust to the lighting and take what they are given. Luckily for me, there was some nice fog on many of the lakes of Harriman, and the strong winds from the day before had died downed.
I ended up at Lake Kanawauke at sunrise which is always a beautiful location. With about 2 hours to spare, I spend the morning in the Kanawauke area photographing the fog on the lake and the beautiful reds and oranges along the shoreline. We dont typically get foliage this colorful in Colorado so even a few hours in the field enjoying the classic east coast landscape draped in autumn colors was amazing.
Of course I could have spent hours photographing in and around Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park but I had more important places to be. Leaving for the airport on Sunday morning, clouds and rain were moving in to the Hudson Valley. As I flew out over the Hudson River and looked down on Harriman State Park from high above, I wished I could have spent just one more morning in the beautiful overcast light and rain on the way that day. Hopefully, next year I’m able to spend a little more time enjoying New York, but its back to enjoying Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park for me again.
With all the snow Rocky Mountain National Park received this winter, the park service was finally able to open Trail Ridge Road for the season on June 5th. Thats quite a bit later than the week of Memorial Day which is typically the unofficial opening date the NPS attempts to have the Trail Ridge Road open.
So our large storms stymied a late my opening on Trail Ridge Road but nonetheless the road is open from Estes Park to Grand Lake and that means getting back over to the west side of Rocky just got much easier for many of us.
Between photography tours and a quick trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon via Moab, I had not yet had a chance to make a run over to the west side. I was able to remedy that earlier this week and made a trip over at sunrise to check on things.
As it is every year, getting back over to the west side of Rocky early in the season is always a treat. It’s like revisiting with an old friend. Most years I make a few trips over to the west side of Rocky during the winter months, but this year I was unable. This meant the last time I had actually been over to the west side of Rocky was in late September, just before snows closed Trail Ridge Road for the season.
Arriving on the west side of the park, I found the Kawuneeche Valley greening up nicely. Moose and elk were abundant in the meadows and wet lowland areas. Most interesting was the Colorado River snaking through the Kawuneeche Valley. With all the snowmelt and precipitation, the Colorado River is running at capacity. Many of the adjacent meadows are now flooded with the excess snowmelt being carried down from the high peaks.
These flooded meadows create perfect reflecting pools in witch to capture reflections of Baker Mountain in locations it’s not normally possible. This is true of not only the area along the Colorado River on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park but also along the East Inlet area just outside of Grand Lake.
Conditions were perfect last week when I photographed this scene along the Colorado River. It won’t be long before these pools of excess water start to recede and dry up. Obviously, now is the time to take advantage of both access to the west side of RMNP, but also the benefits of all our excess moisture is providing.
Having just finished with photographing some of the best fall color in Rocky Mountain National Park that I’ve seen in some years, I’ve headed back to the east coast and New York State to photograph fall color here. As is typically the case when I’m back east my time is split between visiting family and getting out in the field to photograph.
Autumn along the east coast is special and I would recommend that photographers who mostly spend time photographing on the west coast at least make one attempt at heading east to photograph the colorful show the trees put on here. I’ll be back in Colorado in a few days with fall being mostly a distant memory and winter knocking on the door. Until then I’m splitting my time photographing Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park and some of the beautiful gorges and waterfalls in the Southern Tier region of upstate New York. So until I can get back out into the field in Rocky here are a few images of the fall color back east.
I’ve just arrived back from another annual summer whirlwind tour of New York State. Now to be honest, this trip was taken to visit family and to take my daughter to the beach to frolic in the oceans with her cousins, make sand castles and search for sea shells. Being a mountain girl she doesn’t often get to do these things. Luckily for me, my wife and daughter like to sleep in a little late most mornings when on vacation which allows me time to sneak out and photograph for an hour or two before everyone else starts waking for the day at more civil hours.
Because my family lives downstate, and my wife’s family lives upstate I get to work my way through some of the very diverse scenery New York State has to offer. One of my favorite locations downstate is Harriman State Park and the area around Bear Mountain State Park. While Bear Mountain State Park has commanding views of the Hudson River and Hudson Valley, Harriman State Park is chock full of beautiful lakes, tree’s and bubbling brooks and streams. This year there has been plenty of moisture of late, so Harriman was green and the brooks and streams where all still running. Harriman State Park is an amazing location with endless possibilities for photographers. I’ll be back again in the fall which is my favorite time of year to photograph Harriman State Park.
After a few days at my Mom’s house north of New York City, it was off to the east end of Long Island for a few days at the beach. I’m lucky enough to have a few relatives who invite us to stay with them each summer so we can spend time out east in Southampton, New York. If it was not for their generosity, I doubt we would have the opportunity to spend time in this beautiful location.The beaches and bay’s around the area are spectacular. Access and parking can be difficult around some of the beaches and waterways but with sunrise around 5:15 AM this time of year one can photograph sunrise long before any of the parking patrol’s go on duty. It’s fun for me to go from shooting 10,000 to 11,000 ft above sea level to shooting at sea level.
Lastly, we spent the end of the week along New York’s Southern Tier and Finger Lake region with Holly’s family. The Finger Lake region is one of my favorite locations to photograph. The gorges, waterfalls and large lakes are a photographers dream come true. I have not even scratched the surface on exploring this area. With only 2 mornings to photograph I spent my time in Watkins Glen, Havana Glen and around Tughannock Falls north of Ithaca. I’m looking forward to returning to this area this fall to photograph this area amongst the fall foliage.
With our trip back to New York successful and feet planted safely back on Colorado soil, I’m looking forward to getting out and devoting most of my time this summer that of photographing Rocky Mountain National Park and continue to add to my growing portfolio of the park. I’ll be back again this fall, but until then I’m looking forward to getting back into the mountains and breathing the thin air.
2013 is nearly wrapped up. It’s been a very productive year for me and while I mostly concentrated on adding new material to my Rocky Mountain National Park galleries, I was able to add images I’m pleased with to my other galleries as well including visits to Grand Teton National Park, as well as New York both in the summer and fall.
This time of year I enjoy looking at other photographers blogs. It’s become commonplace to post a ‘best of 2013’ review for your year end blog. We all love countdowns and top 10 lists because they are able to condense lots of information into a tiny, easily digestible package.
However, I wont be posting a ‘best of 2013’ this year. While each year I contemplate doing it, I end up talking myself out of it. During the course of the year, I try to post my best images to my blog as often as I can. I try to accompany them with information relative to the locations and experiences and work that went into making the image. I figure for most I’d only be duplicating work found in the archives from this past year.
So in wishing everybody a happy New Year, I just like to thank all my frequent visitors as well as clients who helped make 2013 a success. I’ll end 2013 much the way I started it, with an image of the Boulder Flatirons coated in fresh snow, my last portfolio image of 2013. Here’s to 2014!.
It’s been nearly ten years since I’ve been able to get back east to photograph fall color. It certainly was not from a lack of desire to do so, but sometimes life and schedules get in the way making what was once commonplace, rare.
So finally after nearly a decade and a less than stellar autumn color season here in Colorado, I was able to make the trek back east to New York to photograph the fall colors and visit with family. The visit was shorter than I would have liked, but still a very productive and fun one.
Autumn was in full swing throughout the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes region while I was back photographing so the timing was just about perfect. For the most part most days were mild but overcast. Perfect weather in my opinion to shoot the colorful fall canopies under nicely diffused light.
Since it’s be awhile since I had photographed fall back east, I was very much like a kid in a candy store. The vibrant reds, oranges and yellows all looked spectacular along the hillsides and streams I hiked explored and hiked along. Even in New York, autumn seems to slows the bustling pace allowing one to contemplate and enjoy the colorful surroundings.
There’s a different pace to fall in the east as opposed to fall out west. The colors in the east peak more slowly than out west. Barring a nor’easter or hurricane, leaves stay on the trees longer and fall more slowly. In the west the transition from fall to winter is much more pronounced. One day it can be sunny and seventy degrees and the next day there can be a foot of snow, bare tree’s welcoming winters arrival.
I spent most of my time photographing Harriman State Park in the Hudson Valley and the area around Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Like most expeditions there are plenty of places you want to photograph but run out of time to visit.I’ve got scouted out some new areas and have plenty of ideas for my next fall visit, I just hope it’s not ten years in the making.
Before we get too far along with summer, I’m still working on a backlog of images. Some of these images are from as far back as June. While I don’t find backlogs particularly fun to work through, it’s a good problem to have.
I spent a week in early June visiting family in New York. One of my favorite places for landscape photography when I’m back in New York is Watkins Glen. Some may know of Watkins Glen because of the NASCAR race they hold there each year, but photographers and hikers go because of the spectacular gorge baring the name.
For those unfamiliar with Watkins Glen, Glen Creek drops 400 feet through a narrow rocky gorge. The gorge, which is now as deep as 200 ft in some locations has numerous waterfalls and features which carry on for almost 2 miles. Glen Creek starts just above Watkins Glen in Seneca Lake, one of New York’s famous Finger Lakes.
For a photographers there’s an image around every corner. Compared to the more arid locations I typically photograph out west, Watkins Glen is the exact opposite. Mist and spray from the falls and rocks are everywhere. Combine that with the above average rainfall that had fallen in June and the greens were lush and practically iridescent.
In some ways Watkins Glen is reminiscent of a slot canyon from the southwest only with lots of water and greenery. It can be a challenging place to keep your gear dry but I would certainly recommend it as a must see location for photographers and visitors to the Finger Lake region.
I spent all of last week traveling through and around New York State photographing some of my favorite places in the Empire State. One word comes to mind whenever I leave Colorado and head back east and it’s water.
The contrast between the arid and dry climate of Colorado, compared to the moisture laden areas of the east coast is always striking to me. In New York you are always near, around, in, or over some sort of water it seems. Colorado, not so much.
When I’m out photographing locations in Colorado, I seek out water. Small lakes and bodies of water become destinations for photography because of the impact they bring to landscape photography in a dry climate. When photographing locations in New York, water becomes almost an afterthought. It seems to always be part of the landscape and location.
Neither situation is better or worse. To me they are just part of the makeup of the unique locations and it’s the contrast is climates that continues to make these different destinations so much fun to shoot.
So even though I expect to be photographing lots of bodies of water and water features when I travel through New York, heavy rain helped to keep already green and saturated areas even more vibrant and green than I could have expected.
In fact while an average June typically see about 5.5 inches of rain the entire month, nearly 9 inches of rain fell last week alone. Even with the rain it was a great week of photography and being in a different environment is always a great way to keep the creative juices flowing.
Even still it’s good to be back in Colorado and will be even better to get back up into Rocky to see how our snowmelt and thaw out is progressing in our thin dry air.
It was thirteen years ago today that my father, Thomas passed away at the age of sixty. Dad had turned sixty only two weeks prior, and his passing made for one of the most difficult days for my family and I. Thirteen years later, it’s still difficult to believe sometimes that my father is no longer here.
Time has healed much of the hurt and pain that losing my father has caused but at times such as today, some of it returns. On days like today, I find it’s best to remember all the great times and life lessons I learned from my father. It’s because of my father that I am able to spend mornings, like today in places like Rocky Mountain National Park.
Unfortunately, I was never able to spend anytime with my dad in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was with my dad however, that I first visited the state of Colorado. I had spent the summer of 1996 living in San Francisco with my cousin having just graduated from college. I was looking to land a job and fulfill my dream at the time of living in the city by the bay.
In actuality, I spent more time exploring and photographing around the bay area then I did looking for a job. Needless to say, I quickly depleted my funds and needed to return to New York to again work the job I had held through college. I had driven my Jeep Wrangler cross country by myself on the way out, but my dad agreed to fly out to San Francisco and keep me company on the ride back. I gladly accepted his offer because I did not have enough money at the time to pay for the gas to get back across the country.
My drive back east across the country is one of my most memorable times spent with my dad. Driving hours at a time across California, Nevada, and Utah in the summer heat and without any air conditioning in my Jeep made for some testy moments between father and son. Even so, we pushed on and entered the state of Colorado from the west.
Colorado was like and oasis in comparison to the brutally hot and dry climate of the Great Basin we had just travelled through. The evergreens and the cool high mountain passes were a welcome change from the rocks and heat. We spent three days in Colorado exploring and enjoying the mountains. Those three days in Colorado with my father sealed the deal for me. I was going back to New York, saving up so money and moving out to Boulder as soon as I could.
So even on somber days like today, I can look back and be thankful for the many things my father bestowed in me. My love of travel, photography, and Colorado are all rooted deeply with my dad and his desire to make sure we had every opportunity to do what we loved to do. I was never able to formally thank my father for the opportunities he gave me, but on mornings like today, I try my best. Thank you Dad.