I’m a little late getting to this post since it’s now mid-January, but without further ado here are my favorite 10 images from last year in no particular order:
I have no doubt that this is the most intense sunrise I’ve ever experienced. As an early summer thunderstorm dissipated over Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park I was lucky enough to be able to photograph the clouds as they picked up the neon-like pinks of morning light. It was truly a time I will never forget.
I photographed these aspen trees from near Castle Creek Road outside of Aspen, Colorado. As the sun began to rise over a ridge in the background the trees began to throw interesting shadows over the wildflower-filled ground below. This is one of the most intriguing backlit scenes I’ve been fortunate enough to capture yet.
These two playful mountain goat kids circled each other quickly and adeptly over the sharp rocks of the Mount Evans Summit. I spent about two hours photographing these goats and some watchful adults nearby on a summer morning. Luckily, I had a telephoto lens available and enough light to capture these two with a fast shutter speed to keep the photograph sharp.
I spent a late September afternoon hiking a portion of the Colorado Trail near Kenosha Pass. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms at almost the same time as sunset. I decided to drive to the nearby Boreas Pass Road to see if I could experience any unusual light the storm might cause. Sure enough, the storm passed through quickly and violently but broke up at about the same time as the sun was setting. The vivid orange colors in the clouds above was the result of this occurrence.
I hadn’t visited Colorado National Monument for many years before deciding to stop there again last May. I’m glad I did. Rim Rock Drive on the monument leads to several wonderful views of the location’s unique desert rock formations. This image was taken on a very small unmarked pullout from the road over the Coke Ovens formation. The violet vetch wildflowers added a nice foreground to the composition.
Colorado is far from any ocean and I sometimes envy my photographer friends who live in Oregon, California or Florida who have easy access to interesting beaches and opportunities for pictures of rolling waves. However, when the seasonal Medano Creek flows through Great Sand Dunes National Park it may be the closest thing Colorado has to a sea. The dynamic flow of the creek creates endless possibilities for photographing patterns that will never be repeated in exactly the same way again.
After driving up a rough 4×4 road, I spent a July night on the summit of Taylor Pass near Aspen. I had studied where the full moon would setting as seen from this view toward 14er Castle Peak at the same time the sun would be rising in the opposite direction the next day. I was thrilled when I woke up the next morning to a cloudless sky and the possibility of this photo working out just as I had planned.
During my May visit to the Grand Junction area I hoped I would spot a collared lizard during one of my hikes in Colorado National Monument or in either Dominguez or Rattlesnake Canyons. My wish came true near the Rattlesnake Arches when not only one but five different lizards crossed my path over the trail. These guys are FAST, and I would have never captured a photo of one if they didn’t also happen to be extremely curious. This one stopped on a rock in front of me staring in my direction and posing for about twenty minutes before running along on his merry way!
My yearly September trip to Western Colorado to photograph the turning aspen leaves was a somewhat frustrating one last year. High pressure weather patterns kept the skies clear of interesting clouds during my stay in the Telluride and Ouray area. To make matters worse a series of wildfires were raging to the west added a great amount of haze to the atmosphere. On this particular morning though on Wilson Mesa the haze had lifted and a few strings of clouds formed over the peaks. It didn’t last long. Less than an hour later the clouds had lifted and uninterrupted blue skies returned.
The morning after a spring snowstorm I traveled to Estes Park. On the way to Lily Lake where I ended up photographing the sunrise I passed through a patch of thick fog. The sunrise shoot didn’t result in the image I had quite hoped for so I returned to the fog patch near Lake Estes and pointed my camera toward Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker. I like this image a lot better than any of the others I took that day.