Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Cutting: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

I've had the opportunity to photograph parts of the this family for some past magazine projects and was excited to put together a whole family photo experience.I pitched the idea of shooting them this year and they gladly accepted.

What's a family snow day without a snow angel:

a snow dog:

and a snow sled.

These are my neighbors. Every year they venture out into the beautiful forest just north of Steamboat Springs to relocate a picture perfect native species to ornament their living room for the Holidays.

Blue skies make everything better.

Snow is fun!

Cutting the family tree really can be fun too.

The snow was so sugary the snowballs vaporized in seconds.

This was a great crew.

Thank you guys!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring fling

Spring in Colorado can be downright delightful! But when it isn't like this year, then you just have to run south like a snowbird in the Winter. However in my case I planned this desert soire because a little birdie told me that the Southwest was having an amazingly lush intro to Summer. With all the snow the closed Colorado ski areas were getting this Spring now was the perfect time to run for the border and beyond!

Lights of Grand Junction, Colorado
GJ is a somewhat new phrase I believe I started several years ago but none the less it is well understood in the skiing/biking communities throughout Colorado. Grand Junction Colorado has some crafty mountain biking on the Lunchloops just on the outskirts of the Colorado National Monument. So with my wife Amy and brother Kevin both meeting me there for some quick rides, school was out. The weather made for a great start to this two week journey and the riding was just right, no rain, no snow.

Mountainbiking the Lunchloops in Grand Junction, Colorado
Moab was next on my agenda and the weather was equally enjoyable in the high 60's to low 70's. I may have started a new movement out there too literally "running photographer". People must think I'm a bit freaky running by them on some sketchy trail with a large backpack and a tripod in hand? How you say Ultra-photog-a-run-er! Well I don't run ultramarathons but I can be a little impatient when hiking into a special spot to photograph so it makes sense to pick up
the pace a little to allow for more shooting. Dead Horse Point overlook is pretty amazing but getting down into Shafer Canyon just below is the way to go. The options are rent a Jeep, go with a tour company, ride a bike or drive your own vehicle. The road is bumpy and higher clearance is preferred but I ran into two other photographers in a Suburban doing just fine. My trusty 98 Taco loves this terrain and it was my bedroom for the duration.

The rare Kokopelli trifecta at gooseneck point on the Colorado river.

The evaporation ponds are pretty cool too. This one was about ten inches deep and yes the white stuff is salt. As you can see by the fence I don't think I would have been invited over to salt the rim of my margarita anytime soon.

Most people only see this from above but the colors down low are nuclear! I chose to turn around at this point and make my way to Monument Valley by sunset.

Moon over Monument Valley

There wasn't a cloud for miles and the moons rise was perfect with the alpenglow. I found a cozy spot in the camping area (dirt parking lot) and just waited for things to unfold. P-togers were everywhere from the german and the japanese tourists to the seasoned americans perched from the View Hotels viewing platforms. I met a neat pair from Ouray Colorado and they agreed to be in some of my shots on purpose.

Monument Valley mittens and moonrise with campers.

This photo was done with a full moon just out of view to the right which can create the illusion of daylight when done long enough, the bonus is you still have the star streaks in the sky.
These guys had it dialed they were retired and traveled often to many of my favorites desert dwellings and he still shot film. The View Hotel is the only hotel in the Monument and is worth staying at if you're in the area without your camping gear because every room has the same view towards the mittens. Make sure you drive the loop inside the park too, this is where you get to see everything up close. And don't forget the mittens are equally impressive in the morning.
Monument Valley sunrise with camper

Don't always want the same photo everyone else is doing, back up, look around and frame accordingly. This RV and photographer made my shot, Thank you! And I don't need a model release because he is unrecognizable.