Morning photo: Deep greens and blues …

Dream colors

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Blue River.

FRISCO — Sure, hot pink and vivid orange are eye-popping, but there’s something to be said for the soothing blues and greens of forests and streams. These colors on the cooler end of the spectrum have always been my favorites. Starting way back, when time came to pick out a flannel shirt, I invariably went in that direction over the flashy reds. Photographing the darker blue and green shadows and crevices can be a little tricky. Too much shade and the blue takes over completely. And even though the iPhone does well in the shade in many situations, when there’s snow in the picture, the sensor really wants to tilt toward the blue end, and even high-end DSLRs may need some adjustment of the white balance to capture what the eyes sees rather than what the sensor wants to capture. Continue reading

Morning photo: Winter faves

Spring is coming …

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A fragile structure of inch-long hoar frost crystals grow in a shady spot along the shoreline of Dillon Reservoir on the north side of the Frisco Peninsula.

FRISCO —There may not be any wildflowers during winter in Summit County, but there’s no shortage of spectacular colors and textures, from gleaming ice to the warm tones of winter sunset and moonrise. With the impending change of seasons, I thought it was a good time to look back and choose a few of the all-time best winter landscapes. If you like what you see, visit our Summit County gallery online at FineArt America, where you can buy high quality prints or greeting cards. They make great gifts, and it’s one of the best ways to support our independent online journalism project.

A December full moon rises over the Continental Divide.

A December full moon rises over the Continental Divide.

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Morning photo: Weird ice … and more

Some strange stuff along Dillon Reservoir

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The water level in Dillon Reservoir continues to drop beneath the ice, which has led to some weird shoreline formations.

FRISCO — Went for a morning wander on the Dillon side of the reservoir, where I enjoyed some unusual ice formations at the shoreline. It appears that the receding water has literally peeled back a layer of earth and left near-vertical ice ridges extended for hundreds of feet along the shore. It’s beautiful, in a weird sort of way, but does not bode well for the spring, when I think many people will be surprised at how low the water is. Think snow, people.
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Morning photo: Ice and snow

The cold season …

FRISCO — This week’s #FriFotos Twitter chat is themed snow and ice, so it wasn’t hard for me to find just a few pictures in the archives — after all, winter reigns for more than half the year here at 9,000 feet, and it’s not unusual to get a stray snowstorm in July. Often, the first snow of the new season coats the high peaks in September, and we’ve even had a few dustings in late August.

This year was epic for early season ice along the local streams. Often, the ice gets covered up by snow as soon as it forms, but autumn was very dry in the Colorado high country, so the I had a chance to explore some cool ice formations along the creeks.

I’m looking forward to seeing ice and snow images from around the world. Join the fun – upload your snow and ice pics, tag them with #FriFotos and share them on Twitter via your favorite social media photo channel!

Morning photo: Winter magic

Yeah, we need more snow, but …

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Starburst sunrise late in the day, as the sun edges up over the rim of the Snake River valley.

FRISCO —It’s still looking pretty good along the Snake River, fresh frost coats the trees and bushes each morning, and the snow on the trees persists where it’s shaded from the mid-winter sun. This weekend, I had a chance to explore the area in the afternoon, looking for some different light, but I’ve decided the early morning is the best for this particular reach, when the ice is refreshed by flows of water coming out of the Robert Tunnel as part of Keystone Ski Area’s ongoing snowmaking efforts. By the afternoon, those flows from the Roberts Tunnel are diminished, leaving hollow tunnels in the ice. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sparkly!

Sun, snow, ice, water …

Sometimes the air itself sparkles with cold winter frost.

Sometimes the air itself sparkles with cold winter frost.

FRISCO —Right around that same time the #FriFotos crew was readying its final announcement for this week’s sparkly theme, I was engrossed in shooting some sparkly scenes in the fresh snow and frost in Summit County. Especially in early winter, when there are strong temperatures contrasts between the air and various surfaces, we see an incredible formation of frost crystals that to me are more valuable than any diamonds. Along with pics from the past couple of days, I did a quick archive search to find a few more suitable shots. Now I’m looking forward to watching the sparkly #FriFotos images roll in from around the world. More info on how to join the fun is posted here.

Hoar frost sparkles on leaves along the Snake River.

Hoar frost sparkles on leaves along the Snake River.

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Morning photo: Second look

Snake River revisited

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Shadow and light.

FRISCO — Last night I went back to clean out a couple of weeks worth of pictures from the archive because if I don’t do it on a regular basis, it becomes a daunting chore. I knew I had a bunch of good shots from two recent early morning shooting sessions along the Snake River, but I also new that some of those images were candidates for deletion. A few others were in between, and those are the images I tried to “rescue” with a big of post-processing. Continue reading

Morning photo: Freezing up

Ice, everywhere …

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Evening light on the blue ice of Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —The shortest days and longest nights of the year are upon us and everywhere you look, there’s ice. Some will say, “It’s about time,” while others yearn for spring. I just go with the flow and look for beauty in the moment. I think, ultimately, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy my photo excursions. They really do keep me in the here and now, focused on what’s right in front of me at that moment in time.

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Remnants of a puddle or pond, frozen and shattered, like pieces of the sky.

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Morning photo: Icy bliss

High country

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I really wanted to shoot this Snake River scene in the shadows to emphasize the cool blue winter light. In this version, an Instagram filter helped me get the look I was after.

FRISCO —Cool blues, frosty whites and silvers and a bit of green dominate this set of images, the colors of winter. The past few days were as cold as it’s been for about nine or 10 months here in Summit County, the first real taste of winter, and hopefully just the start of a long snow season. I revisited a favorite spot along the Snake River to try and shoot some familiar scenes in a little bit different light, and since these are the shortest days of the year, the sun slants through some pretty unusual spots in the craggy skyline. I also inserted a few shots of last winter’s crop of frost flowers, mainly to remind myself not to miss these ephemeral formations when they appear the first few days after Dillon Reservoir freezes over. Continue reading

Morning photo: Crystalline magic

From the vault …

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Smooth, round ripples and jagged frost crystals contrast along the Snake River.

FRISCO — To celebrate the start of the season of snow and ice I dug back into the archives from about a year ago, finding that — surprise — Dillon Reservoir was already frozen over by this date in 2011. By mid-December, the ice-sailing season was in full swing, as local afficionados of the sport took advantage of a few weeks of clear ice. Just like this year, I was scouring the banks of local streams and creeks, sometimes getting lost in the magical world of frost crystals growing from the water vapor above the streams. Continue reading

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