Morning photo: Insta-scapes

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A frosty morning in the Snake River Valley near Keystone.

A frosty morning in the Snake River Valley near Keystone.

FRISCO —A few iPhone/Instagram snaps taken during the recent spate of spectacularly sunny (TOO sunny) weather here in the Colorado high country. As much as we all want winter to arrive for good, the warm late-November sun is a treat, and something to remember when people start to complain about the length of the winter in mid-March or so. Please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Friday Fotos: Evening light

The golden hour …

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Close to home — A winter evening in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO —Another great #FriFotos theme that’s right up my alley, because there’s nothing I like better than getting out and about during that magical evening hour when even the most mundane scene can come alive with an otherworldly glow. In fact, shooting in the evening is a bit of an obsession that sometimes means my family doesn’t get dinner until quite late, especially in the summer, when sunset is late to begin with. But Leigh and Dylan tolerate, and even encourage me, which means I’ve had the chance to get some pretty amazing shots. I’m looking forward to seeing evening scenes from around the world streaming on Twitter and Instagram today, and you can join in the fun by uploading your own evening pics and tagging them with #FriFotos — then, sit back and enjoy the show. Continue reading

Morning photo: Fall!

Vibrant season …

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Brilliant fall colors form a backdrop to the Hraunfoss waterfall, formed where springs flow between lava formations into the Hvitá River, near Reykholt, Iceland.

FRISCO — Fall is definitely one of my favorite photography seasons. After the calm, peaceful summer months, earth and sky seem to be jarred out of stasis, suddenly shifting toward a new season. So when #FriFotos invited me to co-host this week’s Twitter chat with a fall theme, I was pretty happy. A September visit to Iceland with @CoTravGirl yielded a ton of fun images — we weren’t really sure what to expect, and the brilliant foilage of the island’s tundra vegetation was an unexpected bonus. Plus, I knew I’d be able to use a couple of pictures of waterfalls, which also fits the “fall” theme. And, of course, Colorado can’t be beat when it comes to foilage. For a few short weeks each year in late September and early October, the aspen forests change in a blaze of color before giving way to the quiet silvery, gray and white tones of winter.

Join in the Twitter fun by uploading your favorite fall pictures to Twitter or Instagram and be sure tag them with #FriFotos, then sit back and enjoy the show. There are sure to be amazing fall pictures from all over the world!

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In the Colorado high country, fall and winter often mingle, like in this scene, photographed from deck of the Summit Voice office.

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Morning photo: Sky shots …

A tale of two nights …

Quiet sky glow.

Quiet sky glow Wednesday evening.

FRISCO —Wednesday brought a much more subtle sunset display, at least from vantage point near Frisco, where only a small splotch of color emerged along the southwestern horizon. By contrast, last night’s sunset set the entire sky on fire, 360 degrees. It’s tough to say that one was more beautiful than the other. Sure, Tuesday was super-dramatic, but Wednesday was peaceful and calm, without the seething cloud turbulence. It’s amazing how much difference 24 hours can make!

Some sky!

Some sky, with seething clouds Tuesday night.

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Morning photo: Insta-groovy

More monsoon skies …

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Evening view of Frisco, with Buffalo Mountain as a backdrop.

FRISCO — I’m still learning about my iPhone camera, and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s really quite good at picking up color and highlights in an otherwise shaded foreground, like the top image in this set. The difference between the light and dark areas helps give images a pleasing (to my eyes) depth, and using the built-in HDR means less post-processing, which I needed in the next image in the set to balance out a shot taken with a DSLR. Most of all, the clouds the last few days have been fabulous!

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Dillon Reservoir, still in the evening light.

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Morning photo: Feeling summery …

Some iPhone HDR action …

Colorado Gore Range at sunset

A wildflower sunset pano, taken with the iPhone’s HDR switched on.

FRISCO — I’ve been having some pretty good luck with my little iPhone’s built-in HDR function the last few days at sunrise and sunset. Sure, some of the Instagram filters can deliver a similar effect, but the HDR lets the image retain most of the qualities of the natural lite. In addition to using it for landscapes, I’ve tried it on some closeup shots, too, to try and capture more detail in shady spots. If you have an iPhone 4S or an iPhone 5 and you’re shooting in sketchy light, give the HDR a try! Continue reading

Morning photo: Insta-week

Fun with filters — or not?

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This scene was shot in full but bright shadow, but still turned out very, very blue in the original version (below) so I used the warmest Instagram filter to see what it would do.

FRISCO — A lovely week to take photos in Summit County, with a dense frozen fog early in the week as temperatures dropped to well below zero, and soft snow pillows on the boulders lining the Snake River. I shot a lot of images with the DSLR, but the images in this series were all taken with the iPhone, some filtered through the fun Instagram app. After an early week furor over Instagram’s terms of service, the popular photo sharing service backed away from some of the changes announced earlier, which would have enabled the company (owned by Facebook) to sell Instagram user images to third parties, including advertisers. Instagram reacted quickly to the criticism and backpedaled, but it’s still not completely clear whether the new conditions will be acceptable to pro photographers, so for right now, it’s wait and see.

Many of the images in Summit Voice photo essays are available in our Fine Art America online gallery, and there’s also Summit County gallery at our ImageKind website. You can also order images by contacting me directly at bberwyn@comcast.net. It’s a great way to support independent online journalism! Continue reading

Morning photo: In the mists

Aspen drama

Once upon a time …

FRISCO —For this series, I went back through the aspen leaf-changing season (yes, I realize it’s over now) and picked out the most dramatic shots I could find. All images are shot with an iPhone, and I used Instagram filters to create special effects, or to enhance colors, and in some cases, to brighten up the darker shadow areas, for example the bark on the trunk of the tree in the top image. It helps to have a cloudy sky to work with, as the grayness serves as a great foil for the bright yellows, oranges and gold of the leaves. And if the clouds are hanging low, almost close enough to touch, so much the better! Continue reading

Morning photo: Austria … in technicolor

A darkroom in your pocket

A nice backdrop for some paragliding in the Austrian Alps.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Although I took my DSLR on our recent trip to Austria, I found myself using the iPhone camera nearly every day, not just to share pictures on social media instantly, but because it’s small and light, easy to carry, and much less obtrusive than a full-size Nikon. With a couple of handy processing apps, it’s almost like having a virtual darkroom in your shirt pocket. I’m especially amazed at what some of the filters can do when the light is murky. I found myself snapping iPhone shots at times when I probably wouldn’t think of shooting with the DSLR because of the questionable light.

This set includes a few of my favorite — and admittedly highly processed — images. Yes, the colors are a bit gaudy, but they also reflect some of the vibrancy of the scenes I captured. Continue reading

Morning photo: Postcards to myself …

Note to self: Travel again — soon!

On the approach to Frankfurt we flow low over the Rhine River. The river figures big in Teutonic mythology, and the morning mist hugging the gorge was a nice touch for our arrival.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — I love taking pictures and telling stories, but ultimately, many of the images are really most valuable as personal mementos of journeys and adventures I’ve shared with my loved ones. This most recent trip was no exception. Many of the pictures will never be published anywhere, but cherished all the more for the personal moments they reflect. But others are fun and help interpret the places we visit, along with evoking emotions every time I look at them. To me, there’s almost nothing better than the anticipation, after a long flight, of setting foot in a new place, even if it’s a place where I lived for many years and where I have family history. The picture above brings back the tingly feeling of starting a new journey. Continue reading

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