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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

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Morning photo: Shoreline sunrise

Time shift

Fire and ice.

Fire and ice.

FRISCO — The switch back to standard time threw me for a bit of a loop Monday. By the time I made it out to the shore of Dillon Reservoir with the dogs, it was bright daylight, or at least much brighter than the crepuscular light that I’d become accustomed to for that hour of the day. Not to worry, the lighting along the coves near the Heaton Bay Campground was still dramatic, one of the nice things about November from a photography perspective — the sun doesn’t pop straight up, it creeps along the horizon for a bit! After running a couple of errands in Silverthorne, I made one quick stop at the I-70 scenic overlook, taking a quick iPhone snap of the cloud drama, edited and posted below. If you enjoy our morning snaphsot series, please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Colorado landscape images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Autumn light

Golden hues

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Light slanting under the cloud deck approaching from the west lights up the shore of Dillon Reservoir, while Peak 1 is shrouded in storm clouds.

FRISCO — There’s almost nothing better, from a photography standpoint, then when an approaching storm coincides with the sunrise. It happens every autumn a few times, but the intense drama of the lighting always takes me by surprise, like Friday morning, when I forgot to take my DSLR along for the morning dog walk near Heaton Bay. So I ended up shooting the dawn light with my iPhone. A year ago, that would have stressed me out and I would have fretted about not having my “real” camera. Not so much anymore. Instead, I just enjoyed playing with the iPhone, tilting the lens toward and away from the light to try and get an optimal exposure and appreciating the way the sensor reacts to those subtle changes.

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Dawn light under an approaching storm.

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Fall storm, Tenmile Range.

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Pure gold.

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First snow, Officers Gulch.

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End of the road …

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: Rainbow power!

Sky drama

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A late summer rainbow and wild Canada geese forming up for the southward flight.

FRISCO — Monsoon season may be winding down, and Mother Nature saved the best for last, with a couple of days featuring incredibly vivid rainbow scenes in the late afternon light.

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Somewhere over the rainbow …

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Morning photo: Randomized …

A little photo-foolin’

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Winter dreams.

FRISCO — I hope these images don’t come as too much of a shock to readers who are used to seeing traditional landscapes in this space. But after about a year, I re-opened the PS Express app on my iPhone after updating it and found all sorts of groovy new features that I had to play with. PS Express is the Photoshop iPhone app, and while some of these effects are questionable for photojournalism, others could come in handy at the right time. The point is, get to know the tools you have available; that way, you’ll know how to use them when you need them.

Slightly swirled rose, edited in PS Express, the iPhone Photoshop app.

Slightly swirled rose, edited in PS Express, the iPhone Photoshop app.

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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: Going mobile

A year of iPhoneography

Slanting sunlight on the Snake River picked up by the iPhone, enhanced with a camera filter app.

Slanting sunlight on the Snake River picked up by the iPhone, enhanced with a camera filter app.

FRISCO —I’ve had my iPhone for a year now, and I probably use it as much for photography as anything else. As much as I’d heard (and seen) about the iPhone’s camera, I have to admit that I’m a bit old-school when it comes to photography, having learned the basics in a black and white darkroom, working on school newspaper and yearbook photos. It didn’t take long for me to adapt to digital imaging — I never really liked turning my film over to a photo shop and then waiting for a few days to get prints. And when I started playing with iPhone camera and editing apps, I quickly decided that the whole concept of mobile compact photography is worthwhile addition to my photography quiver. I almost always have my DSLR with me, but there have been a few situations when I’ve learned to let go of the Nikon and to trust the iPhone. I especially like the way it responds in low-light situations, and the sensitivity of the sensor to slight tilts of the lens. I’m not trying to be all evangelical, but I’d feel pretty weird at this point heading out to shoot without packing my phone along.
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Morning photo: Frost City, USA

The heart of winter

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Even a dead tree can become a thing of beauty in the right light, covered with frost.

FRISCO — I had a chance to try out the Olloclip lens for my iPhone camera the past few weeks. I was especially interested in the macro attachment, and after playing around with it for a while, finally figured out how to optimize the shots. If you haven’t heard of it, the Olloclip is a three-way (wide-angle, macro and fisheye) lens that simply slips over the corner of your iPhone. It retails for about $70 and adds some versatility to your repertoire. I still haven’t figured out all the tricks, but I can say that, for a pocket-sized attachment, it offers some fun features. It’s never going to be quite as sharp as a true all-out DSLR macro lens, but as the photo below shows, it does the job for casual snapshots. Now, to explore a telephone lens for the iPhone. All the photos in this set are by iPhone. 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

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