Morning photo: Sunday set

Overview …

FRISCO —I made it out for an early morning photo sesh/dogwalk today, heading to one of my favorite wrinkled areas along the shore of Dillon Reservoir. This particular stretch of shoreline is notched by deep coves, which is good for photography, because you can find different vantage points, in relation to the water and the mountains, to make the most of the reflections, and using the vegetation along the water’s edge to help frame the scenes. Once again, I was struck by how fast our area’s lodgepole pine forests are regrowing after the pine beetle outbreak that move through the north-central Colorado mountains in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In places that were logged early, many of the new trees are already two- to four-feet tall and growing densely, just like the old lodgepole pine forest. This morning’s clouds, fueled with moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Dolores, helped soften the light. Click on the images in this set to choose the full-size option, especially for the pano shot, and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.

Morning photo: The wide view …

Lovely landscapes

FRISCO —Many of the vistas in the Colorado high country are so expansive that they’re hard to capture in a single frame without a good wide angle landscape lens. Mountains stretch across the horizon as far as the eye can see and tower up high into the sky. But there’s another option — some newer smartphone cameras feature a panorama option, which enables you to move the camera, in vertical mode, across the landscape. I’ve been exploring this feature the past couple of months, finding that, even without a tripod, you can do the scenery justice. Click on the images in this set and choose the full-size option to see the full-size panos, and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.

Morning photo: Mayflower Gulch

At treeline …

FRISCO — After a quick trip to Leadville, I turned off the highway at Mayflower Gulch to take the dogs for a short walk under building thunderstorms. As the thunder, hail and rain built in intensity, I almost jumped back in the car to head for Frisco, but I was glad I waited it out, because the storm passed pretty quickly. The short walk turned into a nice tundra jaunt. The sky stayed a bit on the gray side, which isn’t always the best for landscape shots, but it is good light for flower portraits, especially for the pale hues of the columbine, which can get lost against a bright background. What a great year for wildflowers! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.

Morning Photo: Sunday set

Perfecting panos

FRISCO —I’ve been working more on perfecting panoramic iPhone images, mainly by adjusting the speed of the pano sweep across the landscape, learning that, the slower you go, the more data the sensor captures, resulting in a sharper image. You can click a couple of times on any of these to see them full size.

Moving the camera at the same rate of speed is also important. If you slow down or speed up, it changes the light value, resulting in brighter or dimmer spots. Of course, keeping the horizon straight the whole time is also important, but even if you do, the movement tends to “bend” objects in the foreground. For example, straight logs laying perpendicular to the camera start to look curved. But used in the right way, the pano setting offers a nice alternative to a super wide angle lens, or to cropping standard size shots.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.

Morning Photo: Sunday Set

Summer light

FRISCO — Seems like just a few days ago I was still taking pictures of snow, but we’ve quickly slipped into summer mode. Wildflowers are popping, and when (or if) we get a spell of warm and sunny days, the blooms will really get going. The aspens have leafed out, and kayakers, rowers and rafters are frolicking on local reservoirs and streams. Summer is short and sweet in the high country, so now’s the time to get out and get after it, whatever your pleasure may be! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for some of the best Colorado landscape photography around!

Morning photo: Colorado classics

Rivers, deserts and mountains …

FRISCO —I’ve been experimenting a little more with the iPhone pano function, finding that, even without a tripod, it’s possible to create some pretty fabulous wide-angle landscape images — as long as you keep the camera level by using the helpful guide in the viewfinder. Smooth motion is also important because stop-start movements tend to add unwanted streaks to blank spaces like sky. It was hard to pick a favorite image in this set, but I think the cloud scene taken at Dillon Reservoir highlights the camera’s ability to capture a wide range of tones. The cloud shot is a rather short pano, just covering a little more territory than a regular horizontal shot, but just enough to feature the broad scope of this water- and cloudscape. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Morning photo: Glow …

Finally!


FRISCO —After weeks of rain — literally — skies cleared Friday evening, offering the first colorful sunset in quite a while. I’m not complaining about the moisture. After a dry winter, the wet may was welcome, but it was great to see the sky emerge, with the promise of some warmer and drier weather ahead. The iPhone pano mode worked well to capture some of the subtleties and contrasts in the evening sky.

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