Morning photo: Sloooowwww spring

Seasons …

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Some green grass, but at this rate, the aspens won’t bud out until June.

FRISCO —Chilly morning, warm afternoon, but spring is definitely in the air — finally! The creeks are running high and most of the local ponds are now ice-free, including Officers Gulch. All in all, a lovely day in the Colorado high country. If you like these snapshots, visit our online gallery at FineArt America for a great selection of Summit County landscape photography. Continue reading

Morning photo: iPhone — raw

No Filter …

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Moonrise over the Gore Range.

FRISCO — The various filter apps on an iPhone are fun to play with, but they can also make it easy — some would say too easy — to mask a less than adequate exposure with enhanced colors or other special effects. Like so many things, they’re best used in moderation, remembering that there’s no substitute for a crisp, clean and well-exposed image to start with. All the shots in this set are taken with an iPhone, but they’re straight out of the camera, no filters, no editing, other than a couple of slight crops.

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Blue River Valley mists.

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Pond-shine.

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Frost is in the air.

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Frost-cicle.

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Fresh.

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.
Continue reading

Morning photo: indoor, outdoor

Winter whimsy

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Morning shadows in some of the majestic aspen groves along lower Straight Creek.

FRISCO — Big holiday ski weekends are a good time for locals to lay low, leaving plenty of room on the roads and in the grocery store aisles for the altitude-dazed flatlanders flocking to the high country in search of fresh snow. If you have to go out, do it early in the morning, for quiet walk along the Tenderfoot Trail and to soak up the morning light in the aspen groves along Straight Creek Road. That’s what I did today, taking the dog for an early morning jaunt in the powder, than returning home and hiding out for the rest of the day. These are all whimsical iPhone shots, but f you like the images in this post, please visit our online gallery at FineArt America for more hi-resolution Summit County images, available as prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Morning photo: Half-light …

Stormy skies

Trying to "see" the light ...

Trying to “see” the light …

FRISCO —Stormy skies over Summit County made for some fine photos the past few days, both morning and evening. Yes, traveling to new places for photos is always fun, but I equally enjoy revisiting favorite spots to see how they look in different lighting. All the shots in this series are within a five-minute walk of a road or trailhead here in Summit County.

If you like these pics, please check our FineArt America online gallery for prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Morning photo: Fountain festival in Munich

Serendipity in the Viktualienmarkt

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Playing with the big boys!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Finding a bustling market packed with fresh fruit and veggies is always a treat, and when it’s located in the heart of a major urban area, it’s a real score. Such is the case with the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany, where city residents mingle with tourists for shopping and even sit-down meals amidst the many vendor stalls.

Offerings at the market include mushrooms from near and far, wild forest strawberries from the Balkans, Greek cheeses and locally made sausages. Some locals bring their own white and blue-checked table cloths to decorate the tables under the shade of old chestnut trees. Sausages and pretzels are close at hand and big-handled liter steins of beer are ubiquitous.

Our visit this summer coincided with a festival held to celebrate the heritage of the many fountains in the market, erected to honor some of Munich’s cultural heros — poets, musicians and storytellers. At the peak of the summer harvest season, each fountain is lovingly decorated with bright flowers, and local singers and bands perform traditional songs nearby. It’s not really marketed as s big-time tourist event. We found out about the festival by reading the local newspaper, and for many market visitors, the event simply added a nice backdrop to their daily shopping or lunch routine. Continue reading

Morning photo: Flyover

West Coast-Denver flight a great geology lesson

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Salty Mono Lake is a unique inland sea in eastern California, and an enduring symbol of success for environmental advocacy, activism and education.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — I’m one of those annoying airplane passengers who always wants a window seat. If I don’t have one, I may be the guy next to you who leans across your lap to catch a glimpse of a familiar or exotic landscape from 35,000 feet up. I’m pretty sure I’ve always been that way, even as a kid, when on family trips, I stared out of the plane window for hours.

Even on trips across the ocean, the ever-changing patterns of sunlight reflecting on the sea and shifting cloud bands hypnotizes me. And if I’m flying over territory that I’ve explored on the ground, so much the better. It’s always fun to spot a familiar landmark from a new perspective.

So on a recent flight from the Bay Area back to Denver, it was a gift to fly over Mono Lake, where I spent some formative years learning about western water issues and environmental advocacy from the incredible grassroots Mono Lake Committee. Later in the flight, the widespread landscape alteration from oil and gas drilling in the intermountain West became apparent, along with slices of untouched Utah wilderness and national park lands.

In this series, the stark light of mid-day and the muted colors of winter paint a subdued picture of the interior West, especially through the filters of my iPhone app. All these images were shot with an iPhone 4S. Continue reading

Morning photo: SF potpourri …

Friday in the city …

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Evening light over the Golden Gate from the Coit Tower.

SAN FRANCISCO —A great day walking around the city, revisiting some old favorite spots and discovering new hidden nooks and crannies with Leigh. In a city as large a diverse as San Franciso, it’s not really surprising that you can find new hidden treasures to explore and enjoy, but the old classics like the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset are still special. I left the DSLR behind and worked only with the iPhone camera, although I was wishing I had the Nikon with me at sunset. Continue reading

Morning photo: Gore Range

Overlook …

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An iPhone panorama shot from a Gore Range overlook along Ute Pass Road.

FRISCO —Saturday morning, with no school breakfast and lunch to make, I took a little extra time to visit one of my favorite Gore Range overlooks along Ute Pass Road. Along with a great view, the shale slopes of the Williams Fork Range are great habitat for ancient Douglas firs, a relatively rare tree in our environment, so it’s always good to hang out in the presence of these centuries-old giants. Playing with three cameras, I managed to put together a decent set of wintry Gore Range scenes. Continue reading

Morning photo: ‘Extreme’

Marginal lighting …

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Frozen waterfall in Tenmile Canyon at the light of high noon.

FRISCO — With the X Games on this week, I set out on an “extreme” photography challenge of my own, trying to test the limits of the iPhone camera in different lighting conditions. I already know it performs fairly well in low light situations — but not too low, because it gets really grainy, really fast. So photographing the sunrise is a matter catching that moment when the sky still has color, but the clouds are reflecting enough light back down to the foreground. The snow helps — a lot. I also wanted to try and capture the frozen waterfalls in Tenmile Canyon in daylight, and there’s no real in-between for this spot. It’s either in the shade or in the full sun. And I continue to be amazed at what the little camera can do shooting directly toward the sun, provided you’re a little creative with your positioning. Continue reading

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