Morning photo: Golden days

Sweet sunrise …

FRISCO — With smoke and haze from distant wildfires hanging in the sky, the morning sunlight has been diffuse and gentle, creating some spectacular sunrise scenes along the shore of Dillon Reservoir. It may be slightly comforting that the fires are hundreds of miles away, but at the same time, it’s a reminder that the entire West has been getting warmer and drier for decades. There’s no reason to think that Colorado’s current moist phase will last forever. Based on the regional patterns, it seems a lot more likely that the next drought in the Rockies will be even worse than the last, but for now we have a respite and a chance to prepare for the next inevitable wave of wildfires when the weather turns dry once again.

Morning photo: ‘Walk me out in the morning dew …’

The beauty around us

FRISCO —Taking closeups with an iPhone camera — at least without a supplemental lens — isn’t always easy. The camera tends to want to zero in on something other than the subject, like the grass or shrubs in the background. But with some careful consideration to lighting, specifically the contrast between the subject and the background, I sometimes can make it work. Being able to capture sparkling morning dew on a bluebell, or a busy bee gathering food on a wildflower makes me happy. It’s like having a little miracle in the palm of my hand for a few moments, and it’s even better when I can share it with Summit Voice readers. Enjoy your Sunday and don’t forget to stop whatever you’re doing for a few moment to give thanks for all the beauty that surrounds us.

Morning photo: Back in the mountains

“That’s the sound of sunshine comin’ down …”

FRISCO —Travel is awesome, but it’s easy to come back from even the coolest trip when you live in a place as beautiful as the Colorado mountains, especially when it’s mushroom season and the sky fills with rainbows. I have a Facebook friend, former journalist Theo Stein, who often tags photo’s I’ve posted with the comment, “Tis a privilege to live in Colorado,” and I couldn’t agree more!

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: Half light

From the vault …

FRISCO — Super-bright sunlight is great if you’re trying to catch a tan, but for mountain photography, I prefer the softer illumination of half-light. Sometimes just a thin layer of clouds can take the edge off the brightness and help shift the light just enough create magic. like in the image of the rays over the Continental Divide. In the crepuscular predawn light, you can open the camera shutter for several seconds, which adds a whole new layer of richness to the exposure. And every few years, during a solar eclipse, the light can be otherworldly! Click on the images in this set and choose the full-size option, 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.

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