Morning photo: Late summer

Monsoons and mushrooms …

Summer rolls by fast in the high country, but it’s not over yet. During a building El Niño year like this, subtropical moisture could linger over the southern Rockies late into August, and even early September, extending the monsoon and mushroom season. Already, this season’s abundant moisture has resulted in a bumper crop of fungi, not to mention a slew of glorious cloudscapes and carpets of wildflowers from the valleys up to the highest peaks. This short set includes a few of my favorite shots from the past week in Summit County, Colorado.

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: Got mountains?

Break out the long lens

FRISCO — After decades of shooting with SLRs and DSLRs, I’ve drastically changed my photography habits. I still carry a couple of cameras and a few lenses if I want to shoot wildlife, or catch a closeup of the moon, but often these days, I wander out with only my iPhone. But a quick look back through the archives shows the value of keeping that long lens around, for wildlife, of course, and even to create a nice bokeh in a wildflower scene. 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: Mountain love!

Springtime in the Rockies

FRISCO —There’s not much that can go wrong when you point your camera at some stunning Rocky Mountain peaks during the glow of a sunrise or sunset on a fine spring day. 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: First wildflowers!

Wet spring promises great blooms

FRISCO — Wow! Colorado wildflowers are awesome most years. Even when things are on the drier side, the shady, cool nooks and crannies in the mountains yield abundant blossoms, but in a year like this, with prolonged spring rains, the plants have really responded. In some places where there may only be a few clumps in average or dry years, the entire ground is covered with a brilliant carpet of blooms. Get out there and enjoy!

Morning photo: Lupine love!

Wildflower season is here

FRISCO —Even with thick storm clouds brewing over the high country, I ventured down the Lower Blue Valley Saturday morning to check some of our favorite wildflower spots. The cool and wet weather in May has definitely slowed the progression of this year’s bloom, but just a few days of warm sunshine is likely to spur the flowers into high gear. After all, at this high elevation, they only have a couple of months time to complete their cycle of reproduction. One of of the best places to visit this time of year is along the lower sagebrush slopes of the Rocky Mountain foothills, where fields of blue lupines alternate with splotches of bright yellow balsamroot and tender pink and purple phlox.

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