Morning photo: Forest light

Sun and shadow …

The first few rays of sun shine into the dark reaches of the Snake River Canyon.

FRISCO — I headed up to the Snake River between Keystone and Montezuma again Thursday morning for a quick photo session, once again trying to find the perfect balance between the bright light on the snow and the cool blue shadows of the forest. It’s not an easy thing to photograph — what the eye takes in, the lens has a hard time capturing. I’ve found that it’s best to look for the half-light, in between the full sun and the shadows, where the blues are partially displaced by the warmer hues of the rising sun, or to go for the strong contrast, like sunlit trees against a dark forest or a shadow background. When I first started shooting and processing these images, I was always tempted to lighten up the shadows, but even with Photoshop, it just doesn’t look right. In this set, I decided to go with the deep blues, which add an element of mystery.

Many of the photos 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 at It’s a great way to support independent online journalism.

Winter scene Summit County Colorado
A lone pine tree stands in the Snake River, surrounded by frost flowers blooming on the ice.
Winter forest Summit County Colorado
Forest light.
Sunburst sunrise.
Snake River Summit County Colorado
Snake River mists.
Snake River summit county colorado
Even a beetle-killed lodgepole pine becomes a thing of beauty when covered with frost.

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