Time to Shine-Marcellina Mountain in Springtime

Sunlight breaks through evening clouds to light up a spring green aspen grove below Marcellina Mountain outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.
Sunlight breaks through evening clouds to light up a spring green aspen grove below Marcellina Mountain outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.

I spent some time camping and shooting along Kebler Pass Road outside of Crested Butte, Colorado last week. The aspen trees were decked out in their springtime bright greens and the ferns and flowers where all budding and blooming below them. It is a great time of the year!

The weather was gorgeous and there were clouds that came and went throughout the day providing opportunities to catch some nice light. I spent some time looking for new compositions of the area since I have been there many times. I have very few pictures of Marcellina Mountain and decided to try to catch it with some nice clouds at sunset. I would have preferred to take a shot from farther away than where this shot was taken, but I needed a higher vantage point to get above the roadside scrub oak bushes. I made a note that I need to bring a ladder the next time I come or rig my Jeep up for shooting on top! Fortunately, I showed up early and started shooting because by the time the sun set, the clouds had all but disappeared.

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Raging Descent-White River Falls in Oregon

The White River thunders over White River Falls into a canyon lined by basalt walls covered in vibrant green moss before dropping over the smaller Celestial Falls on its journey downstream at Falls River State Park, Oregon.
The White River thunders over White River Falls into a canyon lined by basalt walls covered in vibrant green moss before dropping over the smaller Celestial Falls on its journey downstream at Falls River State Park, Oregon.

I took a trip out northwest in May of 2013 and spent a month shooting over 100 waterfalls in Oregon. This was the first stop once I came into the state at The Dalles on the north.

Falls River State Park is found mixed among the farm fields and the rolling hills. The falls are on the White River just before it meets up with the Deschutes River. My view from where I took this image was actually looking at three waterfalls. White River Falls are the wide falls in the back, with Celestial Falls in the center, and an unnamed waterfall in the front. It was hard to get any other vantage point here. The water was roaring down the canyon making it treacherous to get too close. There have already been a few people that have died here and I sure as hell wasn’t going to risk it for a different shot!

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Evening Finale-Sunset Panorama from Crested Butte

Dorothy Peak, Avery Peak, Crested Butte, and Gothic Mountain are lit by sunlight streaming through glowing clouds at sunset in this panoramic springtime scene looking down the East River Valley outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.
Dorothy Peak, Avery Peak, Crested Butte, and Gothic Mountain are lit by sunlight streaming through glowing clouds at sunset in this panoramic springtime scene looking down the East River Valley outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.

I was looking back at my images from the past springs, while planning for this year, when I ran across this this panoramic series of a dramatic sunset outside of Crested Butte, Colorado. I remember it well. I was camped not more than a couple of hundred yards from this location.

As sunset drew near, I packed up my gear and headed out into the meadow to find my spot to shoot from. There were only spotty clouds in the sky, but soon they began to build. It all happened quickly and soon the sky was filled with clouds. Rays from the setting sun somehow managed to shine through and light up all the peaks. This was one of those shots you only get a couple of times in your lifetime and I was grateful to be in the right place at the right time.

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Palouse Falls in the Round-Impressive Waterfall in Washington

A fish-eye view of the Palouse River gushing over Palouse Falls and flowing down a lush green valley into the distance on a beautiful spring day in Palouse Falls State Park in southeastern Washington.
A fish-eye view of the Palouse River gushing over Palouse Falls and flowing down a lush green valley into the distance on a beautiful spring day in Palouse Falls State Park in southeastern Washington.

Another stop on the trip out west in the spring of 2013 was at the impressive Palouse Falls in southeastern Washington. The falls drop almost 200 feet into a large plunge pool from where the Palouse River continues its journey through a deep canyon to meet up with the Snake River. The falls are in the Palouse Falls State Park and are quite a way from any town of any size. I stayed at of the closest hotels and still traveled over an hour to get there!

I setup in a rather popular (and scary if you are afraid at all of heights) location on the top of the canyon wall beside the fall where you could look down the valley to the south and hoped for a dramatic sunset. The clouds looked promising at first but unfortunately, they built up too much and sunset was a bust. At least I came away with this unusual shot taken while I was waiting. I pulled out my fish-eye lens just to see how the scene looked and liked what I saw. I think it turned out rather interesting!

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Evening Tranquility in the Desert-Arches National Park Panorama

The setting sun casts late day shadows on the Garden of Eden rock formations and illuminates a towering cloud formation above it as well as the distant snow-covered La Sal Mountains in Arches National Park, Utah.
The setting sun casts late day shadows on the Garden of Eden rock formations and illuminates a towering cloud formation above it as well as the distant snow-covered La Sal Mountains in Arches National Park, Utah.

I have lots of images that I have taken over the years that have never been processed and seen the light of day. I think it is about time that I start digging some of them up and posting them while I have time!

This panoramic image is from a month-long trip I took out to the Pacific Northwest back in 2013. My first stop after leaving Buena Vista was to stop for the night in Moab, Utah and I got there with enough time to head out to Arches National Park. I have been to the park many times before, but don’t ever remember shooting from this spot. The overlook is aptly named …continue reading…

Beauty Beneath the Bridge-Christine Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

Van Trump Creek drops gracefully over the lower section of Christine Falls and flows underneath a rustic stone bridge in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.
Van Trump Creek drops gracefully over the lower section of Christine Falls and flows underneath a rustic stone bridge in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

Another waterfall image from my trip to Mount Rainier National Park last summer. This is Christine Falls which is a major park attraction, probably due to the fact that it sits right of the road and has a large parking lot. I drove by it many times, but there were always a lot of people there and I would rather have a little solitude while shooting if possible. I figured a rainy day would be perfect, but I was running out of time towards the end of my trip and decided to get up early and head there. The sun was just catching the corner of the bridge as I setup, but fortunately a cloud passed by and let me get a couple of shots with even light that I liked.

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Gold in Them Hills-Golden Aspens Surround Mining Town in Colorado

The abandoned ore processing facility in the ghost town of Gilman is surrounded by golden aspen trees at the peak of autumn color in central Colorado.
The abandoned ore processing facility in the ghost town of Gilman is surrounded by golden aspen trees at the peak of autumn color in central Colorado.

Another of the few photographs I took this past fall. This was taken on the same day and trip as the last post. As you wind your way south along Highway 24, just before reaching the top of Battle Mountain Summit (a 9,243-foot pass), you will see the remains of the mining town of Gilman. It’s a popular spot for people to stop and take a picture of the decaying properties nestled among the aspens on the mountainside. With the fall colors at their peak that day, I too couldn’t resist stopping and capturing the scene in its golden splendor!

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Standing in Gold-Colorful Aspen Grove in Colorado

Aspen trunks are surrounded by golden thimbleberry plants at the peak of autumn color along Notch Mountain Road in central Colorado.
Aspen trunks are surrounded by golden thimbleberry plants at the peak of autumn color along Notch Mountain Road in central Colorado.

I was so busy last fall that I barely had any time to get out to shoot fall color in Colorado. Fortunately, I managed to take a side trip on my way back home from a business trip up to Minturn late in September. The colors along Highway 24 were just too good to ignore so I pulled off on Notch Mountain Road and climbed a short way up the road. As I rounded a bend, this magnificent aspen grove caught my eye. The golden undergrowth covered the hillside and made for a dreamy scene that I just had to capture. At least I came away with one image from the fall!

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Sudden Descent-Comet Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

Van Trump Creek drops abruptly from the top of a massive cliff wall forming Comet Falls which plunges in a series of three steps into a lush green valley over 450 feet below in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.
Van Trump Creek drops abruptly from the top of a massive cliff wall forming Comet Falls which plunges in a series of three steps into a lush green valley over 450 feet below in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

Comet Falls is one of the most impressive falls in Mount Rainier National Park, so it was definitely on my list of places to get to on my trip to the park. The most intimidating part of getting to it was the hike to get there.

The 1.7-mile distance was nothing, it was the 1,400-foot elevation gain involved that I knew was going to kill me! It had been a while since I had really been out hiking and I knew I was a bit out of shape. I emptied my bag of anything but the necessities to lighten the load and set out in a light rain. It was just the right conditions for waterfall photography.

After stopping to shoot a few times along the way (and many more to catch my breath!), I came to this view looking down the valley to Comet Falls. What a beautiful scene. The sun peeked out occasionally, but stayed behind the clouds long enough to capture a series of images, this one being my favorite because of the shape and the detail in the falls. I ventured closer to the falls after that, but it was difficult to scramble too far because of the rain soaked vegetation.

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Finding My Way-Deer Creek Falls in Mount Rainier National Park

Deer Creek rounds a bend in the dense forest and twists and turns its way over Deer Creek Falls as it plunges into a canyon in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.
Deer Creek rounds a bend in the dense forest and twists and turns its way over Deer Creek Falls as it plunges into a canyon in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.

As promised, I am going to start posting some new pictures! This is Deer Creek Falls in Mount Rainier National Park. It was the second falls that my son Justin and I stopped at early one morning this past August.

It was an easy hike along the Owyhigh Lakes Trail from the trailhead along Highway 123. The trail runs alongside Deer Creek and offers multiple vantage points of the falls. The canyon below was deep and there’s no chance to get any lower. I settled for framing up a variety of compositions while wedged between the trees. This is my favorite of the bunch because it includes the one last twist at the bottom that leads your eye to the top of the lacy falls.

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