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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    The Giant Awakens-Mount Rainier Emerges From The Clouds

    Mount Rainier emerges from early morning clouds and towers over Upper Tipsoo Lake and a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers in Mount Rainer National Park, Washington.
    Mount Rainier emerges from early morning clouds and towers over Upper Tipsoo Lake and a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

    As was true with most of the mornings at Mount Rainier National Park, the Tipsoo Lake area was socked in the clouds when I arrived before sunrise. At least this morning you could catch occasional glimpses of the peak as the skies started to lighten.

    I setup in the same spot I had setup many other mornings during the week. I hoped for something to happen this morning as it was my last. Unfortunately, sunrise came and went. I took a shot now and then when Mount Rainier appeared, but Lake Tipsoo was rippled by a steady breeze and nothing turned out that great.

    I did make the fortunate decision to head across the road to explore Upper Tipsoo Lake and the meadow filled with wildflowers surrounding it. I focused on flowers at first, but noticed that the clouds were breaking up over the peak. I wandered around until I found this pleasing composition including some of the wildflowers and Mount Rainier towering off in the distance. It was a beautiful sight and made for a great ending to a trip!

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    Autumn Transition-Clearing Storm Over Mount Princeton

    Overnight storm clouds begin to clear shortly after sunrise revealing a dusting of snow on the top of Mt. Princeton outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.
    Overnight storm clouds begin to clear shortly after sunrise revealing a dusting of snow on the top of Mt. Princeton outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.

    I was looking through my catalog for a new panoramic shot from Colorado and remembered that I had taken this image last fall just down the road in Buena Vista. The stormy skies began to clear shortly after sunrise and I could see things were shaping up for some dramatic light on the mountains. (more…)

    Ominous Radiance-Pumpelly Pillar in Glacier National Park

    A shaft of light streams through swirling clouds and illuminates the side of Pumpelly Pillar at sunrise in Glacier National Park, Montana.
    A shaft of light streams through swirling clouds and illuminates the side of Pumpelly Pillar at sunrise in Glacier National Park, Montana.

    The second visit for sunrise at Two Medicine Lake proved to be just the opposite of the first. The clouds dancing above the mountains to the west were a welcome addition, but the wind whipping across the lake made it a pretty hard to get any kind of reflection in the lake. (more…)

    Heavenly Crescendo-Sunset at Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park

    The clouds turn pink and a shaft of light paints the mountains red behind Bearhat Mountain and Hidden Lake as the sun sets high in Glacier National Park, Montana.
    The clouds turn pink and a shaft of light paints the mountains red behind Bearhat Mountain and Hidden Lake as the sun sets high in Glacier National Park, Montana.

    This shot is the culmination of one of the most amazing days I have had photographing landscapes. It isn’t often that all the conditions come together for a great shot. There are so many variables: the light, the weather, the clouds, the wind, and on and on. Many times you show up and wait and nothing happens. This had to be my lucky day. (more…)

    Tranquil Dawning-Sunrise at Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park

    Pink skies surround Bearhat Mountain as it basks in the first light of dawn and is reflected in the waters of Hidden Lake high up in the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana.
    Pink skies surround Bearhat Mountain as it basks in the first light of dawn and is reflected in the waters of Hidden Lake high up in the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana.

    Hidden Lake is one of the most popular locations to visit in Glacier National Park and for good reason. The alpine scene at the overlook is simply gorgeous with Bearhat Mountain towering above Hidden Lake. It was tops on my list for places to shoot on my trip to the park in September. Road construction made that more challenging that I had planned on though. (more…)

    Autumn Evening Radiance-Sunset in Northwestern Colorado

    The sun sets through distant clouds beyond a golden hillside and a valley dotted with vibrant fall color outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
    The sun sets through distant clouds beyond a golden hillside and a valley dotted with vibrant fall color outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

    I haven’t spent much time shooting in northwestern Colorado. It always seems like I end up in the more well-known locations around the state or in my own backyard. My good friend and fellow photographer Rod Hanna invited me to come up for a few days this fall and it just so happened that I was going be coming back that way from my trip to Glacier National Park. The timing was perfect with plenty of fall color in the area. (more…)

    Alpine Treasure-Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park

    A rainbow appears as the sun breaks through the clouds during a morning shower at Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana.
    A rainbow appears as the sun breaks through the clouds during a morning shower at Grinnell Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana.

    After salvaging a decent sunrise out of a mostly overcast morning in Glacier National Park, my good friend and fellow photographer Luke Tingley and I decided to see if our luck would hold up on a trip to nearby Grinnell Lake. It was raining lightly as we strapped on our packs at the trailhead, but we hoped it might break by the time we hiked the three and a half miles to the lake. (more…)

    Mirrored Majesty-Sunrise at Oxbow Bend

    Mount Moran and a sky filled with glowing pink clouds at sunrise are reflected in the calm waters of the Snake River at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
    Mount Moran and a sky filled with glowing pink clouds at sunrise are reflected in the calm waters of the Snake River at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

    I made a quick stop at Grand Teton National Park on my way back from Montana this fall. I arrived too late for sunset the first night, so I only had one full day and the following morning to squeeze in some shooting. I had been to the area only once a few years earlier, but pretty much had an idea where I wanted to be for sunrise. (more…)

    Gentle Awakening-Sunrise at Swiftcurrent Lake

    The first rays of sunlight strike the tops of Grinnell Point and Swiftcurrent Mountain as the full moon sets between them at Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana.
    The first rays of sunlight strike the tops of Grinnell Point and Swiftcurrent Mountain as the full moon sets between them at Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana.

    My good friend and fellow photographer Luke Tingley and I were a bit surprised to find out when we arrived at Glacier National Park that the road up to Logan Pass was closed every night from 9:00 PM until 7:00 AM the next morning. This sent us scurrying to rearrange the detailed schedule we had made for ourselves. (more…)