I went out yesterday evening to scout the wildflowers for today’s Wildflower Photography workshop. We headed up to Clear Lake in the San Juan Mountains. The location is rarely without wilds this time of year. What I love about Clear Lake is that its got so much of why I spend so much time in the mountains of Colorado. From the 12,000 vantage points you can see mountain peaks, cloud formations, creek falls and wildflowers. And then there’s Clear Lake, an alpine tarn.
The drive up to Clear Lake is along a jeep road and sometimes can be crowded, especially on weekends when I run into lots of folks at the Ice Lakes trailheads. But last night was quiet. The wilds are fading, there are no more Brook Cress and Parry’s primrose and I only saw a single bunch of Columbine.
Tonight I’ll be teaching the following photography techniques:
- Macro photography, close up views of the wilds.
- Compression of space, using the longer zoom lenses in the 200-300mm length
- Creek fall flow
- Wide views, especially reflections in the middle pond at Clear Lake.
- Capturing the quiet light between 7 and 8pm.
Here are a few gems from the scouting adventure. By the way, all of these images were enhanced in Adobe Lightroom. They were, as expected, a bit blue for my tastes and a bit flat when recorded in RAW. All RAW files require editing. If you’re not fond of post-production, I suggest you record your images as high quality jpegs. I think of my RAW files as I did when I shot black and white. And just like Ansel Adams, I enjoy looking at my files as a “starting point” for further interpretation in the lightroom, instead of the darkroom.