Photographing Fall Colors in Capitol Reef National Park

I spent the last few days at Capitol Reef National Park.  I planned this adventure after investigating online, guessing that the fall colors would be in bloom along the Fremont River and in the canyons near Capitol Reef.  I wasn’t disappointed.  When I make a decision to go out for photo “shoot”, I tend to pour over images taken by other photographers to see if I can guess at the best time of year, and the best week of the year.  Late October was my guess.

This past weekend in Capitol Reef was spectacular.  My favorite locations included near the Visitor Center, along the Fremont River, and in the orchards.  Apples are free for the eating in the orchard.

What to do in Capitol Reef

  • Get out and STAY OUT
  • Get up early, go for a hike (Spring Creek)
  • Take the drive to the Grand Wash and Capitol Wash.
  • Spend time in the Visitors Center, watch the film during the harsh light of noon.
  • Since the walls of the canyons are close together, I prefer the south-facing color late day
  • Wait for clouds
  • Best time of day: IMHO: 3:30-5:30
I love playing with compositions to see what I can do to make my images look painterly.  This cottonwood was HUGE. ©Kit Frost

I love playing with compositions to see what I can do to make my images look painterly. In this example I “stacked” the orange orchard against the large golden cottonwood, against the background red rock wall.  This cottonwood was HUGE. ©Kit Frost

October light in the Canyons ©Kit Frost

October light in the Canyons ©Kit Frost

Near the campground at Capitol Reef National Park, the late afternoon light painted shadows in the orchard. ©Kit Frost

Near the campground at Capitol Reef National Park, the late afternoon light painted shadows in the orchard. ©Kit Frost

Self Portrait: Capitol Reef Orchard. ©Kit Frost

Self Portrait: Capitol Reef Orchard. ©Kit Frost

The fall colors in and around the Fruita area are in full bloom right now ©Kit Frost

The fall colors in and around the Fruita area are in full bloom right now ©Kit Frost

 

More about Trees, really big Trees, really

NPR, Krulwich Wonders, by Robert Krulwich, include the photos by James Balog of The Del Norte Giant Redwood

Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest, by James Balog, Amazon edition.  If anyone has a copy of the original edition, large format, I’m in the market for it.

And more photography of Big Trees by James Balog,  the National Geographic Adventure site.

Visit James Balog's website for more Trees, and a look at his presentation on Ted.

Visit James Balog’s website for more Trees, and a look at his presentation on Ted.

And don’t miss his portfolio of changing forests.

And I just finished watching Chasing Ice on netflix, here’s what it’s about:

Founded in 2007 by James Balog, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an innovative, long-term photography project that merges art and science to give a “visual voice” to the planet’s changing ecosystems. EIS imagery preserves a visual legacy, providing a unique baseline—useful in years, decades and even centuries to come—for revealing how climate change and other human activity impacts the planet.

EIS installed time-lapse cameras at remote sites in Greenland, Iceland, Nepal, Alaska, Antarctica, and the Rocky Mountains and conducts episodic repeat photography in Iceland, Canada, the French and Swiss Alps, and Bolivia; and has been the subject of an award-winning feature documentary, Chasing Ice, a NOVA/PBS documentary, two books, and numerous magazine and newspaper features. In addition, EIS has been alerting the world about ice and climate change via appearances before Washington policymakers, a touring exhibition, displays in public venues (including Denver International and O’Hare International Airports) and multimedia presentations at corporate, scientific, and global policy conferences. ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, (Rizzoli International) was released in September 2012.

A still photo from James Balog's Chasing Ice.

A still photo from James Balog’s Chasing Ice.

Big Trees : American Forests   
We are people who care about – and  for – forests.

American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forests. Since 1990, we have planted more than 40 million trees. We restore watersheds to help provide clean drinking water. We replant forests destroyed by human action and by natural disasters.

You can research and nominate big trees in your home town, state.