I’m taking a group of students up along Missionary Ridge Road into the San Juan National Forest. Our color display along the Alpine Loop is changing fast. From where I sit in Durango we have limited color change, but just 15 miles north the scrub oak, cottonwoods and aspens are changing quickly. I will post images when I get back from the photo workshop.
Make a tree the star of the show. Although the hillside is full of golden Aspen, can you imagine this photograph without the dark tree in the foreground? Comments? email your Star of the Show for posting here.
- ‘National Geographic’ Celebrates 125 Years Of Photography (wnyc.org)
- In Memoriam: Iconic LIFE Photographer Bill Eppridge (1938-2013) (lightbox.time.com)
- Create Drama in your Photographs (photokitfrost.wordpress.com)
My studio faces north. I can see the La Plata Mountains, and the Animas Valley. I love the see the approaching, clearing and socked in storms that surround this mountain town. I live and work with the San Juan National Forest and the Weminuche Wilderness in my backyard. As I sit here this morning, I’m anticipating the fall color spectacle with excitement. My best guess is that the end of next week will be a great time to get out and photograph. I’m heading north on this coming Friday and planning to get out and stay out for a few days late next week.
In preparation for fall photography, here are a few things I suggest
- Charge batteries
- Clean lenses
- Upload and empty all CF and SD cards
- Leave the tripod in the car, ready to go
- Pack a bag of layered clothing for the mountains
- Pack raingear for the inevitable storms (oh yeah)
In addition to the gear preparation, I tend to look over fall photos from past years to get inspired. Here are a few, from Colorado, Utah, and New Jersey. I live 3 hours from Moab and Southeast Utah. Some of my favorite trees (Cottonwoods) are along the Newspaper Rock Road between Monticello and Moab.
The images above are examples of using my 75-300 lens to compress space. The backgrounds in both photos are a considerable distance from the trees in the foreground.
Compositionally, its easy to keep your mind focused on a few simple steps.
- Should this image be horizontal or vertical (landscape or portrait)?
- What element of the scene is the “star of the show”?
- What element then become the supporting cast?
- What is the focus of the image (what seduced me to take this photo)?
Learn what to include and what to eliminate from your compositions, making your photograph concise and clear.
This image was made in 2009, with a Fuji 7megapixel point and shoot camera.
Our fall color changes are seducing photographers from
all over to visit Colorado. Stay tuned for up-to-date Colorado Fall Foliage Reports.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below and to email your “star of the show” for review and discussions.
- How to take better photos, or the elements of photography. Composition (20belowphotography.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration (danemm.wordpress.com)
I drove up to Silverton the other night. The Aspen Grove on Shrine Road near Silverton is always the first to change color each year. Here are a few images from along Mineral Creek, near that location.
I’ll say that although early, the rolling fall color in our area is beginning to show. Set your calendar for a visit to Southern Colorado sometime starting September 20th. Traditionally, I count ten days from our first frost. We’ve been having lots of cold nights and so, we’re seeing subtle aspen color changing.
At the location of these photos, the Aspen cops will turn a variety of colors from yellow to gold to coral, to almost red. Right now these trees are just beginning to change color.
Every year, in mid-September, I begin keeping an eye on the weather in the San Juan National Forest of Southern Colorado. Tonight’s forecast in Durango is for rain. Silverton is expecting snow. And YES, that means the first frost will hit the aspens tonight. A safe bet for fall foliage changing color is to count ten days from today and get out as often as possible.
My favorite fall foliage photography locations:
- Near Durango, Colorado. I love to drive our nearby, backcountry roads. (photos below)
- The drive from Durango to Silverton, including the Pigeon and Turret Overlook, Durango Mountain Resort, and Lime Creek Road. (Potato Hill photo below)
- Shrine Road, northwest of Silverton
- Red Mountain Pass
- Dallas Divide
- Owl Creek Pass
- The West fork of the Dolores River to Dunton.
Stay Tuned. Follow me for updated Colorado Fall Foliage Report. The attached photos were taken in the fall of 2012.
- Fall Foliage Travel: When to Look for Leaves Around the Northwest (jaunted.com)
- Durango is home base for fall foliage in the San Juan Mountains (qualityinndurango.com)