Monthly Archives: March 2014

Winter All Around Us

Garden of the Gods,Colorado

The Gods Deliver : Prints Available

Sunrise overlooking the Garden of the Gods, December 2013.

Last year, I wrote a song about winter–winter as a metaphor for overcoming adversity. I recorded the song in the fall, with Gina Rose as lead singer, at Mace’s Hole recording studio in Beulah, Colorado.
Then, I spent the next four months filming video and time lapse throughout my home state of Colorado, primarily using my 5Dmkii for the stills. It was a terrific experience, and I got to see a lot of great Colorado winter including snow storms, bitter cold, and high winds. The video and song can be seen at my Vimeo site, here:

Here is a list and brief description of the scenes in the video, in order of appearance. Time lapses generally ran from a few minutes to an hour–the toughest part was trying to stay warm during the lapses!

1) Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado. I wrote about this trip in my blog post in November.
2) Crater Lake, Maroon Bells, Aspen. While I was shooting this sequence, an older couple walked by on snowshoes, and we had a discussion about time lapse–Robert Fricke and his films.
3) West Maroon Creek, and the Bells (Aspen). As a meteorologist, I love the way time lapse really shows you wind motion and the fluid nature of air. This was taken he same afternoon as the first sequences–thanks to the low dynamic range of afternoon light–the tough shots were yet to come!
4) Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs. I was the only one in this popular park this morning–the temperature was well below zero and it was after a fresh snowfall that made the windy narrow roads in the park quite a challenging drive with my 2WD Focus!
5) Monarch Pass. A surprise snow squall hit as I headed east over the pass–and I barely made it over!
I pulled over near the summit to shoot this video of the snow.
6) Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs. The classic overlook shot at sunrise. I was joined by a couple other photographers, including my good friend Todd Caudle. If I recall, the temperature was ten below zero Fahrenheit–so it was a chilly wait!
7) Lake Pueblo. Every winter, if it falls below zero overnight, I know to head to the local reservoir
to experience the steam fog that rises over the relatively warm lake. All of my Lake Pueblo shots were taken on one very cold (subzero) morning, on the north shore of the lake.
8) Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Calhan. I found this frozen pond on a short hike in the park, and shot the rising full moon.
9) Siamese Twins, Garden of the Gods. The toughest technical sequence of the video. I used no exposure software, so had to manually adjust each still for a smooth sequence–quite a challenge! As I was shooting this scene of Pikes Peak (The summit house light can be seen at the top of the 14,000+ foot peak) a group of teenagers gathered nearby and indulged in some of Colorado’s newest cash crop–but they were respectfully quiet! 🙂
10) Arkansas River, Swallows. About a one mile hike to the river. Large chunks of ice flowed downstream, and at one point, a couple beavers (otters?) floated by in the current–unfortunately they must have blurred out in the long exposures here.
11) Arkansas River, Five Points. Part of the recreation area upstream of Canon City. Another bitter cod morning.
12) Barr Trail, Pikes Peak. I hiked a couple miles up trail this foggy March morning after a fresh light snowfall. As I descended I dodged trail runners headed uphill. The toughest part was walking back down Ruxton Ave on the icy streets back to my car.
13) Rocky Mountain National Park, Lily Lake. Bear Lake road was blocked by five foot snow drifts, so I headed to Lily Lake and hid behind a tree to shelter myself from the 70 mph winds. It was fascinating watching snow blow across the frozen lake.
14) Green Mountain Falls. A couple short videos of the frozen cascades coming down the east side of Pikes Peak. I cut my hand after slipping on the icy trail to the falls–fortunately there was plenty of icy water to clean the wound!
15) Green Mountain Falls, Crystal Falls in early winter.
16) Rocky Mountain National Park. I shot this the evening before #13, when the Bear Lake road was still clear of drifts–but the wind was still howling! I trudged through a couple feet of snow to set up my tripod to catch this windy sunset from Moraine Park.
17) Lake Pueblo, steam fog.
18) Siamese Twins, Garden of the Gods. Same spot as #9, this time at sunrise.
19) Maysville. Coming down from Monarch Pass, I pulled over to shoot some video of the clearing snow storm.
20) Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. View at sunset from Rock Point, a couple miles up the (closed in winter) south rim road.
21) Black Canyon, a few minutes later–the moonrise. Nothing but coyotes keeping me company.
22) Two sequences of the rising moon shot from my house in Pueblo West.
23) Second (waning) moon sequence (with token planet)
24) Barr Trail, Pikes Peak fog.
25) Red Rock Park, Canon City. The growing night from this hidden gem in Fremont County.
26) Tomichi Point, Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The sunrise after scene #20.
27) Sun dog, Fountain, Colorado. If you have super clear and fast vision, you can spot a formation of geese flying across the sun dog at the very start of this time lapse on this icy morning.
28) Lake Pueblo steam fog.
29) Lily Lake sunrise, Rocky Mountain NP.
30) McMillan Peak, Red Mountain Pass. I shot this sequence coming down from a steep climb up the 12,800 foot peak on the side of the famed highway that connects Montrose to Durango. This is a popular back-country ski spot, with a remote ski lodge in the heart of the San Juan Mountains.
31) Dallas Divide. Classic overlook of the Sneffels Range on a gray afternoon. Stopped at True Grit Café in Ridgway afterwards for some great beer & grub! 🙂
32) Ice cave, Rifle. Details in my previous blog article.
33) Snowstorm, Gateway Rock, Garden of the Gods.
34) Blue Mesa Lake, Sapinero, in the process of freezing.
35) Garden of the Gods. It was snowing one inch per hour this day.
36) Final video of the Three Graces, Garden of the Gods.
I hope you enjoyed the song and video! Next up–Storm Chase season!!

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The Ice Caves

Frozen Tomb : Prints Available

View from inside an ice cave, Rifle Mountain Park.

Every winter, I try to make one or two trips to the ice caves in Rifle Mountain Park, a unique area in northwest Colorado. The park is best known for its world class ice and rock climbing, but I like it for the great photo opportunities. Every year the flow of ice is a bit different due to weather and the pattern of thaw and freeze cycles. There’s always something new to photograph.

Icy Tooth : Prints Available

Chillin' Out : Prints Available

Ice Warp : Prints Available

Strange Ice formation in an ice cave.

This year, my trip in mid-March was marked by very little snow, but lots of ice thanks to all the warm days and cold nights. I found some real interesting ice formations. I also shot some timelapse for a music video that I’ve been working on all winter. That will be next post! 😉

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