Fall is coming

Fall is coming

Took the 8yo to the mountains yesterday. We were hiking near a waterfall on Scott Gomer Creek (up Geneva Road outside of Grant), and I spotted this fall-colored leaf on a rock in the creek. Not totally sure I am done with post on this one yet, but I am quite fond of the image. Would love your thoughts.

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Fall in Colorado

Aspens

It’s fall here in Colorado, and it has turned out to be one of the best in recent memory for the spectacular color’s we are getting from the aspen trees. The whole state is doing well right now. It’s actually a really tricky thing. Most years we get an early snow or cold snap that just freezes the leaves and kills them quick, robbing us of displays like this. But a dry, warm summer with gradual turning towards autumn temps have really made this a viewing season to trump all. Hope you got out to see them.

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Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells is one of the most photographed locations in Colorado. It’s hard to make a unique image of the area, but I still like this shot I took in September of 2011.

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Reflections – Photo of the week

Reflection of Torrey's Peak in the Colorado Mountains.
This is a reflection of Torrey’s Peak (a popular 14′er to climb in Colorado) as seen in a puddle on the forest service road leading up to the mountain. I rotated it in post processing so that the mountain was upright. Many people have commented on it, so I thought you might like to order a print for your home or office.

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Snow Day – Photo of the Week

Quiet snowy ski trail at Sunlight Mountain Resort in Colorado.
This is one of my all time favorite images, as it conveys how peaceful it was on the snow that day. Skiing, for me, is the ultimate way to make peace with the world. When I am out there, it is just me and the mountain, and I can push myself as hard as I like, or take it as easy as I want to. If I want, I can just lay down on the hill and stare at the sky for a while. Almost like meditation.

And this feeling doesn’t just come when I am skiing by myself. I ski with people of varying abilities all the time. If I am out with a beginner or intermediate, they always worry that they are keeping me from enjoying the mountain. That fear could not be any further from the truth. I am just happy to be there, and happy to share the mountain with my friends and family. With this photo, I hope to share some of that peace with you too. This photo is also available as one of the options for my Colorado-style notecard / holiday greeting card offering for 2008. Order your print today. For a digital download, or for commercial licensing, please contact me directly.

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The “Shingles” Are Out

Lakewood High School Cheerleaders 2008-09
Last week I said that I felt like I was ready to start offering my services. Today I am announcing that I am officially in business. I am now offering my services for both portrait (senior pictures, group events, family portraits and corporate headshots) photography as well as real estate photography.

Why both?

Well, because I like both. And I have time for both, at least right now while my business is new. I decided to pursue portraits because of two things:
1) Megan’s Senior Pictures for Lakewood High School came out so well.
2) One of Megan’s cheerleading friends told me, in no uncertain terms, that she wants me to do her Senior Pictures when it’s her time. That made me feel pretty confident about what I am doing, and confidence is often the last hurdle when undertaking a new endeavor.

I also decided to pursue the real estate photography business because I think I have an eye for it. I know what sold me on my house, and I think I can help a realtor project the image of a house that will speak to people. With how badly the credit market is tightening up, I think it will be more important than ever to have the highest quality imagery for a property that is for sale.

I am not limiting it to real estate for sale though. I also intend to do resort and hotel photography too. Based on the photos I have taken at the Westin Kierland Resort and the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, I want to offer my services to those types of properties as well.

I have added pages to this site outlining my portrait services as well as my resort/ real estate photography services. You will find sample portfolios for each service. If you are interested in either, please contact me so we can get some dates on the calendar.

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Finding the time

Colorado Aspens in HDR from Photomatix
I am very fortunate in that I travel a fair degree, both with my family and without. When I am traveling without them, it is fairly easy to stop along the way, take detours to photogenic subjects, etc.

It’s when I am with the family that it gets more complicated. Especially on a trip like our last one. We were making the ~350 mile drive from Denver to Durango to do a campus visit at Fort Lewis for our oldest (she is going off to college next year). I didn’t expect the fall colors to still be quite so intense, but I did know, from past trips down that way, that I would want to take pictures of at least a few things.

On the way down, we did make one stop for photos on Wolf Creek Pass. I didn’t get anything spectacular, I did practice with panorama mode a little bit. A few miles further down the road, I did catch a glimpse of an aspen stand that I liked. But we were already 5 hours into this drive and even I didn’t think it would be worth it to stop.

During the course of the next couple days, we spent a fair amount of time in downtown Durango. I had my camera with me, and took a bunch of pics of the Fort Lewis Homecoming Parade, but that didn’t yield anything spectacular. I almost went to the railroad tracks to get pics of the trains coming back for the night, but even that didn’t sound good to me. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has had more pictures taken of it than I ever will take in my lifetime. So these would pretty much be snapshots for me as opposed to anything of value. I could have gone down to the railyard to try and recreate this image I shot a few years ago, but I had this nagging doubt that it was getting too late and the moment just wouldn’t be there. Clearly my focus was on other things.

Saturday evening the kids wanted to go do some shopping. I opted to return to the condo instead, and the family took off to the mall. When we had arrived at the Ferringway condos on Friday, I did make a mental note that this place would be good additional practice for my real estate photography. In doing so, I could practice positioning of my wireless flash (love those eBay Cactus triggers), practice HDR exposures (in proper increments this time), and in general practice the proper views of the rooms. So after they dropped me off, I did just that. The results are pretty good I think. Good enough that I think I am ready to officially start trying to make a go of this real estate photography thing, both in Lakewood/ Denver as well as the mountains (Summit County, etc).

On the drive back Sunday, we did make two unplanned stops. The stand of aspens that I saw was still very vibrant. So we stopped and I spent about 10 minutes taking pictures (the one above is one of the HDR versions, processed in Photomatix). We also stopped at the north base of Wolf Creek Pass to get some pictures of the creek. Noone of those came out too well, but there was a good shot of the rock formations that I like.

I try to balance family and photography as much as I can when I am with the family, but sometimes it feels like I should try to do more on the photography side when we go certain places. How do you balance it?

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Colorado Fall Colors

View from the Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek
Last week I had the privilege of staying at the Park Hyatt Resort in Beaver Creek, Colorado for the 2008 Governor’s Colorado Tourism Conference. The event was a huge success, and the keynote’s and breakout’s alike were immensely valuable.

One thing that kept getting mentioned was how intense the fall colors were. A co-worker and I drove up Wednesday morning. Along the way we stopped near Gray’s and Torrey’s Peaks to take in the color and snap some photos. I hate doing my PP work on my laptop (the photo above was done on the laptop and I think it is time to recalibrate the color on it), so I saved most of them until this week. I’ll work on the post processing and get the photos online in the next few days. I think I got some good shots, including some beetle kill ones that might make for good stock imagery, since that is such a hot topic these days.

Sadly, the beautiful color may not have lasted through the weekend. As we were leaving Beaver Creek on Friday afternoon, storms were blowing in with a fury. And I saw on the news last night that it was snowing pretty good in the mountains. That usually equates to the leaves being knocked off the trees. Hopefully you were able to experience it while it was there, I can’t remember the last time the colors were so vivid. By the way, the photo above is the view from my room at the conference.

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