While the far western slope of Colorado is normally rather dry, the monsoon rains in mid to late summer bring lots of moisture, sometimes torrential rainfall, and opportunities to photograph some incredible weather. These are some photos so far from 2014's monsoon season.
A good weather forecast (this time of year, that means smaller chance of thunderstorms) and a need for some adventure among the high peaks of the San Juan range compelled me to carry a heavy pack to Mount Sneffels, where I recently spent a wonderful if sleepless night. I stayed on its east ridge between the summit and Kismet Peak at about 13,700' and enjoyed a good sunset, some brilliant stars, and a pleasant sunrise before heading down the next morning. These photos show some of the sights.
In late June, I spent five wonderful days paddling a canoe in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with my good friend Matt Hanson. These photos tell much of the story.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, tucked away near Montrose, Colorado, is not home to the widest, deepest, or narrowest canyon in the country. Black Canyon's name originates from the fact that some of its inner reaches hardly if ever get direct sunlight because of the canyon's unique combination of depth (over 2700' at its greatest), sheer walls, and narrow width (1100' at the rim, 40' at the river). Because of these dimensions, the canyon presents unique landscape-photography challenges; the high dynamic range between bright light and dark shadows make sweeping, wide-angle photographs virtually impossible unless you just happen to like the fairyland-like halos yielded by HDR approaches. Instead, I decided to shoot Black Canyon beginning half an hour before sunset, at night with the light of a setting first-quarter moon, and until half an hour after sunrise. These are the photos I made.
At just under 1300 acres, El Morro National Monument makes up in rich history what it lacks in size. A hidden, shaded pool served as a vital source of water for ancestral Puebloans and for travelers passing through the area since the 16th century. Inscription Rock, a wall of more than 2000 inscriptions, gives an accounting of many of those travelers. See the images and read more here.
Last week, I spent two days and, more interestingly, two nights exploring and photographing New Mexico's Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, one of the most interesting yet least crowded landscapes I've experienced. Read more and see the images here.
In late March, Crystal and I got the opportunity for a brief but fantastic visit to Iceland with our great friends Brooke and Jaxon. See some of the highlights here.
On February 7, my best friend Mike and I took a drive to Ouray, home of the Ouray Ice Park. Read more and see the images here.
New snow and a pair of Nordic skis are a great combination for visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in winter. Read and see more here.