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Close to home

Close to home

The pandemic caused the postponement of multiple trips this year for me (minor in the grand scheme of things, I know), but it has one silver lining in that I’ve increased exploring of my local town with camera in hand.

From evening walks in snow among deserted streets to summer sunsets, here are a few of my favorite photos closer to home in Arvada, Colorado.

Virtual Art Show Benefiting Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)

Virtual Art Show Benefiting Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) normally hosts local artists several times a year at their offices in Washington Park, Denver, including public viewings. In 2018, VOC hosted one such show for me and at the start of 2020 they kindly invited me back to do another show later this year.

And then, well, you know…

Display consultation and printing

Display consultation and printing

In a world of digital photography it’s increasingly rare to print photos or even see a photo larger than a screen on your phone or laptop.

Therefore, I’m always excited when I do have opportunities to print, whether it’s for a show, a client, or friends, as was a recent case.

Dream Lake

Dream Lake

I first visited Rocky Mountain National Park in the winter of 2002-03 when visiting Colorado. I knew remarkably little about the Park then and I believe my first hikes (snowshoes, technically) were in the Cub Lake area and Deer Mountain. Beautiful areas, but not the most iconic spots in the park, either.

I moved to Colorado in January, 2004 and the Park quickly became a  frequent playground. Snowshoeing and later hiking on many days off. Then, as I got introduced to ice climbing, I discovered the world-class climbing that the park contained. Funny how you can walk by cliff faces one day and not think anything of it and the next be able to spot famous climbing routes dotted across them. 

I got to know the Park, from its seasons to specific trails, through day hikes, backpacking, climbing, and later, photography. It was the latter that really drove my familiarity with the Park. Revisiting the same area over and over hoping the light, weather, foliage, and more would all align to create a great photo.

Photographing into the sun? Do this to remove lens flare

Photographing into the sun? Do this to remove lens flare

Including the sun in your photograph can provide a dramatic focal point to draw the viewer’s eye, but capturing and processing a pleasing photo takes more than a simple snapshot.

The photo I’m working with here was captured on a morning outing in which I was hoping for a colorful sunrise on a mountain lake, but the skies were completely clear and there was little color to be had. However, I turned around and had a nice view with the creek draining out of the lake so instead set up and waited for the sun to break the horizon.

There were two key challenges with making this photo while photographing directly towards the sun:

  • Achieving proper exposure (the sun/sky isn’t too bright and the landscape isn’t too dark)
  • Lens flare as a result of a strong light source entering the lens

Here’s how to overcome both of them.