Nothing but Blue Skies

Fall Awakening, Kebler Pass, CO

On a recent fall photography trip to one of my favorite places, Kebler Pass, just outside of Crested Butte, CO, I had four days of absolutely beautiful weather.

It was kind of a bummer.

I know that that's an odd thing to say considering everyone would want beautiful weather for their fall photography trip, right? Well, yes and no. In the case of being a landscape photographer, sometimes a little inclement weather provides the most interesting subject matter. I just love the interplay of clouds and the landscape.

In the above image taken a couple of years ago on Kebler Pass, a storm was bearing down upon this ridgeline, creating a fascinating interplay of light and shadow. When the moment is right, and with a little bit of luck, magic can happen.

By contrast, a plain blue sky, while a beautiful thing to experience on a warm fall day, gets pretty plain pretty fast in an image. Golden Aspen leaves look great contrasted against blue, but if that stretch of blue sky is taking up too much of the frame it kind of becomes an empty blue void.

Here are some of my more successful attempts this past season.

Fading Light, Kebler Pass, CO

In the above image, I chose to come in closer with my lens choice and take in a smaller part of the ridgeline as the sun was dipping below the horizon.

Towering Aspens, Kebler Pass, CO

One of the ways I found to break up those blue skies was by getting right into the forest with my wide-angle lens and capturing the towering, majestic feeling of those aspens. In the case of this image, I once again caught these during the last light of day, with the sunlight peeking through at the bottom of the frame.

Another thing I found myself drawn to was the ferns that grew underneath some of these enormous Aspen trees. In this particular area they provided a lush blanket that was waist high or higher in the spots. Again, using a wide-angle lens, I was able to emphasize these ferns and the contrast between them and the Aspen. Again, the sun came peeking through the trees.

Aspens and Ferns, Kebler Pass, CO

Reflections in water were a recurring theme for me this year, and one of the ways I found to create a more interesting foreground. This enabled me to rely less on the sky. On this particular trip to Kebler, I focused a lot more on beaver ponds.


East Beckwith Peak and Beaver Ponds, Kebler Pass, CO

Earlier in the fall, on another trip entirely, I also found myself focusing on water. I just love the interaction between water and the reflections of changing Aspens. Some of my favorites were in this little pond I found in Mueller State Park.


Pond and Reflections, Mueller State Park, CO

And in this image, I came in close on the water and the reflections of the aspens in between the fallen logs floating on the surface.

Fall Reflections, Mueller State Park, CO

These are some of my more successful fall photographs this year. My favorites will be added to my Colorado gallery along with others from years past. Drop me a line and let me know your favorite(s).