Been & Going

[Images from the Id] – In Search of the Elusive Barn or How Did I Miss That?

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Images from the Id – In Search of the Elusive Barn or How Did I Miss That?

Steamboat Springs Colorado is a great destination any time of the year except the late spring when the thaw occurs. This is affectionately called the “Mud Season” for good reason. We always make the Ballon Rodeo in early July and usually one more trip when it’s not Mud Season. So much for that, the problem here is when there is an iconic image you just have to have – what do you do? There are many of those shots in Steamboat and the one we were after this time was a Barn. We always go to the art shows and galleries when we are there and this barn shows up everywhere. We have been going to the area for years and never seen this barn. We had looked at just about all of the places we could think of to find it. On to other spots. Yampa Valley Botanic Gardens- a great little garden with many mountain species and great for photography,;Fish Creek Falls- maybe the original Coors Beer waterfall (I am not a beer drinker, even though in elementary school my best friend was one of the Coors family.) This is a great place to practice shooting moving water. Then I got an idea. Why not just ask where the barn is?  At one of the galleries I asked! “Oh yes, that barn is right behind the City Market” was the answer.  Oh, Crap! We travel this route four times a day to and from the condo. Next time, we looked and there it was surrounded by 10 artists painting it for a class. Time to shoot. On the downside, in the last four yeasr after we found the barn the city has decided to “renovate” it and condos and housing is rising around it, making the shot much more difficult. The best shot is in the winter with snow on Mount Werner, showing the ski runs, in the background. This last trip we were hoping for snow but Mother Nature had 60 degrees in the plan.

Barn 1 (1 of 1)

This barn is only about 100 yards from the condo and actually in the corner of a parking lot. No one seems interested in it and the background is difficult. Taken in July 2012 with a Nikon d5100, not my favorite camera!. HDR of 3 exposures, ISO 200, Average shutter 1/250, f/11, 55 mm


Barn 2 (1 of 1)

Another barn, farther away and across the Yampa River. Basically the same information on the same day as there last one. Taken in July 2012 with a Nikon d5100, not my favorite camera!. HDR of 3 exposures, ISO 200, Average shutter 1/250, f/11, 55 mm. Did have my D7100 yet, so why didn’t I use the D300?? Still nice but these more consumer/automatic cameras are hard for a pro to use.

More Barn 3 (1 of 1)

This is “The Barn” also known as the More Barn. Slightly different info. Taken in July 2012 with a Nikon d5100, not my favorite camera! (yep). HDR of 3 exposures, ISO 100, Average shutter 1/90, f/22, 52 mm

More Barn 2 (1 of 1)

My favorite of the More Barn. Taken this October. I love the natural look here. I was able to hide the new condo etc and show the ski hill. The light color of the hill is cause by trees that have been killed by disease carried by the Pine Beetle. AKA Beetle Kill, 1/13 sec (tripod), f/18 for depth of field, -1/3 EV, ISO 100, 50 mm My favorite camera the Nikon D7100

[Images from the Id] – On the Road Again or too Much and too Little?

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Images from the Id – On the Road Again or too Much and too Little?

After almost two straight weeks of traveling and shooting, I think I have recovered and getting  back from a little exhaustion and even some photo burnout. The exhaustion is  more emotional than physical and the burnout is a combination of physically being on the move and mentally the result of over 3600 images! Don’t get me wrong I love the balloons and entertaining my sister-in-law, and avid and excellent photographer, but 3600 images and I thought I was being conservative. Me conservative, HA! Just remember, what goes in, snap, must come out, processing. I love the hunt but sometimes I am overwhelmed with just the prospect of sorting and  choosing the images to work on.  Adobe Lightroom 5 is a great help. Without it, I would be totally unable to function. Photographers talk ceaselessly  about their workflow or the procedure they use to catalog, sort and process their images. With the coming of Lightroom it has became and endless discussion of what the best workflow is. I have seen professional photographers who use 4 pieces of software and 45 minutes to do what I can do in 10 minutes with Lightroom. I have known them to waste time making endless, unneeded, Tiff file backup copies are unneeded with an understanding of Lightroom. Point is everyone needs a system. Every photographer from a beginner to pro needs to organize and establish a consistent workflow. For the casual photographer nothing is better than iPhoto or better yet Aperture. These can link all of your personal images together in one place. You iPhone, computer, iPad are all interlinked, but it is only for Apple hardware. The next step up would be Adobe’s Photoshop Elements which is for Windows and Mac. It includes organization software and is easy for the beginner. More advanced is the Adobe Photographers Creative Cloud Subscription. This includes Lightroom 5.6 and Photoshop CC 2014. It costs $9.99/month and is a good deal for those working at growing and producing the best they can. They both take effort to learn but are unlimited in possibilities

Back to my problem. I use  two basic rules for sorting. First, keep only images that you would like anyone else to see. Second, keep any personal images to document a trip or family.

Albuquerque? I’ll keep most of the balloon shots, what too cool. Steamboat Springs, the barn shots and the waterfalls, lots of instructional images there and some others. Eyes Park? Some good elk shots but the Landscapes were not too hot or actually too hot, no snow or color.

Image #1 – One solution to a problem, when the scene is dull with no contrast converting to black and white may help

Spanish Peaks (1 of 1)-2

Spanish Peaks 1/20 sec, f/20, ISO 100,105 mm, 0 EV Initial processing in Lightroom left these images flat and uninteresting. Converted this one to Black and White in Silver Effects Pro

Ludlow CO – The site of the Ludlow Miner Massacre April 20, 1914

Ludlow (1 of 1)

HDR processed in Photomatix Pro from 5 images 1 f-stop apart. information for average exposure –  1/50 sec, f/13, ISO 100,12 mm. I love the effect of the wide angle lens.

The Road to Santa Fe.


Road to Santa Fe (1 of 1)


Look for something unusual. 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 200 mm Processed in Lightroom. A good demonstration of selective focus. A smaller aperture such as f/22 and too much would be in focus. A bigger aperture such as f/5 and the background would be too blurry. Practice this often.

[Images from the Id] – Friday Morning at the Fiesta or 3:30 in the Morning?

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Images from the Id – Friday Morning at the Fiesta or 3:30 in the Morning?

One of the things we do as photographers is make friends. It is the rare situation when a fellow photographer does like to meet others and talk shop. It is just as important to make friends with non-photographers, it can really pay off. Friday morning in Albuquerque, a bucket list payoff, a ride in a hot air balloon. I have explained about our friendship with the Dee III crew and it was time.

Dawn Patrol is a group of balloons, which because of a combination of training and equipment, is allow to fly before sunrise. As with all balloon flights, the possibility of a flight is dependent upon the weather. Rain and wind can prevent any flights. This year at ABQ the odds looked like about 50%. The plan was, 3:30 am alarm to meet the crew and ride into the Fiesta Park. One of the biggest problems with the Fiesta is parking. The lots are known to fill up by 6:30 am so the early rise is quite worth it. Entering with the balloon is the only way to go. We did this twice and in the future plan to make it the usual habit. On our flight day the weather looked good only a few high clouds.

If you are not familiar with the procedure, the balloon is laid out on a large tarp, in this case blue with white stars. The balloon is then inflated (never say “blown-up”) by two large gas powered fans. The top of the balloon is held down by one of the husky crew members. One of the things Tim, the pilot, likes to do is to take spectators, especially children, inside the balloon through the side vent. Once the balloon is inflated the pilot sets the top vent, this actually goes by many names including deflation vent, parachute vent, etc. At the bottom opening, the basket is on its side and has all of the ropes, cables and fuel lines correctly attached. The pilot does this him/herself to assure it is all correct. When everything is double checked the main propane burner is lit. This is spectacular in the dark. The sound is awe inspiring. The heat produced is aimed into the envelope and the balloon begins to rise from the ground. The crew member holding the top shows his value by keeping the rise under control. As the envelope becomes buoyant, the basket is brought to vertical and as many surrounding by-standers as possible are recruited to add ballast to keep the balloon on the ground. With a small amount of difficulty we climbed into the basket. I blinked and we were 50 feet into the air. Photographing was almost impossible. Low light, small basket and honestly excitement made it difficult. The night view of the city and the park was just beautiful. The balloons have two propane burners one for the hot flame and the other burns less oxygen creating less heat but a bright yellow flame which illuminates the envelope . This is spectacular. Thirty minutes later we skimmed low over the rooftops of a southwestern subdivision, nice to have the flat roofs of the adobe style homes, landing in the middle of a cul-de-sac. Quick, everybody in the chase crew hold on, we climb out of the basket, refuel, new passengers get in and a second take off. We are now part of the chase. The pilot expects the chase to be under the balloon at each landing basically to refuel and hold down the balloon. Navigating the streets at barely legal limits seems a superman task but we are there for landing number two in a field of tumble weeds. The balloon is made buoyant and walked to the street for a repeat, change passengers and refuel. The third chase begins. Morning is almost over, the air is warming and flying done. The third landing is next to a business and bystanders are recruited to help lay out the tarp and deflate. What a day! As I told Tim earlier, I am afraid of heights, Tim’s comment, “I am too” Result NO fear. It was just plain amazing and I will do it again, as I said, “Anytime ballast is needed”

This week I am just doing a gallery of shots. most where at high ISO (1600 or more) low shutter and wide open aperture. You will notice some camera or balloon motion.

Balloon (7 of 7) Balloon (6 of 7) Balloon (5 of 7) Balloon (4 of 7) Balloon (3 of 7) Balloon (2 of 7) Balloon (1 of 7)

[Images from the Id] – Sitting in Albuquerque With Something to Do or Did I Really Do That?

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Images from the Id – Sitting in Albuquerque With Something to Do or Did I Really Do That?

Any one that knows me knows I have always had an extreme fear of heights. It manifests itself in climbing ladders, walking on the roof to service the cooler, anything above 5 feet will do. Fear, vertigo and general shaking will kick in but I also have the philosophy of challenging myself to the limits of my abilities and range of activities.

Scenario – After making fiends with a couple of hot-air balloon pilots about 3 years ago at the Steamboat Springs Balloon Rodeo, we kept in contact through Facebook etc. At the Rodeo this July, my wife “cons” Tim Taylor of Dee III  to take us for a flight. She was thinking of the Colorado Balloon Classic in Colorado Springs on Labor Day. Tim was extremely enthusiastic and suggested the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta because although he would be at the Classic he would not be flying. Three months pass and with mixed emotions we arrive in Albuquerque. Understand, I don’t like large crowds and you can guess that the anticipation of a flight left me a little shaky.

Thursday morning, alarm at 5 am. Yes, balloons do fly in the cooler air and less wind of the morning. The day’s schedule included a Dawn Patrol of a few balloons with “running” lights launching before dawn, the inflation and assent of the special shape balloons, glow of the special shapes at dusk, then fireworks. We had ordered tickets in advance for the shuttle bus, bypassing the worst part of a large crowd, parking. To limit my description to a few words is very difficult. The fear of the crowd was no problem- the site is huge and the crowd is spread out. Then there’s the balloons. To use a term I generally hate, OH MY GOD, I have never experienced anything like that. I have seen and shot a lot of hot-air balloons but almost 500 in one place at one time was overwhelming. We found a spot about in the center of the field. Four Dawn Patrol ( I think that term maybe trademarked) balloons took off a little late. The sun started to gradually light the field and inflation began.

Hot-air balloons are first inflated by two portable gasoline powered fans. Once the balloon is inflated on the ground, the burner is fired up and the air heated to raise the envelope. The photo opportunities are infinite. I love shots of the colors and shapes of the balloons. Don’t forget to get the patterns of inside of the balloon as it fills from the fans. I have a couple of shots from the interior looking out. Albuquerque is a hard shot because so much is happening everywhere and the exposures are extremely difficult. You mush continually check your histogram and over-ride the camera. If you are very experienced with manual exposure you’re way ahead. The weather co-operated because the ability to fly needs almost perfect conditions and the skies where beautiful. 400 shots later, many will go in the trash, At 9 am, we happily return to the room via the shuttle. There was no glow that evening because of the weather but we missed our turn off of I-25 because of the fireworks. Next week, Friday Morning at the Fiesta or 3:30 in the Morning?

I think I counted 19 balloons in this shot. I have one shot with about 90 balloons. They just surround you. 1/320 sec, f/7.1,-1/3 EV, ISO 400, 90 mm/135 mm



Chariot – One of 90 different special shape balloons. The details are great. 1/400 sec, f/5.0, ) EV, 65 mm/97 mm, ISO 100



Pigasus – Flying pigs really do exist. 1/640 sec, f/5.0, )EV,ISO 400,70 mm/105 mm




[Images from the Id] The Truth About Panoramas

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Images from the Id – The Truth about Panoramas or Where in the hell do I find a frame for this?

Every one knows what a panorama is, right? And for fall – WOW! Well, digital photography has changed this as much as everything else. The iPhone and other smart phone have their way of doing it, while actually pretty cool. There is a little Microsoft (yuk; another story) call Photosynth which I actually like – it works! I have been using it for a while it makes panoramas on the iPhone, and I assume other smart phones, easy. Now ISO 8 has a built in panorama function, it may have been there before but I never looked for it. It does a pano in a continuous movement of the “camera” Pretty cool. If you want a bigger image for any one of a million reasons it’s time to learn how to get a good one with a camera. There are many ways to do this. You could just crop an image. Results could be good with a high pixel camera but it isn’t really a pano because the field of view is narrow depending on the lens and with a wide angle lens there goes the quality. Some cameras do it in camera but that is limited to jpegs and by now you should be shooting raw, except for sports and weddings. So what’s next?

Put your camera on a tripod. Hand holding will work but tales a  lot more practice and you get a lot of unusable junk. Level the tripod, most have built-in levels. Usually you want a level horizontal pan. Vertical pans come with more experience. Stand in one spot and don’t change the focal length (Don’t ZOOM!). Take a series of images across the scene over lapping 1/3 to get the software some the to work with. Once you have the images get them into Photoshop or Photoshop Elements as layers. I do this easily with Lightroom and “edit in Photomerge in Photoshop”. This is easy but search the web for more specific directs on how you are going to do it. There are also many third party pano merging software. One little extra trick is to take the pano series vertically, really nice. A little more advanced try merging HDR images.

Next week the art show.

Some panoramas of Rocky Mountain National Park

rm Pano-002

Image #1 This is a typical series of horizontal images. 5 as I remember. Very long and narrow. Each shot at 1/20 sec, f/16, 95 mm, ISO 200,19960 X 4055 pixels

rm Pano-003

Image #2  This is a pano taken with the camera vertical. Probably about 6 shots. 1/30 sec, f/22, 46 mm, ISO 200, 7331 X3852 pixels

rm Pano-001

Image # 3 This is a pano using 3 HDR braces for each of 5 vertical images total of 15 images. 46 mm, ISO 200, f /22, 7331 X 3858 pixels.


[Images from the Id] – Try This for Fall Color or Should I Really Over do It?

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I hate to say it but the older I get the faster life goes by. This summer set a new record. In Colorado, we had a wet summer. I’ll bet I didn’t turn the sprinkler system on 5 times. This is so unusual of us- after all we are a semi-arid state. So it seems fall has come early and it is again time for the obligatory trip to the aspens. Not Aspen, I wish it were, their aspens are amazing but that’s a 4 hour drive and would involve at least one overnight. Not in these cards…this year. Hum…a shot of the aspens around the Maroon Bells with maybe a little snow? Not now. So, how do I optimize my fall shooting, taking into consideration time and general laziness.  First let’s get up early, about 5 am. It takes about an hour to get to Guanella Pass above Georgetown and there is always a chance to see Bighorns there. But…they’re will probably be blasting the new tunnels at Idaho Springs and that means traffic congestion and delays. The color was not the best on the pass last year.

How about Kenosha Pass and the Colorado Trail? It’s about an hour down US-285 toward Fairplay, aka. South Park 8-}. We could get there during the “Golden Hour” easily and be parked before everyone else shows up after 10 am. That’s the place to go this year.

Equipment: I just spent a bunch on a new polarizing filter for the 18 mm-200 mm lens. Perfect!

Polarizers darken the sky and intensify colors with the expense of decreasing the amount of light to the sensor and the effect can be subtle and their value is debated with the software now used. I prefer getting the effect in the camera if I can. The 18 mm-200 mm is about perfect for this, I don’t like too wide of and angle,  The combination of this with the APS (DX) sensor with its inherent 50% magnification should work well. A tripod, I plan on exposure bracketing for HDR, panoramas and maybe Focus Stacking. HDR and high saturation sells at the present time as much as I dislike the extremes, it gives me great choices in processing. Hope the wind is not blowing. Don’t need “quaking aspen”. Let’s go!

Setup the tripod for great adaptability, it’s required for the best sharpness and composition. Choose a tripod that is light enough to carry, easy to set up and sturdy in a breeze. Cable release? There are ways around it but it makes life easier. Adjusting the polarizer can be fun. Generally they work better early or late, not at high noon. The Golden Hours? Try using manual exposer. This is a great time to practice because you usually have plenty of setup time and it is easy to see the exposure change with turning the polarizer for best effect. Use the aperture to get desired depth of field and hyper-focus 1/3 into the distance. Shutter speed can be a problem in the wind. Good luck and take the time to experiment remember it’s all in the practice. Maybe I’ll task about panoramas next week.

Look for color and patterns. 1/15 sec, f/19 for DoF, 44 mm, ISO 400


An HDR shot of 7 individual images variable shutter speed, f/22, 22 mm, ISO 200


An HDR shot of 7 individual images variable shutter speed, f/19, 18 mm, ISO 200


An HDR shot of 7 individual images variable shutter speed, f/27, 15o mm, ISO 200


[Images from the Id] – Stupid is as Stupid Does or Does it Take Brains?

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Images fro the Id – Stupid is as Stupid Does or Does it Take Brains?

Anybody who knows me knows that have great respect for other people and their attitudes and biases. In general, people can do what they want with in a certain number of boundaries set by  society. I even argue that the act of yelling fire in the crowded theater is not the problem but the damage it causes is. After all- there may be a fire.

Personally I dislike killing anything. Sometimes there is a necessity for food or  safety. Hunting does not usually fit those in my mind but I except I understand its value in population control and the perceived sport it involves. There were two incidences recently which convert acceptance to just plan calling it stupid. In the first an elk affectionately known as “Big Boy” was killed by a “stupid” policeman in Boulder. The animal was about as tame as bull elk can get and was totally accustomed to humans. Trophy hunt? Sport? Just plan stupidity.

Elk 2-001

Last Saturday, a bow hunter killed a moose all perfectly legally. The problem was it was in an area where the moose are perfectly accustomed to people. In fact, I have been too close to them myself there. The areas willows are usually frequented by 5-10 bull moose and they have no concern about people. I quit going there because I really didn’t like the concept of large, dangerous, wild animals becoming humanized and “stupid” people tempting the inevitable. There was always the excuse “I didn’t approach him, he approached me” to get around the rules. People including many photographers of all levels were getting to adapted to the situation.

The story goes like this. The Forest Service allows the “taking” of 2 moose in the area each year. It is a contest for the rights to kill. The archer came in with a ranger picked out the one with the largest “rack” (makes me think of a high school junior picking out a prom date) and in front of  a large number of spectators finished off the beast. There has been a huge response to the act. Most people defend the legality but condemn the location.

Moose 2-002

I have a different slant on both situations. First there was no “sport” involved in either unless killing just for the thrill of killing is sport. Second, There is no sport in killing almost tame and trusting wild animals. The raising of food animals has never been considered sport but a necessity and some have trouble with that. These are moral questions which dig in to the basic question of what the modern human believes. It is no longer, kill or be killed by our evolutionary cousins but let’s look to our selves if we need to feel threatened are plenty of threats. When killing fore killing sake is a sport, we lose the boundary between civilized and chaos.

Moose 2-001

This week’s photos are  some more elk and moose. Nothing special about shooting them (with a camera) just remember they are wild and respect them for that. These guys were very close and some important decisions were made as to how much “contact “ is ok.


[Images from the Id] – It’s Bound to Happen or How to Survive the Great Crash II

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Images from the Id – It’s Bound to Happen or How to Survive the Great Crash II

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago my MacBook crashed and thanks to Time Machine I was able to get everything up and running on the New MacBook Pro. Yeah, I chronicled the whole thing before, but now here’s the news and the magic of Mac. Disclaimer – I am very sure there are maybe similar ways to do this with Windows but I can’t even get Microsoft to reauthorize a copy of Windows 7 on a crashed Windows machine. They want me to buy another copy. I tried for an hour to get a human! Arg! I have (had) three Windows 7 machines. These were mostly to placate my curiosity to build a computer and run Quicken for business, Electric Quilt and Simulator. I have found OS X replacements for everything but the simulator.

So there I sat with a dead computer and a lot of curiosity. As I have sad before having this kind of curiosity is very expensive and very satisfying. Other people just can’t understand the huge “rush” I get when I solve a problem or make something work especially for other people. Well, here’s one for me.

A friend reminded me that I could connect two Macs with a Thunderbolt cable in tethered mode and “mount” the hard drives of one computer on the desktop of the other. Simple! The hard drives, one a SSD drive and the other mounted. I erased both drives, I had already transfer this “computer” to the new one with Time Machine (Previous Blog). Then Apple made it easy to install the newest OS X on the SSD drive of the “Dead” computer. After a little bit of restarting, about a half hour of time (these guys are fast through Thunderbolt!!), I have a brand new-old computer. Did a bunch of diagnostics and everything checks out. I now have two souped-up MacBook Pros. Anyone want a 2011 Top of the line 15”, Macbook Pro with a 500 Gb SSD and a 750 GB Hd 8 Gb Ram?

This week, we’ll look at shooting the Chihuly exhibit at The Denver Botanic Gardens. If you are not familiar with Chihuly take the time to look it up. These large, temporary, glass art installations are amazing. You may want shots of the whole pieces but I like to look for textures and shapes in the glass and its relationship to the gardens environment. The name are my names for the image not the art work. These were all done between 7 and 9 am using a special ticket to the exhibit. They were all done on a tripod. This allows control of all aspects of exposure under various conditions.


Medusa – 1/350 sec f/8, 0 EV, ISO 100, 50 mm. This is actually a composite of 5 images each 1 f-stop apart (HDR High Dynamic Range). Make sure you vary the time not the aperture so depth of field does not vary. Part of a large, 10′ diameter piece

Chihuly 2-001

Lilies – 1/4 sec, f/27, 0 EV, ISO 10, 150 mm/225 mm, Processed Lightroom 5. Keep the f-stop small for greater depth of field to get the lilies and the refection in focus. Remember to focus a refection it’s not the diastase to the water but to the object. Looked good out of focus too.

Chihuly 2-002

Lilies 2 – 1/10 sec f/22, 0 EV, ISO 100, 130 mm/195 mm, processed in Lightroom 5. Basically the same as the last one but fooled around with the wight balance.

Chihuly 2-003

A Little Black & White – 1/250 sec, f/13, -1 EV, ISO 100, 95 mm/142 mm, Processed Lightroom 5. The problem here is to get rid of the ugly wall in the background and keep the depth to the art in focus. A good lesson in using local adjustments in Lightroom.

[Images from the Id] – Another Trip to the Mountains or Surprise , Surprise

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Images from the Id – Another Trip to the Mountains or Surprise , Surprise

The word had gotten out. It had been talked about and it was passed along all of the social media and on the Forest Service Website. Mount Evans was going to close the road to the summit the day after Labor Day. So what’s the big deal? Mt Evans is 14,240 feet high! Actually, the road ONLY goes to 14,130 feet being the highest paved road in the US. If you are in shape and like a little self-torture, you can climb a well kept trail to the summit. Leaving the 80 degree Denver area at a mile high, in less than 90 minutes, you are almost 2 miles higher and 50 degrees cooler. The scenery is amazing every mile of the way. The drive can be exhilarating especially for the faint of heart lowlander. Most to the road is narrow without guardrails. Just you and the sky on some turns. The altitude can be a major problem for lowlanders and the shear drops can be tough for the acrophobic. The trees stop at about 11,500 feet (the “tree line” varies by exact location) and you are into the Alpine Tundra. Dress warm. The University of Denver has the third highest optical observatory at about 14,148 feet (according to Wikipedia).

So, other than the “thrill”, why go? The answer, for most photographers, is goats. Mountain goats are everywhere, even in the restrooms They are attracted to the minerals in the rocks that are exposed at the summit. There are other side attractions. There are Pika, extremely cute small relatives of the rabbit, sometimes Bighorn Sheep, Ravens, comical Yellow-bellied Marmot and new to me this trip the White-tailed Jackrabbit. Wow an alpine, tundra Jackrabbit.

The best is the goats. They are there most of the time because they a plentiful and you see adults yearlings and new kids. Photographing the Mountain Goat here is fun and can be done with almost any equipment. They can be too close and their horns are long and sharp. Legally they have the right-of-way. You are to never “approach” a wild animal. People stretch this but need to be more careful. The results are wonderful especially if the kids are at play. We decided to go last monday. Up at 5 am, breakfast at McD’s for speed we got to the top early and the goats were waiting. Tuesday the summit was closed because of ice and snow slides closed the road, lucky us.

Photography: After you get over the initial trill and altitude sickness, take a few portraits and the look for interesting behavior. Try not to take to many shots from the rear. We call these “Butt Shots”. Don’t forget the cute factor. You won’t get this all of the time but a little patience and warm clothing, you’ll get a ton of great shots. Switch to the Pika at the overlook. There are usually one or two running around in the rocks below the wall and that view! The Marmots are usually along the road down from the top. They can put on a great show with a little  time. Bighorns can be anywhere but much rarer to locate. The rams are even harder to find and there are better locales for them.  I have seen the Jackrabbit only once, this last trip. On the way down stop at the Mount Goliath Trailhead. There is a nice information station and trails which go along the tree line and you can photograph  the twisted Bristlecone Pines, rocks and vistas.

WT Jackrabbit-001

White-tailed Jackrabbit – 1/1500 sec, f/8.0, 0 EV, ISO 1100, 400 mm/600 mm, Processed Lightroom 5. All of thine I have gone up to the mountains I have never see one of these before. At first I thought it was a Snowshoe Hare but looking at the photos, some taken trough there windshield, confided the Jackrabbit.

Goat 2-002

Mountain Goat – 1/2000 sec f/8, 0 EV, ISO 280, 400 mm/600 mm, processed in Lightroom 5. I still like these majestic poses even thought there is not much action it is still behavior.


Pika – 1/500 sec, f/6.7, -1/2 EV, ISO 100, 400 mm/600 mm, These are the cutest! They are a little smaller than a tennis ball. Just try to get one with grass in its mouth. Good luck I have a few of those from other trips.


Marmot – 1/250 sec, f/5.6, -1/2 EV, Iso 100, 400 mm/600 mm. This is our name for the Groundhog.These guys are clowns. Some of them are well adapted to people. Got some shots of it with a youngster but there are rocks in the way. It went over to a parked car and stood up to inspect the engine. I warned the driver not to leave for a while.