Category Archives: Uncategorized

Utah Fall Color

I spent a long weekend in northern Utah shooting fall color. The maples are spectacular this year near Heber City and on the Nebo Mountain Loop.  With heavy snow and generally bad weather wreaking havoc on theColorado fall scene, I headed across the border to Utah.  I had always wanted to see the maples there and finally had the chance.  I visited several of the canyons, including Pine Creek, Big Cottonwood Canyon, and Provo Canyon.  The best color was on the Deer Creek Overlook which is located between Salt Lake and Heber City.  I also drove the Nebo Mountain Loop south of Provo which also had some dazzling color, especially near the Bear Canyon Campground.

Heber City is a pretty little town on the back side of the Wasatch Front across from Salt Lake City.  It is a perfect place to explore the various canyons to the west such as Cascade Springs, Pine Creek, and Big Cottonwood.  I walked around Cascade Springs which is a natural spring and creek.  A nature trail winds through the area. Dispersed camping is available along the road past the springs.  This portion of the road road is quite rough so bring the 4×4.  I found some cool places to shoot maples.  The color was quite vibrant in this area.  From there, I explored the Deer Creek Overlook.  This was located down the main road just a couple of miles from the springs.  This is a great place to watch the sunrise.  Too bad there were so many clouds that morning.

That afternoon I did the Nebo Mountain Loop.  This road loops from Payson to Nephi a few miles south of Spanish Forks.  It has a number of highlights including great views of bald Mountain and Nebo Mountain. The best color on the loop is found near the southern end by the Bear Canyon campground.

Also posted in Utah Tagged , , |

Southwest Black and Whites

For a while now I’ve been meaning to do a series of black and white photographs of the Southwest.  I’ve made a few trips to the National Parks of Utah recently with this in mind .  This series has photographs from Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks, and Valley of the Fire State Park.   In particular, I tried to find images that featured trees.  Many of the trees in these parks are old or dead.  Their twisted and gnarled shapes make for some wonderful compositions.  Perhaps my favorite trail was the Navajo Knobs trail in Capitol Reef. This trail has volcanic rock and a plethora of dead junipers that make for perfect black and white compositions. 

Black and White Conversion Process

I like to create contrasty black and white images to highlight these features.  I start with a color digital file.  I use the high contrast red filter in Photoshop to achieve this effect. I start with the presets of the filter and then adjust the individual color levels accordingly.  I often lower the yellow percentage just a little and lower the Cyan and Blue levels even more to darken the sky.  

Also posted in Black and white Tagged , , , , |

King Lake

The long hike to King Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness is worth the effort.  Near the end, you are rewarded with great views, rushing water, and abundant wildflowers.  Getting there requires a 6.5 mile hike from the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland, CO.  The trail begins steeply as it climbs over a rocky slope before reaching a trail divide after 1.5 miles.  Veer left (the right branch goes toward Jasper Lake). The trail crosses the creek and climbs past a beautiful waterfall.  You reach a trail divide again at mile marker 2.5.  Keep straight.  Then the trail enters the forest and climbs only gradually for the next three miles.  Not many views are found during this portion of the hike. Finally, the trail joins up with the creek again at around mile 5.5.  The next mile is steep as it switch backs up to a meeting with the Betty and Bob Lakes trail.  Just past the junction you have to cross the creek to reach King Lake.  In high water, the creek can be crossed easier to the right and then skirting back to the trail through some large boulders.  Finally, after a long hike, you reach the pretty shores of King Lake.  

Also posted in Colorado, Indian Peaks Wilderness Tagged , , , , , |

Picket Wire Canyon

I have been meaning to hike Picket Wire Canyon near La Junta, CO for some time now, but I kept putting it off.  I finally went down there to do a hike to the dinosaur tracks.  The wait was worth it.  The hike is a long one but the canyon is very green compared to the surrounding landscape. The wildflowers were also blooming in abundance due to some recent spring rains.  

The Hike

The trail starts at the Withers trailhead about 45 minutes south of La Junta.  The trail quickly descends into the canyon from the parking lot and loses about 250 feet in elevation.  Once in the main canyon, wildflowers dot the landscape including prickly primrose, sunflowers, and cholla cactus.  An old ranch house is reached after a mile.  The next landmark is a cemetery located 3.7 miles from the trailhead.  In this stretch of trail, views open up of the canyon and the Purgatory River below.  The dinosaur tracks are found another 1.5 miles down the trail.  Several Brontosaurus tracks tracks can be seen here.  An even bigger collection can be found just across the river, but due to high water, I decided not to wade it.  The hike is 11.6 miles round trip.  There is very little shade so bring plenty of water.  

Directions

Picket Wire Canyon is located south of LaJunta.  Take highway 109 from La Junta and turn onto the signed dirt road top the right after 13 miles.  The road will turn at mile 8 toward the canyon.  Follow this road for 6 miles.  One final turn is required and this road goes 3 miles to the trailhead.  The way is well-signed.  

Also posted in Colorado Tagged , , , |

Niwot Erie Girls Soccer

Niwot and Erie High Schools met in the First Round of the CHSAA 4A Girl’s Soccer playoffs yesterday.  Niwot capped a crazy comeback with a goal in the 2nd overtime to advance to the 2nd Round.  Erie led 3-2 with :25 left in regulation but failed to properly throw in the ball deep in Niwot’s end.  Niwot took advantage of the miscue going the length of the field to score the tying goal with 17 seconds left.  It was a fun game to photograph as the girls were playing hard as any number of players dove for balls or took hard hits.  A light rain also was falling throughout the game. Kudos to both teams for a hard fought, action-packed game.