Golden Mines and Snow

Got a chance to get out and shoot a few more fall pictures… with more care and attention to detail this time! So this time I brought along my preferred landscape lens, the Canon 24-105 F4L and the

Pikes Peak Autumn

Breakthrough circular polarizer. When shooting fall colors I find the polarizer to be an invaluable tool for cutting through blown out highlights and really making the colors pop! Even though I was taking the extra steps to ensure that the camera was steady, the leaves were blowing around quite a bit so I kept my shutter speed up to around an 800th of a second with auto ISO selected.

The colors were a bit more vivid after a couple days rest since the last outing, but they are definitely now showing signs of being past peak color for this season. I also brought along my old  Canon A-1 film camera, which

Sangre de Cristo Autumn

just happened to have a roll of color film in progress, so we’ll see in a few weeks how those captures turned out! I was using a 35-135 FD manual focus lens with polarizer attached to get the best out of my 35mm ISO 400 Fuji film.

Anyway, it was a magnificent day in the high country and the colors were beautiful around the historic mines of the district. We have also received a special treat in the last few days, snow on the Sangre de Cristo Range. There is still quite a bit of leftover smoke and haze from the summer fires but the peaks are beginning to show through! Since they are one of my favorite photography subjects I am a happy camper with this seasonal development 🙂 The peaks are beautiful year round of course, when you can see them, but in my opinion they are much more magnificent with snow on them! Of course a polarizer is required to really bring out the detail on distant mountains like this.

Here are a few more images for you to enjoy, I hope you like them! Click on any one of them to view a larger copy!

 

Also don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon including my latest, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” and this year’s wildlife calendar “Colorado Wildlife 2023“!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

Coyote on the Hunt
 
 
 

First Eaglet of the Season and Video

Decided to drop in yesterday and check on the eagle’s nest at Eleven Mile Canyon hoping to capture some video of the recently hatched little ones. I saw Mama eagle in the nest as I passed on my way into the canyon, and satisfied that there were still thriving offspring I continued on in hoping to get pictures of osprey and great blue heron.

Beaver in Eleven Mile Canyon

Unfortunately there were no osprey in their favorite stretch of river but as I cruised upstream I spotted an unusual object in the water. It looked like a big rock but I had never seen a rock like that in that location so I pulled the truck to a stop and readied the camera. I was surprised when I zoomed in to discover a giant beaver just sitting in the river, apparently hoping for food to float down the river into his waiting mouth.

Beaver in Eleven Mile Canyon

I snapped off a couple pictures while honing in on the best exposure settings, so I was prepared when he began to swim slowly downstream. I was able to capture a few nice images of his sleek form in the water before he was too far away.

I continued upstream and was soon at the big bend where I spotted a great blue heron fishing in the shallow calm water. I was only able to capture one image of him standing still before he took flight as I was fiddling with my camera settings.

Great Blue Heron

Those were my only opportunities for wildlife images along the river so on my way back downstream the second time I decided to stop and capture some motion blur images of the rushing water on a section of river that I had been considering for that purpose. The weather was beautiful in Cripple Creek when I left home but as usual the canyon was brutally cold. By the time I was done fiddling with the tripod I was near hypothermia and decided to cut the project short. I managed to capture a couple of technically correct images but none that satisfied my artistic desire. Perhaps next time.

Whitewater in Eleven Mile Canyon

Next stop was the nest on my way out of the canyon. I attached the camera to the tripod to try to get some steady video footage while looking through the binoculars for the eaglets poking their heads above the nest. While I was commenting that I couldn’t see the little ones, a tiny head appeared over the rim of the nest and I was fortunate to capture a cameo of one eaglet. There may be more to follow but one is all I could verify on this day.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the pictures and video of the first eaglet of the season to appear above the nest!

Eagle and Eaglet

And of course if you enjoy the content and want to contribute to the cause, please feel free to click the donate button!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

And don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon!

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

Finally Used my ND 16 Filter

Finally got a chance to test out my ND 16 filter! On our road trip to Jefferson Lake we noticed a nice little waterfall at Tarryall Reservoir that I’ve never even heard of before. We stopped for a bit to see if we could get a good view of it for pictures but we were focused on moose and didn’t want to spend the time to get out a tripod and a make a long exposure so we quickly scouted out the location and hit the road.

What is an ND 16 filter you ask? It’s a color neutral density filter that comes in varying degrees of darkness, the 16 in this case translates to four stops of light. So on a scene that might normally call for a 200th of a second shutter speed at F8 can be shot with a two second shutter speed at the same aperture. This of course means that anything in the image that is moving is going to be blurry in the final image. In this case the water is moving and will show as a smooth flow down the mountain. I shot the below image without the ND filter as we were scouting out the scene and as you can see the water appears rough and frozen in place by the fast shutter speed. The bottom image shows smooth flowing water using a slow shutter speed facilitated by the ND filter.

Waterfall

You have to be very careful when buying an ND filter to make sure you are getting the light stops that you think you are, some filters use a filter factor naming system, while others just use the optical density system. To be sure of your filter you may need to consult this chart created by B&H Photo as a guide. For instance, while the ND16 is four stops on the filter factor scale, your ten stop filter may be labeled with an ND 3.0 rating on the optical density scale. I happen to have a nine stop filter called ND2.7. Very confusing, I know… But don’t feel bad, I spent almost $100 on an ND4 filter thinking I was getting a four stop filter, but only wound up with a nearly useless half a stop of light modification 😦

Well anyway, our day of moose and hawk photography was complete and we were on our way home when we stopped for long exposures of  the waterfall. Unfortunately we encountered a rather formidable fence as we made our way down the hillside to our intended shooting location and were forced to Plan B which as of yet did not exist  :{ It appeared that if we switched to long lenses we might get a view from the hillside on the opposite side of the valley, so back to the car it was. We loaded up our stuff and drove around the mountain to the other side where we got all our gear back out, switched to the 100-400 F4-F5.6 lenses and fitted them with a four stop filter.

Waterfall at TarryallA short climb up the hillside yielded a pretty good view, so I set up the heavy tripod and attached the camera.  I could hear the sound of thunder echoing across the valley and a quick look at the approaching clouds revealed that I was not going to have long to pull off this shot. I put my camera in Live View, selected a two second exposure and watched the screen as I dialed in a suitable aperture, which turned out to be F10 at ISO 100.

By the time the first sprinkles were hitting my face I was satisfied that I had the shot… Packed up my gear and headed for the vehicle and it was a good thing we didn’t get too far as within a few seconds we were in a deluge of water and hail that was almost severe enough to require pulling off the road! But we were able to keep going slowly and eventually drove out of the foul weather and into the beautiful light of evening.

Well anyway, I hope you find the article helpful and the image enjoyable! If you find the content useful please consider following my blog and / or supporting my work with a donation or a tip by clicking the buttons at the beginning and end of the article 🙂

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Panorama of a Storm

The skies have cleared and the warm Colorado sun is shining on the freshly snow capped mountains once again. I decided to try and get out for pictures and a nice snow shoe trek… which turned out to be no easy task. I quickly discovered that my windshield scraper had met a cruel fate sometime in the last couple of days so I was reduced to trying to scrape with only a piece of the blade 😦 Eventually the defroster kicked in and I was able to get out of the driveway.

Fresh Snow on the Sangre

The roads in town weren’t too bad and I was quickly on my way to the trailhead. However the highway was extremely icy and even though I spotted an amazing looking herd of elk I dared not stop for fear of being unable to get going up the hill again 😦 As I passed by the overlook I noted that it had been plowed and was easily accessible if I were so inclined.

Unfortunately the parking lot at the trailhead was not plowed and as I pulled in I could feel my tires slipping and spinning on the icy snowy mess so I just kept going so I wouldn’t get stuck. I barely made it back out to the entrance so I ran the stop sign and continued back towards town.

The conditions weren’t that great for photography, lots of haze lingering in the air obscuring the complete bright white mantle of fresh snow on the Sangre de Cristo, but I decided to try my luck at the overlook anyway. I snapped a few of the magnificent range when it occurred to me that this might be a good day for a panorama 🙂 I set up the shots in manual mode, iso 100 with 160th of a second and f11 for good depth of field. The image combines 15 vertical exposures into a 120×20 inch full size image using thephotomerge feature in Adobe Photoshop. The sky wasn’t an even blue all the way across due to the bright sunlight on the middle of the scene, but I think it turned out halfway decent… What do you think?

Fresh Snow on the Sangre

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal!

Deer & Crystal Reservoir

Pretty successful day today… Have been trying to find out about hours and fees on the Pikes Peak Highway via phone with no luck this spring. Specifically I was wondering if the reduced fee for visiting the reservoirs only was in effect yet. Today I was determined to find out for sure! Best way to find out? Just drive up to the toll gate and ask, I figured!

Pikes Peak and Crystal ReservoirOkay, for anyone wanting to know for sure, the highway opens at 9:00 a.m and you need to be heading down by 4:30 p.m.  The fee to the peak is $15 per person and only $5 per person if you wish to go no further than the Catamounts and Crystal. $5 seemed a small price to pay after having driven all the way down there, so I paid the fee and proceeded on to Crystal with a couple of stops along the way for short hikes and some pictures of a cute looking deer herd.Mule deer doe on a beautiful Colorado spring morning

The reservoir was magnificent today, accentuated by the beautiful blue Colorado sky. Luckily a clear day finally coincided with a free day for me so that I could actually see something besides the fog which has plagued the area for much of the spring. And I was rewarded with a few images worthy of posting to my website. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed to discover that I had made a focusing error on the best image of all by forgetting to hit the back button focus on the front deer when it appeared on the scene. The camera remained focused on the more distant deer which does not work at all 😦 The two images shown in this post are available exclusively on my personal website at Pixels.com as both print and stock.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items