TomHeywood
TomHeywood

Maroon Bells Fall



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6 Comments | Report
nina050 PRO+
 
nina050 May 20, 2016
This is magnificent with the reflection!
RDVPhotography
 
RDVPhotography August 06, 2016
Pretty close to same spot I captured my shot here. You got better early light than I had, nicely done
Beegirl
 
Beegirl September 22, 2016
Wonderful capture
williamwilborn
 
williamwilborn October 20, 2016
Great photo
nornots Platinum
 
nornots August 01, 2017
So fantastic !!!!
kaynorman
 
kaynorman September 22, 2018
Wow. Looks like a painting

Behind The Lens

Location
This image was taken at Maroon Bells located near Aspen, Colorado. It is easily the most photographed location in Colorado, especially in the fall when the aspens change color. Most days in the fall you are sharing this shoot location with up to a hundred other photographers from all over the world. On occasion informal shooting etiquette 101 classes take place and photographers need schooling on tripod proximity etc. One photographer even had the nerve of wearing hip waders so he could wade out in the water in front of other photographers shot in an attempt to get the best angle. He was quickly reminded there is strength in numbers and soon he would be fishing his camera from the bottom of the lake if he didn't move behind those who were there first. To get there first means sleeping in the parking lot (not allowed by park officials), or as some do shoot stars until the sun comes up. For the most part, the hoards of people shooting can actually make for a great experience. I compare this to what might resemble an impromptu photographers convention. As you are all waiting conversation breaks out and before you no it you have learned new locations to shoot near by and where you can have your camera converted to a infrared set up. I have gone back to this location several times at the same week during the year and I meet the same people there each time. In some cases we have become friends and communicate with each other throughout the year sharing the one thing that bonds us all together, a passion for photography.
Time
The morning is the best time to shoot this image as the water begins to move as the waves awaken with the wind later in the morning. The still water makes for a perfect reflection. The first light hitting the peaks adds drama and allows the best maroon color to be visible.
Lighting
The desired shot is found when the sun pops up and hits the top of the the peaks called the Maroon Bells. It is also desired to have some interesting color in clouds for added drama. And some consider the "trifecta" a perfect shot will have those two elements and also a dusting of snow. On this morning there was a predominant cloud cover and it appeared that sun was not even going to pop out and light up the tops of the peaks. This particular shot was a result of patience and persistence. As I saw most people pack up and leave I stuck around and eventually for a very short period the clouds broke to the east just enough for a brief 10 minutes of sun lighting the peaks.
Equipment
Camera, Canon 7D with a 10 - 22 wide angle lense, Gitzo traveler tripod with Acratech head.
Inspiration
What inspires me to take this shot every year is the absolute perfect composition that nature puts in front of me. The combination of the reflection, the maroon colored 14,000 ft peaks lined up, and the color of the aspens changing make for a win-win scenario.
Editing
This image was a 3 shot HDR processed in Photomatx for the HDR and then Photoshop and Lightroom for the rest.
In my camera bag
I carry a Canon 6D, a Canon 7D. Lenses include a canon 24-70 mm zoom, 17-40mm wide angle, a Canon 70 200mm f4 zoom, and often I carry a Rokinon 14mm for shooting stars. The bag itself is not a bag it is a Lowe Pro field vest that allows me to have quick access to all equipment without having to put a pack down on the ground and open it up. All my lenses, and filters, and a pouch for batteries, memory card, and accessories etc. are attached to the waist belt. I use a Peak Design capture clip to attach the cameras to my shoulder straps. Everything can be accessed immediately! If I carry a pack it is to carry extra layers of clothes and food and water.
Feedback
My advice is to spend several days there and shoot every morning while there. It might be possible to catch a special image then. I know some people have gone for several years before getting the shot they wanted. I have already got my trip planned for this location this year and will probably go back every year for years to come. It has become a tradition, a migration of photographers of sorts that occurs yearly. Wouldn't miss it, even in bad weather it is the most beautiful location.

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