So why *did* the elk cross the road?

Apparently to stick his tongue out at me:

So why *did* the elk cross the road?

Or, maybe he’s just a big Miley Cyrus fan?  At any rate, let this image serve as a reminder to always keep your camera in your lap when venturing into an area with active wildlife.  We took a family trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park (in northern Colorado) this past weekend, and not far inside the park’s gate, we spotted this stunning bull elk grazing just off the far side of the road.

By the time I’d pulled over and retrieved my camera from the car’s back seat, our visitor was up on the road, crossing over to our side.  I only had time to fire off a couple of hasty shots (through the closed driver’s side window) before he was behind our car entirely.  Thank heaven for auto-focus.

The elk’s expression is, of course, hardly majestic.  But you know how bad they are about following direction…

Fireworks in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This past weekend, our family was able to spend a few days (including July 4th) in Steamboat Springs — always a treat and source of plenty of photographic opportunities to boot.  This is the first time, though, that I had the opportunity to photograph the town’s fireworks.  So since there’s not a whole lot of information about the show online, I thought I should do a quick write-up to help future visiting photographers.

July bouquet

At least when we visited, the fireworks were shot off from three locations on the sides of Howelsen Hill — centered roughly on the ski jump, south and west of downtown. This means that many spots downtown will give you a partial view of the fireworks, but they seem to be fired to a low altitude — so unless you’ve got rooftop access, you’re likely to have an obstructed view. Continue reading

Down from on high

An abstract shot from the Ice Castle in Breckenridge, Colorado:

Down from on high

One of the fun things about living in Colorado is the plethora of great photographic subjects at hand. Among these, a new one (to me) is the “Ice Castle” built in Breckenridge during the winter. Made out of thousands of icicles, with imbedded LED lighting, it’s fun to walk through and a great photo subject.  The lighting changes colors every few seconds, so you’ll need to be on your toes if you want to capture a formation lit with a particular color — and a tripod (or one of these) along with some sort of remote (corded or cordless) are pretty much essential.

Oh, and one more piece of advice — look up!  If you limit yourself to photos taken on the level, you’ll miss some really interesting abstracts like this.

Waiting for a break in the weather

Life’s been a bit busy for us lately, but we managed to run off into the mountains for a little R&R over the July 4th extended weekend.  One of our stops was the neat little ghost town of Ashcroft, near Aspen.  On our way through the sights, my daughter alerted me to this little hummingbird perched on an old bit of wood.

Waiting for a break in the weather

Fortunately for me, this little guy was very patient on his perch — alert and watchful, but never startling or making any apparent move to fly off.

Continue reading

A different sort of last supper

The Denver Chalk Art Festival is always a colorful (if crowded) experience for photographers.  This year, it happened to coincide with the Denver Comic Con — so it was fitting that the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design (RMCAD) contributed this work based on cartoon / sci-fi characters:

A different sort of last supper

One of the hallmarks of RMCAD art works is their use of reflectors to turn a curved artwork into something that is visually straight when seen from just the right angle.  If you look carefully, you can see the bottom edge of their reflector in the top third of the above image.

Continue reading

Licensious

I photographed this little bit of mountain culture up in the “ghost town” of St. Elmo, Colorado a few years back:

Licensious

I put “ghost town” in quotes because, although it’s officially a ghost town, St. Elmo is the summer home of quite a few people (and year-round home of a few).  Sure, it’s not the hopping spot it was back in its heyday — but it’s still fun to visit!

If you were curious, here’s the collection of license plates in its native habitat:

The plates