Off to the (coffin) races!

Every place you may go has its own little… quirks. One of the fun quirks to be found in Colorado’s Front Range is the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races, held in Manitou Springs. As you might expect, it’s held in the days leading up to Halloween, and it commemorates a beloved former resident of the town.

Emma moved to Manitou Springs in 1899, hoping to find a cure for her tuberculosis in the town’s mineral springs. Sadly, the water didn’t work for her, and she died only two years later. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of the nearby Red Mountain, and so 12 hearty souls carried her casket up the mountain to fulfill that wish. But once again, her luck didn’t hold — after 3 decades of hard winters and spring rains, her coffin came racing down the mountainside in 1929. Since 1995, the local Chamber of Commerce has hosted the coffin races in her memory, and honestly, as an off-kilter fun event for the community (and lots of out-of-towners who drive in for it).

Strange planet

The Flatirons, just west of Boulder, Colorado. But seen in infrared, and with some color tweaks in post-processing.

Strange planet

I love the Flatirons, but they’re one of those subjects that is exhaustively photographed here in Colorado. So, how to make a shot of them that doesn’t look like a million others? Oh, and I went hiking on kind of a “blah” sort of morning — light overcast, some snow on the ground (but not enough to really set off the rock). My regular color photos taken with a regular digital camera were… underwhelming.

Fortunately, I also took along my E-PM2 camera body (which I’d had converted to full spectrum imaging), and a 720 nm infrared filter. Do a little color channel swapping, fiddle a bit with levels to separate the rock from the trees, and presto — you’re on a distant world.

Olympus E-PM2 camera (full spectrum conversion), M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens, 720nm filter
ISO 200, 19mm, f/8.0, 1/250 sec

Ullr in the storm

A snow sculpture of Ullr, norse god of skiing, on display at the 2023 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.
Ullr in the storm

As luck (good? bad?) would have it, our drive up to Breckenridge for the 1st public day of sculpture viewing coincided with the arrival of another storm front. Appropriate, I suppose, for a bunch of sculptures made from snow.