The Maroon Bells

This is a continuation of a series of posts about specific locations and/or species of wildlife.

The Maroon Bells consist of two mountains, and Maroon Lake.  That makes creating this post different than others that feature say a national park.  Those parks have many different land forms and mountains and they have thousands of scenic possibilities.  Usually there is also wildlife there to photograph.

Unless you hike into the wilderness, which wasn’t likely on the day I created this, the Bells with the lake, don’t present themselves with many different compositional opportunities.  You can move across the north side of the lake and along the western edge only.   The changing light is one tool at your disposal. Changing focal lengths (lenses) of your camera is your biggest tool.  Things like flowers are great when you can find them.  I spent one morning at the Bells this on this trip.6MaroonBells 056b7lifeMaroonBells 0658maroonbells-0609conMaroonBells 05810MBellsRef

Never underestimate luck when it comes to adding some variety to a scene.  A flock of Canada Geese flew into the western edge of Maroon Lake and I recognized a chance for a picture I had never seen before, wildlife and the Bells. There is a substantial Mule Deer population here and they are fairly used to people.  If I lived in near-by Aspen, you can bet I would be looking for the chance to photograph a deer drinking out of that beautiful lake.

Let me pontificate a bit about this Bells image.  This was made after the light was beginning to get rather high in contrast.  The mountain on the left side of this photo was throwing a shadow over parts of the water.  Some of those geese were in that shadow.  I had to expose for the highlights on the Bells.  I did have a two stop graduated neutral density filter that could be turned at an angle, but two stops was not enough and I could not match the  angle of the shadow.  A year after I made these images I received Photomatix Pro 3, which is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) software.  I took a straight jpg copy of my raw file and made two more copies, one slightly underexposed from the original and another greatly overexposed.  I sandwiched those three files together which opened up the shadows (from the overexposed copy) and evened out my contrast issues. There is a luminescent quality to this image but the colors are pretty accurate in accordance with what they really looked like when I made this late morning shot.11MaroonBells 049b__c

I am forever grateful that places like The Maroon Bells were a part of my life as a photographer.  I certainly appreciate the images they brought me but it is the personal relationship that we shared, that I will never forget.

God was having a great day when he created The Maroon Bells & Maroon Lake.

Lewis Kemper has a new e-book, and was promoting that fact when he posted the text below.  His words are worth reading. Lewis is an honest man and notice he does not say that equipment and editing software and techniques don’t matter.  He does however point out that how you make your pictures is also very important.

Lewis Kemper  Today I am introducing a new product designed to make you a better color photographer! Every photographer wants to get better and in today’s world most people think that means learning more about post production or buying a fancier camera. But I believe every photographer can improve by paying more attention to light, color and composition. After all, taking pictures is not rocket science! There is a lot you can do to insure you get good images while taking pictures, and not having to rely on the digital darkroom. In this presentation I will show you ideas and concepts that you can apply immediately to get better results! These are the concepts I use on a daily basis when I create my images. They have helped me and I am sure they will help you!

If you go to my blog you can get a coupon code to save $2 off the $9.95 price!

On the heels of the above paragraphs is the news that Canon is now testing a 75 mega pixel camera.  It supposedly also carries advancements in overall quality with even higher ISO speeds (100,000?) being possible.  All of you who finally sprung for that meager 36 mega pixel camera, check the bank account because the war is just beginning to heat up.  You can pawn off those “old cameras” you just bought to some “newbie” photographers. lol!  Actually these things tend to go in streaks and then quiet down a bit.

Have a great day,                                                                                                                                Wayne

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