A landscape photographer's tour
Steamboat - Delta
Keith's travels in Colorado - April-May 2006
- In 2004 I took my then fairly new Canon 1Ds camera on a driving tour round the Rockies in the USA. This photo-diary covers my second driving trip around Colorado in April/May 2006. This collection of photography and comments has been re-written to make it easier to follow than the original (big) web page. On my return to the UK, I wrote a more technical article about the photographic aspects as a follow up to my original "Keith's first all digital visit to the Rockies"
After a thunderstorm and giant hailstones last night I woke up to see dark skies and sleet. Fortunately by the time I was ready to leave, the skies were brightening from the south. Using my executive decision device (a quarter) I decided to head south out of Steamboat on CO-131.
My first day driving the SS Grand Marquis. As I said, not an ideal vehicle for mountain passes. I looked in the manual and noticed it didn't have bow thrusters -- a bit more difficult to reverse out of the car park, although the foot operated anchor (parking brake) confused me a while. I also waited a while before checking out its acceleration. As I drive an automatic at home, I was used to the idea of kickdown (push throttle sharply to drop a gear and accelerate). With the barge (as I now know it) the kickdown is more a request to the engine room to shovel more coal into the boilers - things will happen eventually, but get used to it before trying to overtake anyone!
I'm being unfair -- it's a lovely car... ;-)
I passed by the place I'd took some shots yesterday and got a more detailed one of the shed, but the sky was not nearly so interesting.
One of those times where the first pictures I took (yesterday) didn't include a view that I later thought was good for a print. That's one of the reasons I like to take quite a few pictures at a location - I don't always get it right.
There are two ways I'll go about landscape photography, one is for a specific location where I'll go back to a place several times to get it 'right'. I may well try several sets of lighting conditions and even work out where the sun should be for the effect I want.
The other way is much more hit and miss, looking for opportunities while I'm travelling around. I have to take several shots, since I probably won't get a second chance. It is spontaneous and produces my best black and white work - it produces pictures that have the greatest emotional impact. It's also one of the reasons I generally dislike the traditional approach to landscape photography, that promotes patience, a measured and considered approach and tripods :-)
Another downside is that on a trip like this, you are partially at the mercy of the weather. Well, nobody said I couldn't have a good time as well as taking pictures ;-)
Just out of Steamboat Springs I went through Oak Creek, a very small town...
Upholstery Emporium and Wash House
I decided not to try the road with the rocks in it again, and headed south towards I-70
The CO-131 road is a pleasant drive, with some nice scenery.
And the sounds of loads of these birds singing
South on CO-131
Eventually I reached I-70, but the westbound ramp was blocked by a concrete truck that had turned over after taking a turn a bit too fast (I'm presuming concrete trucks handle worse than the SS Grand Marquis)
Anyway I decided to have an early lunch, and moored up at the Yacht Club Grill
Yes, at Walcott, on the Eagle River :-)
A rather nice 'Breakfast Burrito' (note the shells and nets in the table top)
With a range of sauces :-)
Along the Eagle River I stopped several times to have a look around...
See the small patch on the middle rock in the picture?
It's a nest, made by these birds
Not long after, I joined I-70 heading west, through Glenwood Canyon
Nowhere to stop, so that will have to do :-)
Although there is this one of me at the helm of the barge...
I turned off I-70 at Junction 49 and took CO-65 up over Grand Mesa. It's a good 50 mile scenic drive up over the top of the mesa, where it was snowing :-)
On the way up, you can see for a fair distance
A web version of the picture doesn't really show all the detail.
When I'm back home I'll have a go at stitching some of the panoramic shots I took, which might well make a nice big print.
It's snowing and the road surface is steaming - probably from when it was sunny earlier...
I also had a go using the 24mm Tilt/shift lens to get a couple of odd looking pictures of a tree.
Lens tilted to play around with the plane of focus
Another creepy tree...
I've ended up in Delta ... possibly one of the less inspiring places I've stayed at. A lot more to do in Leadville or Fairplay :-)
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