I am pretty excited about this particular image. Not because it is perfect. It is not. But because I now know I can do this, and I have wanted to create this shot for a very long time.
Taken this past weekend at Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is a blend of 10 images to get the rocks lit properly plus the addition of another 96 images to form the star trails. I used the Photoshop action from Star Circle Academy (thank you for automating this!) to layer the stars. Each image is 8 seconds long, at f/3.5 and ISO-800. Overall, I am thrilled how it came out — can’t wait to do some more, with 300 or more images blended! Enjoy!
Some rocks formations in Garden of the Gods are the most popular ones with visitors and tourists. The Balanced Rock (subject for a later date) would be one of them. The Siamese Twins formation is another. Unlike the Balanced Rock, however, you cannot just drive up to this one. It requires a short uphill hike to get to it. It is worth every step of the journey!
The twins rise, almost in perfect unison, above the surrounding land and at the correct angle, you can see Pike’s Peak through the window! This is a merged image of two separate photos. Even with a wide angle lens, unless you have an extreme wide angle, it is nearly impossible to get this point of view and still get both of the towering twins into the image. If you are visiting Garden of the Gods, take this hike and watch the sunrise and illuminate both Pikes Peak and the twins. One of the best views in the city! Enjoy!
Another from the series of shots I took this past Friday at Garden of the Gods. This is Kindergarten Rock as seen from the Ridge Trail, near it’s apex. I love the detail in this old rock, and how she glows in the early morning sun. The passing clouds are just icing on the cake. Enjoy!
This week, with each passing morning as I got ready to head off to work, I would see the wonderful sunrise and think to myself, “Why didn’t I get up early and try to capture this?” Finally, I had grown tired of missing out on these sunrises and headed out early Friday morning. I am fortunate that I can get to Garden of the Gods, one of the most photographed places in the city, catch the sunrise and still be at work on time during this time of the year.
One of my favorite places to go in Garden of the Gods in the Ridge Trail loop. It weaves around the southern part of the central garden area, and in many places, you are in the midst of some of the best rock formations in the park. As it turned out, most of the interesting clouds were north of the park, so this trail was perfect, as it put the rocks between the camera and the clouds. It was time for the sun to come up and paint another glorious day.
It was a wonderful sunrise, yet it all ended too soon. This is one of a series of shots I took today. I really liked the play of the two towers – the red sandstone on the left seeming to glow in the sunrise while the back side of the limestone of the right is stuck in shadows but yearning for the same level of attention. The clouds, which are losing their pre-dawn glow seem to favor the red sandstone as they move off to the east.
Sometimes you just have a feeling. And this morning, I had the feeling that I should be expecting a nice sunset. You have to love it when a plan comes together! This was taken from the Mesa Rd overlook of Garden of the Gods. It is one of the more popular photographic spots in the city. The wind was brisk, and moving the clouds along. My initial intent was to do a “normal HDR” processing with images from this photo shoot. I wanted to get the great clouds while still keeping the light and clarity of the rocks below. After reviewing the raw images, however, I decided to take a very different route with this image. It is a processing workflow that I had not tried before, and it did include some HDR processing. I would be interesting in your thoughts on how this turned out.
Yes, I know. I posted about Garden of the Gods last week. I know. At the risk of falling into a rut, however, I HAD to go back! If you have been here, you understand. If you have not, well, I hope these photos inspire you to take a trip. You see, we got another good snow storm, and that is when Garden of the Gods is at it’s best, and last week, I had to leave earlier than I would have wanted to. So I hope you will indulge me in one more trip through this fantastic park. This trip was centered around the South Garden area, and the pictures were taken along a hiking trail, which I have heard people refer to as Rattlesnake Ridge. It is a short hike that takes you amongst a number of the rock formations.
I have been sneaking a couple of pictures from Garden of the Gods in on previous weeks, but I had an opportunity this past weekend to visit this Colorado Springs landmark immediately after a snowstorm, and I could not pass it up. Garden of the Gods is always breathtaking, and I recommend it as a stop on any visit to this area, but it is the most beautiful the morning after a snowstorm. Unfortunately, this was also the Saturday morning that I needed to be in to work, so I was only able to stay a little while. If I had unlimited time, I am sure I would have taken hundreds of photographs. I am sure that opportunity will present itself. Until then, here are my favorites from this past week.