Sunday, December 2, 2007


Timing is everything when it comes to fall color. Well, that and luck. I had planned a trip to southwest Colorado for fall colors for months. I chose the last week in September since I had great timing and great fall colors going that week in the past. This year the colors were late turning. Now being in the San Juan mountains anytime is spectacular and even with a slow start to the colors it is still a great place to be. The color may have been late but it was still pretty nice where you found it. Some places were mostly green but others were flaming yellows and oranges. You just had to look.

There are so many roads and so many viewpoints it is really hard to go wrong. This is one such image. It is a view literally right on the side of a dirt forest service road. And what a view it is. I would have liked to have found this valley with the aspens at their peak color, however there was more green than yellow. But there was one lone aspen on the side of the hill in great yellow color and that stood out. There was a great image here afterall.

I set up the camera and went with the longest lens I have for it-a 210mm. On a DSLR that might have a nice reach, but on a 4x5 that is slightly longer than a "normal" lens (it's about a 65 in classic 35mm terms). So I was still able to have a great deal of the valley, peaks, and clouds in the image. While I waited for the right light some cattle made their way into the scene. This kept getting better. Finally it all came together and I found a great image of the soft light of morning on an alpine scene. I stayed and waited for the morning sun and took several sheets of film as the light changed and the sun light hit the trees.

So much for being too early for fall color. The timing was everything here and if I was here a week later I would not have had the one lone yellow tree and maybe not the clouds or the cattle. Come to think about it-I timed it perfect.

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