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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 05 Feb 2012 (Sunday) 19:21
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Colorado Questions

 
Hoosier ­ Writer
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Feb 05, 2012 19:21 |  #1

Hello All,
I am going to be on our family vacation in early June. I plan on hitting Garden of the Gods, Mesa Verde, Silverton/Durango RR, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado Natl Mon, and Rocky Mtn Natl Park.
If you know of a "must photograph" spot I would like to know it. I plan on camping right next to the Garden of the Gods so I can hit it in the evening and the morning. I plan on being at Mesa Verde all day. I plan on camping at BCG and camping near the Colorado NM.

I will have my none-photographing family along in the RV so I can't just stay in one spot forever and at 6 mpg I can't zip back and forth.

(I used to live in Mancos in the mid 1980s and I worked at Mesa Verde for the best five months of my life...except for the very low pay.)




  
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MCAsan
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Feb 05, 2012 21:13 |  #2

Check out volume 3 of Photographing the Southwest by Laurent Martres. That volume covers Colorado and northern New Mexico. The complete 3 volume set is highly recommended!




  
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bps
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Feb 05, 2012 23:28 |  #3

I agree with MCAsan. If you're wanting to photograph iconic locations, then Martres' book is the way to go. There are so many rings to photograph at the locations you listed...we can't even begin to touch on them here.

Bryan


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smmokan
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Feb 06, 2012 15:14 |  #4

Personally, I'd skip the Silverton-Durango RR and Mesa Verde. Durango is a great town, but there's a lot more around there that's more deserving of good landscape photography- like Engineer Mountain, the San Juans, and Red Mountain Pass.

I'd rather photograph the Great Sand Dunes, Maroon Bells, Crested Butte area, and the Indian Peaks (near RMNP).


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Numenorean
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Feb 06, 2012 15:27 |  #5

Maroon Bells is a very iconic Colorado scene. Should be nice in June, just no fall color.

Look up North Fork Clear Creek Falls if you will be in that area.

Dream Lake in RMNP is a great sunrise location. So are many other lakes there (Emerald, Bear, Sprague, Bierstadt, Cub, etc.). Also not far from there is Long Lake and Lake Isabelle in the Brainard Lake rec. area. Sometimes these places will still have snow in June though.

Rock Cut area in RMNP is interesting.

Crested Butte in June could be awesome.

Great Sand Dunes.

There's tons here. Anyway if you want some company that does photograph, feel free to PM me. I'm not far from RMNP and don't mind a trek up for sunrise or sunset.


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TGrundvig
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Feb 06, 2012 15:46 |  #6

You could spend over a week in RMNP alone. This state has so many photo opportunities it is crazy, and they change with the seasons. But, RMNP has something to shoot year round, you just have to be willing to hike up to some of the places. If you get a chance, look up J-Blake on here and look at some of his RMNP shots before sunrise. Some of the hikes take him several hours, but the photos appear to be worth the effort.

Personally, I was not all that impressed with Black Canyon. Don't get me wrong, the canyon itself is impressive, but the photo opportunities were not ones that would make my top 10 list for CO.

Garden of the Gods is great and in June there will be some green, which adds colors to the west side of the park for sunset shots. Sunrise is best on the east side of the park, and there are many different locations to shoot from. Some of the best are off of hiking trails around the park.

As already stated, the Great Sand Dunes are a must. The water should still be flowing pretty good in June. I could easily spend several days there alone getting sunrise, sunset, textures, contrasts, shapes, LOL, you could pretty much shoot all the elements at the Sand Dunes. It's a great place and there are 14ers around it that you can incorporate into some of your images.

San Juans and Red Mountain Pass is also full of scenery. That is another part of the state where you could spend weeks shooting and still not get it all.

Crested Butte is nice, but last year there was still a ton of snow and most hiking trails were closed. Even this one road had 3 feet of snow on it the first week of June last year. We had to down to Crested Butte South just to hike without snow everywhere. Had we remembered our snow shoes, it would have been a different story. But, it is still a great place. My favorite times of year to be in Crested Butte are late July during the Wildflower Festival or late Sept when the Aspens are turning.


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Hoosier ­ Writer
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Feb 06, 2012 18:59 as a reply to  @ TGrundvig's post |  #7

Thanks for all the suggestions.

There's two main objectives of the trip:
-To scope out homes. We plan on moving back to the Grand Junction area of Colorado as soon as our obligations come to an end where we now live.
-To show my kids where we lived before they were born, before they fly the coop. (My daughter is going in the army and my son is just graduating from college.) Our devious plan is to show them how beautiful it is so they will also want to move there. For some reason my wife want to be near the future grand kids...

I may have to include the Great Sand Dunes after what you've said, but it will be mid day.
I want to go on the Silverton-Durango for my own self. When we used to live in Mancos people would come to see us and want to go on the train. Since we were dirt-poor back then our visitors would take the train up and I would meet them in Silverton and drive them back over the passes home. As for Mesa Verde... I can't fully explain my connection to the area. And I have been "working" on a novel that takes place there. I have been "working" on it since 1994 and I hope seeing it again will kick the creative juices into gear.
If I truely get to move back home in the near future I would surely enjoy getting together with anyone that wants to go on photography adventures.




  
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sparker1
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Feb 06, 2012 19:05 |  #8

A lot of trails might (read "will probably") be closed early June. For example, you can certainly drive Red Mountain Pass, but not the mining trails that lead to all the scenic basins. Also, few if any wildflowers will be in bloom...July being their spring. Remember, some of the "houses" in Mesa Verde require advance booking, you probably can't see them all in one day. The train ride is great for the family, so do it. However, photo ops will be limited compared to what you can do from the highway and mining trails (if you can do the trails). Crested Butte will not be that great since the wildflowers aren't out until July.

If you like waterfalls, try Helen Hunt in Colorado Springs. For others, Google "Colorado Waterfalls". Should be good in June. As said, lots of lakes in RMNP are great at sunrise. Bear and Sprague are easiest and offer good ops. Alberto Falls is a must, and a good hike is Mills Lake (may be tough for the family).


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Numenorean
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Feb 06, 2012 19:13 |  #9

Hoosier Writer wrote in post #13837491 (external link)
We plan on moving back to the Grand Junction area of Colorado as soon as our obligations come to an end where we now live.

Our devious plan is to show them how beautiful it is so they will also want to move there. For some reason my wife want to be near the future grand kids...

May want to skip Junction then. I certainly wouldn't want to live over there.


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bps
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Feb 06, 2012 21:25 |  #10

Numenorean wrote in post #13837589 (external link)
May want to skip Junction then. I certainly wouldn't want to live over there.

But they are checking out homes, so how do you expect them to skip this location? Also, in my very humble opinion, the Grand Junction area is amazing. Have you ever ventured off the I-70 path when visiting the Western Slope? It's an amazing location. Great photography, excellent road and mountain biking, and tons of hiking. It's a pretty neat location...

Bryan


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Numenorean
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Feb 06, 2012 21:36 |  #11

bps wrote in post #13838535 (external link)
But they are checking out homes, so how do you expect them to skip this location? Also, in my very humble opinion, the Grand Junction area is amazing. Have you ever ventured off the I-70 path when visiting the Western Slope? It's an amazing location. Great photography, excellent road and mountain biking, and tons of hiking. It's a pretty neat location...

Bryan

You simply don't go there! lol. Too close to the hotter climate I left to come here. I've been lots of places (Rattlesnake Canyon, CNM, various offroading places) and they are fine and all, but it's so far away from a lot of the other things about CO that I like, I don't care for the climate and....well there's not a lot out there that would make me want to LIVE there.


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Hoosier ­ Writer
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Feb 07, 2012 17:38 as a reply to  @ Numenorean's post |  #12

Grand Junction would not be my first choice if making a living wasn't an issue. I still need to work and since I am in commercial/industrial HVAC, Grand Junction has enough business to keep a fellow working. Plus the wife wanted to move back to Arizona, where it is warmer, so GJ is a compromise. Besides, I love the desert as much as the timberline. If I had my choice of anywhere, Mancos or Cherry Creek (The valley just east of Mancos) would be it. The maddening thing is the places that were $35,000 back in 1987 and now $135,000!!! The house we were making payments on then was $95K. If I had kept my house there I would now be a wealthy man because it would easily sell for $500K. (4 br, 2 bath, 15 acres with a trout stream...) Unfortunetly after going to school for HVAC I was only making $480 a month while my house payments were $540! My wife and I were eating Ramon noodles twice a day and working three jobs each until we decided that was enough and moved to Prescott, AZ, and seven years later here to Indiana
Funny how life is!




  
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DRBair
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Feb 07, 2012 18:26 |  #13

There are a number of choices in western Colorado, hanging lake in Glenwood canyon, Marble CO, if you have 4 wheel drive there is the Crystal Mill above Marble. Independence Pass has a number of places to stop along to get some great photos. In late June the wildflowers should be coming on in the high country. There are old coke ovens in Basalt and some others up towards Hagerman Pass.


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Preeb
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Feb 07, 2012 22:47 |  #14

Hoosier Writer wrote in post #13844669 (external link)
Grand Junction would not be my first choice if making a living wasn't an issue. I still need to work and since I am in commercial/industrial HVAC, Grand Junction has enough business to keep a fellow working. Plus the wife wanted to move back to Arizona, where it is warmer, so GJ is a compromise. Besides, I love the desert as much as the timberline. If I had my choice of anywhere, Mancos or Cherry Creek (The valley just east of Mancos) would be it. The maddening thing is the places that were $35,000 back in 1987 and now $135,000!!! The house we were making payments on then was $95K. If I had kept my house there I would now be a wealthy man because it would easily sell for $500K. (4 br, 2 bath, 15 acres with a trout stream...) Unfortunetly after going to school for HVAC I was only making $480 a month while my house payments were $540! My wife and I were eating Ramon noodles twice a day and working three jobs each until we decided that was enough and moved to Prescott, AZ, and seven years later here to Indiana
Funny how life is!

And Grand Junction is only 2 hours from Moab, and talk about photographic opportunities. If you do move to Grand Junction, you are simply going to have to have a Jeep.... the opportunities for 4 wheeling are almost endless.


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patrick ­ j
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Feb 08, 2012 00:24 |  #15

Preeb wrote in post #13846526 (external link)
And Grand Junction is only 2 hours from Moab, and talk about photographic opportunities. If you do move to Grand Junction, you are simply going to have to have a Jeep.... the opportunities for 4 wheeling are almost endless.

Also less than 3 hours from Silverton, which puts you right in the middle of the San Juan mountains, photographer heaven.


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