At the cabin

I was up to our family’s cabin in south-central Colorado last week. It’s roughly half-way between Monte Vista and Pagosa Springs. The West Fork Fire complex was about 14 miles to the west at its nearest approach at the time. I had the opportunity to shoot a number of images in the area that are interesting, I think.

So, what’s interesting about these. I’ve captured images of that cabin near the entrance to the Rio Grande National Forest before; but in this one, outside of a few wisps of cloud in the near sky, that torrent of cloud in the distance is smoke from the West Fork Fire. The Alamosa Sunset image is a 7-shot HDR done using Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC with toning and finishing in Adobe Camera Raw, the latest HDR process from Adobe. I love it; it’s even better, IMHO, than the version from LR4 and PS CS6. Being able to finish in ACR gives you extra freedom to handle any residual chromatic aberration, distortion, exposure, and so on, before going back to LR5. Either way (finishing in LR5 or ACR) works beautifully. Back to the image, the red sun and hazy sky are due to smoke from the fire. Depending on the direction of the wind at any time, the valley could be clear blue or filled with smoke. This was shot, obviously I guess, into the west one evening when the smoke was truly strong.

The Do Aspen fear image was shot into the west as well. I’ve heard it said that the Colorado aspen forest is perhaps the largest living being on the planet, since each apparently individual tree is connected to all of the others through a common root system (talk about “Avatar”). So, do these aspen sense what is happening to the rest of their “body” over that ridge?

The Where I got married image shows the clearing where my wife and I exchanged vows in front of family and friends, now with smoke on the horizon.

The others are memorabilia of what it’s like up there at 9400 feet.

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