Even before the sun rose this morning I could see that it had snowed last night. Since I could see few clouds in the sky, I immediately changed my plans.
Instead of going back to bed, I dressed quickly, grabbed my camera and keys, and ran out the door. I headed for Panorama Point on Flagstaff Mountain Road and got there before sunrise.
Doug Goodin, a professional photographer who I met at Open Studios a week ago, inspired my morning. He had displayed a stunning photograph of Red Rocks in his studio. Here is a smaller version from his website (http://www.boundaryphoto.com/gallery.php?num=2 ).
He told me that he had hiked from Panorama Point down the Viewpoint Trail, where he captured this scene early one morning. Although I hiked that trail a couple of months ago, I was there in the late afternoon. While I didn’t get a photograph of Red Rocks then, I met my cousin Erica there.
This morning when I reached the trailhead at Panorama Point, the temperature was 31 degrees. Where the trail lacked snow it had ice. So for the first time this season I put on my Yaktrax (a type of crampon) over my boots.
Just as the sun touched the Red Rocks this morning I was in place to capture this scene.
Different season, different lighting, different composition from Doug’s photograph. In fact, I’m surprised that this shot came out at all. I stopped the aperture way down to f/36 to get as much depth of field as possible with ISO set at 3600. The telephoto was extended to its maximum focal length of 200mm. But I didn’t noticed until afterwards that I made this shot at 1/40th of a second. Normally at that focal length we need to use a shutter speed of at least 1/200 (the one to one focal length: shutter speed rule). But my lens has wonderful image stabilization — using a built in gyroscope, of all things!
After taking 10 more shots of the same scene (just to be sure), I moved on. On the way back I stopped at Chautauqua Park for this shot of Boulder’s famous flatirons.
Hiking up the Enchanted Mesa Trail from Chautauqua yielded this close-up scene of the First Flatiron. It sure looks like a great place to go rock climbing!
Back home, I walked around Tantra Lake. Here is the lake, our fitness center, and 8,500-foot Bear Peak.
Small scale beauty is also here. Staying in bed and sleeping late was not an option this morning.