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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Rocky Mountains

September 21st, 2009 · 3 Comments

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With a prediction of sunny skies everywhere here in north central Colorado, plus a temperature forecast of 80 degrees in Boulder and 60 degrees at the top of the Rocky Mountain National Park, today was a great day to get back to the high country. The weatherman was almost right.

Except for a snowstorm during the last hour of my hike along the Old Ute Trail from the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of Trail Ridge Road to Milner Pass on the Continental Divide, the weather was perfect. And the first person I asked for a ride back to the visitor center took me right there.

This four-mile hike is one of favorites. You can see why:

Old Ute Trail Before the Snow (The Dark Cloud Was A Clue)

Old Ute Trail Before the Snow (The Dark Cloud Was A Clue)

A Butterfly on One of the Last Flowers of Summer

A Butterfly on One of the Last Flowers of Summer

That was my first hike today.

But last night I showed about a dozen of the best shots that I took this summer to the other members of the Colorado Nature Camera Club. This was a trial run to see how they would look on the club’s projector. I was most concerned whether they would be sharp and bright enough. They were.

Since this wasn’t a competition, I didn’t know if I would get any feedback. But I did. I got some excellent suggestions, including several on how to improve my cropping.

These three shots, each of which is either cropped or straightened or has its background slightly brightened, seemed to be my best of summer.

Rainforest Mushrooms in Alaska (Cropped)

Rainforest Mushrooms in Alaska (Cropped)

Six-Lane Glacier in Denali National Park (Straightened)

Six-Lane Glacier in Denali National Park (Straightened)

Shooting Star in Golden Gate Canyon State Park (Background Stream Lightened)

Shooting Star in Golden Gate Canyon State Park (Background Stream Lightened)

Several members also showed what they did this summer with their cameras. My shots were not the best or, thankfully, not the worst.

One member showed some incredible closeups of birds and of badgers at Upper Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park. As I returned from my first hike today I thought about his photos and went myself to Upper Beaver Meadows. While I didn’t see any badgers, the millionth annual elk rut was in full swing and I took dozens of shots of elks.

In this photo I stood so close to a bugling elk bull that I couldn’t get all of him in the frame. Fortunately, he was more interested in his cows than in me.

Bugling Elk Bull

Bugling Elk Bull


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Posted in: Hiking, Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert Fenton // Sep 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Excellent work! Cropping can have a place as can other tools to bring out points of interest in a photo. I admit that I am more of a purist, it is what it is and if it is bad, it is bad and may be headed for the waste basket. I have cropped to take distractions away at the edges and for other purposes, but I have never straightened. I still have a lot to learn with the digital camera, so I may do things yet, but with the SLR, filters were my only crutch, especially the polarizing filter, especially on bright days and at altitudes.

    Thanks for some excellent photos.

  • 2 David Mendosa // Sep 22, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Dear Bob,

    Some people are even more of a purist than you, one of my mentors, for example. He won’t even use a polarizing filter. But I admit that I am not a purist.

    Best regards,


  • 3 john thomas // Sep 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Well im looking for mushrooms beacuse of a class room project

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