Category Archives: Gunnison River

Dillon Pinnacles

Just outside of Gunnison, Colorado is the Curacanti National Recreation area. The Curacanti National Recreation is a series of 3 reservoirs and a the Gunnison River that runs between them and serves as an inlet to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This area is best known for its excellent salmon and trout fishing and highlighted by the large Blue Mesa Reservoir. When you see the Blue Mesa Reservoir in person you’ll understand why it has Blue in the name.

Ascending from the sagebrush are the Dillon Pinnacles which were formed from eroding volcanic rock. These pinnacles form a unique butte overlooking the Blue Mesa Reservoir. This image was taken on a slight overcast day and the afternoon sun just gave a nice pleasent light on the Pinnacles.

Dillon Pinnacles

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Fuji X-T1 Tagged , , , |

Volcanic Frost

Along the Blue Mesa Reservoir outside of Gunnison Colorado is the Curacanti National Recreation Area. The Curacanti Recreation area is great for boating, fishing, swimming and hiking and also forms into the canyons leading into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This is area also contains two volcanos that helped form the volcanic layers in the area.

A winter storm has passed through the area and the original mission was to see the clear bubbles on the Blue Mesa Reservoir that had frozen over, but since the snow storm left about a foot of snow the original mission was squashed. The snow however made for very interesting textures along the volcanic rock rising above the reservoir along with interesting contrasts.

I felt this scene needed a cinematic look so I cropped it to a wide format style along with a compressed look from the telephoto lens. Note the small trees on top of the formations have a miniaturized feel to them that help them stand out.

Volcanic Frost

Volcanic Frost – Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Crested Butte, Fuji X-T1, snow, winter Tagged , , , |

Black Canyon of the Gunnison – Layer Mask Tutorial

I thought I would bring you back to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison today and use this opportunity to give you a quick Photoshop tutorial on using a layer mask and also how to process this with the onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6 using Perfect Layers.  This image from the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison at Island Peaks viewpoint.  The deep darkness of the canyon and the bright daylight of the sky make for very contrasting exposures and so you have to use either a GND filter or take two separate images.  I didn’t have the proper GND filters with me on this day so I chose to take two separate images for this image.  One image was exposed for the sky and the other image exposed for the canyon.

Here’s the final image:

Black Canyon of the Gunnison - ©2012 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved

Click to Enlarge - Black Canyon of the Gunnison - ©2012 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved

Here’s the video tutorial on how to perform a layer mask in Photoshop:

Here’s the same layer mask function using the onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6 – Perfect Layers

Don’t forget to enter my New Year’s Giveaway 2012 and your chance to win my Sunflower Sunset print!

Sunflower Sunset - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Sunflower Sunset - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Colorado, landscape, layer mask, onOne Software, Perfect Layers, Photoshop Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Big Island View

No, unfortunately I’m not taking you to the Big Island of Hawaii today, but back down to Southern Colorado to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  I don’t see this image much, but this is the Big Island View along the North Rim of the Black Canyon.  I was just swept away by the steep canyon walls contrasted with the wide open spaces just beyond the wall.  The clouds rolling over added a nice dramatic look to the image.  This is one place I definitely need to do some more exploring next year.  Hopefully I can get down in the canyon next year and do some hiking.

Big Island View - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Big Island View - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, clouds, Colorado, landscape, Nik Software, Viveza 2 Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Bullish Memories

My dad and I were driving down Colorado Highway 50 heading home from a long weekend trip fishing down along the Gunnison River (my trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison earlier this year) and I was just staring out the window watching the miles pass. I noticed this red barn coming up which started to peak my interest.

There have been many times in the past driving along that I wish I would have captured some sunset, some cloud formation, an abandoned car along the side of the road and I decide to keep driving. Inevitably I start kicking myself for not stopping a few minutes to capture the image.

We approach this red barn and I notice there is this single bull standing out in front of the barn.  What a great scene!  I yell over to my dad to STOP the car.  Dad yells out “What’s wrong?!”  I swing open the door, run out to this field along the side of the road, dSLR in tow and snap this scene.  I think this bull is asking who this nut job is.  I get back to the car and my dad is shaking his head and I’m smiling ear to ear!

This weekend I’ve finally had a chance to really dig through the images from the trip down to the Black Canyon. I can’t believe I passed up this image in processing. My dad’s been asking me for pictures from the trip so I’ve decided to put together a book for him from our trip. It was a special weekend together, that male bonding weekend. This image is going in the book.  It’s just one of those crazy fleeting memories together. Hopefully it brings a smile to his face. I know it brought a smile to my face.

Bullish on America - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Bullish on America - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

Also posted in barn, bull, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Colorado, farm land, grass, Nik Software, onOne Software Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Crystal Reservoir

The image today is from the Curacanti, Black Canyon of the Gunnison area.  I saw this view coming down Highway 92 down from the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison toward Curacanti.  If you ever get a chance, Highway 92 is very scenic and especially during the fall as the colors are changing. It’s definitely worth the longer drive to get to the South Rim.  This image is of Crystal Reservoir.  It has the deep blue waters of the Blue Mesa and is the newest of the three reservoirs in the area.

I’m heading to New York City this week, so this blog may go dark for a couple of days.  If I can find some time, I’ll try to get a post out.  Enjoy the warm weather while it’s here.  I know Colorado is gearing up for a snow storm on Wednesday.  Have a great week everyone.

Crystal Reservoir - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Click to Enlarge - Crystal Reservoir - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography - All Rights Reserved.

Capture Notes:

Also posted in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, Colorado, Crystal Reservoir Tagged , , , , , , |

Into the Canyon

The trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison area was mostly to spend time with my Dad. It was really nice to spend some one-on-one time with him.  I probably haven’t done a road trip with my Dad since having kids. He is getting on in age and so I need to cherish these moments while I still have them. It was a rainy weekend, but we were going to give the fishing a try to see if anything was biting.  We ventured back East from Montrose, Colorado and headed to the Curacanti Recreation Area.  The Curacanti is also part of the Gunnison River and the deep canyon before it gets to the Black Canyon.  We stopped at Cimarron and ventured over the Mesa Creek Trail which takes you down to the Gunnison River as it’s heading into the Crystal Reservoir.  The access to the river is easier here, but don’t be mistaken the river in the area is still very deep and has a severe drop off after you get off the banks.  Lighting strikes above can clearly be heard down along the river as it echos in the canyon walls.  It was after 4 or 5 thunderous thunder claps we decided to cut our losses and venture back out of the canyon.

I did capture this shot handheld as we were walking down along the Mesa Creek Trail. The fog was still hanging around on this cold morning and the walls of the canyon and the foliage were still wet from the rain.  This shot just give you a sense for how vertical the walls of the canyon are and we were still east of the Black Canyon.

Mesa Creek Trail - Curacanti National Recreation Area - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography

Click to Enlarge - Mesa Creek Trail - Curacanti National Recreation Area - ©2011 Rick Louie Photography

Also posted in Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, layer mask, onOne Software Tagged , , , , , , |