Eastern Plains of Colorado

I’m never sure what I’m going to find when I head out to the eastern plains of Colorado other than some hopes to find some interesting rural farmland and Americana.  It don’t ever have high hopes when I head out east.  It’s just a chance for me to get away from the big city and do some soul-searching. There is just something about getting out on the open road with just me and my iPod filled with tunes that is just satisfying and allows me to really think about what’s important. It’s a chance to set my compass back to True North.

This trip out east did not disappoint and for whatever reason I always come away with some images that make me smile and realize why I love being a photographer. This trip was just a spur of the moment trip, partially because I was restless and couldn’t sleep. Instead of rolling around in bed I just got up early (well actually beyond early), packed up my gear and headed out east. Looking at the radar, there was a good possibility of some good cloud cover from previous evening’s storms.

As I was driving out I-70 toward the Kansas border the early morning sky started to light up.  The sky was looking spectacular so I found the nearest exit and started to drive down some rural roads. After a couple of dead ends and a few U-turns I found this road heading up a hill and as soon as I crested the hill I saw this wonderful abandoned farm-house off in the distance. Talk about some good luck!

I quickly pulled up off the road and started to capture some images of the barn and windmill as the sun was rising. The images just didn’t come out like I was hoping, but as I looked over my shoulder the sun rising above the horizon lit up some moving storm clouds creating a small rainbow coming out of the sky.  I quickly moved my setup and captured this panorama of the morning sky just out east of Flagler, Colorado. Such a beautiful morning on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. I just thank the Lord for creating such a beautiful scene for me!  Be sure to click on the image which will take you to the Lightbox view. It’s so much better viewing it large!

Eastern Plains of Colorado
Sunrise on the Eastern Plains of Colorado | Click to see Large!

Capture Notes:

  • This image was created using 4 vertical images using Photoshop’s Photomerge to create the panorama. Each image was lens corrected first in Lighroom and then brought into Photoshop to do the Photomerge. Once the merge was done I did the most of the remaining color correction and cropping in Lightroom with the exception of some additional dodging and burning after the color correction to give the image its final “finish”. I didn’t use any filters on this image. I just exposed for the sky and decided to leave the foreground dark and silhouetted.
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens
  • ISO: 100
  • Focal Length: 16 mm
  • Aperture: f/11
  • Shutter Speed: 1/15 sec.
  • Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Software For Mac, Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Mac
  • Gorgeous shot Rick! Love this!!

    • RickLouiePhoto

      Thanks, Rich! I appreciate it!

  • Michael Criswell

    Really Stunning Rick, I love how you left the foreground dark, really adds to the scene

  • Toad Hollow Photo

    Love this shot, Rick! The panorama format works awesome for a scene like this, really rustic and full of great character!