One of the places that I’ve never captured has been Maroon Bells during the fall season. The thought of having to get up at 3am to go fight for a spot among 100’s of photographers has never been on the top of my list, but this year I had the request from my tour group to head up to Aspen so I extended my tour by a day and put in on the last day of the trip. Heading up to Aspen on Sunday of my tour was filled with rain and we had only caught glimpses of sun peaking through. The forecast wasn’t looking good for a Monday morning sunrise at Maroon Bells. Damon, one of the participants this year was a meteorologist and volunteered to check the forecast early in hopes that the clouds would clear in time for sunrise.
Sure enough at o’dark:30 with an exchange of text messages we got out of our comfy beds and headed toward Maroon Bells. We arrived to a fairly empty parking lot, but as we got to the lake there were already people lined up, some who had camped out and were making breakfast, as we walked past them in the dark with our headlamps leading the way. We took the opportunity while waiting to do some astrophotography as we waited for the sun to rise and give us some alpenglow on the Bells.
Well I hate to admit it, but the morning was just about perfect. Clouds clearing over the Maroon Bells, snow on the peaks from the night before, aspen trees filled with fall colors and sun coming over the horizon giving the Bells the reddish-orange glow for an amazing sunrise. It’s nice to have finally captured the Maroon Bells and add this to my portfolio of images. Damon, thanks for getting us out of bed!
I had the pleasure of having Len Saltiel on my tour this year. He’s a world traveler and wonderful photographer. Be sure to check out his rendition of the sunrise at the Bells.
- Camera: Fuji X-T1 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Lens: Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Zoom Lens
- Filter: 58mm HRT Circular Polarizing Filter
- Filter: Singh-Ray 4×6″ Graduated Neutral Density (3-stop) Optical Resin Filter
- ISO: 200
- Focal Length: 20.5 mm
- Aperture: f/8
- Shutter Speed: 1/15 sec.
- Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Software for Mac and Windows (Boxed Version), Capture One Pro 8 , Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4