The fall colors here in Colorado are a week to two weeks behind this year, but the scenery in southwest Colorado was still spectacular. The first stop was Telluride, Colorado. I think it’s become one of my favorite places to visit in Colorado and wouldn’t mind making it my home one day. Telluride was once a silver mining camp along the San Miguel River in the San Juan Mountains. Once gold was discovered in mountains above Telluride the community was formed. Telluride sits in a box canyon surround by steep mountain sides with Bridal Veil Falls at the back of the canyon (which we I’ll show you on a future blog post). Today it’s a ski town. It still has a rural old-time feel to the town with Victorian homes and rustic buildings.
The first evening we ventured up Last Dollar Road which runs just outside of town on the way to the local airport. Last Dollar Road is a 4×4 trail leading from Telluride to Ridgway leading you past historic ranches and some of the most breath-taking scenery, especially during the fall season. Venturing up the trail as the sun was starting to set, we hurried up to the top of the road so we could get a view of Wilson Peak and look down on the valley as the sun was setting giving some amazing contrast and light against the aspens and grasslands.
Just as we parked the vehicle to capture the oncoming sunset the winds picked up as the storm clouds rolled in over the valley. It must have been 45 mph winds. Lee Brown and I ventured down the hillside in hoping that as the sun ventured lower in the sky it would peak under the storm clouds rolling past. Lee and I braced ourselves against the cold wind with ski caps and gloves on as the sunset lower in the sky.
Look at this image I captured and you see a beautiful serene scene. I should have captured an image of Lee and I shivering along the hillside trying to work the camera to capture the image. It was well worth the cold wind. Thank goodness for sturdy Really Right Stuff Tripods. Definitely worth the money on this evening.
- It was a windy evening and so to minimize shake, I upped the ISO to 200. I found lowering the ISO created a longer exposure which introduced some shake in the camera creating a unsharp image.
- Use a circular polarizer (CPL) to help give the mountains and sky some definition. Be wary using a CPL with lenses wider than 24mm because it creates an uneven pattern in images.
- The upper part of the sky was still brighter than the valley so I used a graduated neutral density filter on this image to balance out the light. I prefer Singh-Ray filters and use the Lee Filter Kit System to hold the filters in place, which is especially useful for long exposures. I prefer the Singh-Ray Filters because they don’t leave any unusual color casts like some of the cheaper competitors. They are worth the money.
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
- Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens
- Filter: Singh-Ray 4×6″ Graduated Neutral Density (3-stop) Optical Resin Filter
- Filter Holder: LEE¤Filters Foundation Kit (Standard 4×4″, 4×6″ Filter Holder) (Requires Adapter Ring)
- Adapter Ring: LEE¤Filters Adapter Ring – 82mm – for Wide Angle Lenses
- ISO: 200
- Focal Length: 40 mm
- Aperture: f/8
- Shutter Speed: 1/13 sec.
- Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Software For Mac, Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Mac , Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4