Colorado: New vs. Familiar

I was in Colorado last week and had a chance to go sightseeing in the mountains near Denver.  Whenever I visit, I find it to be so scenic and photogenic that it overwhelms me.  It’s different from what I normally see at home here in Florida and I want to make photos of everything.

Valley of sunbeams and shadows

Valley of sunbeams and shadows – Don’t miss Mount Evans if you ever get to Denver in the summer time. This is a four image panorama from near the summit, about 13,500 feet.

I find when I get back from a trip like this and go through my images, most don’t have the impact that I felt at the time.  My “keeper” rate seems lower than from local trips.  Maybe this is because I’ve photographed in Florida so much that I don’t see as many new things when I go out – so I make fewer photos.  Luckily, I did end up with some that I really like from Colorado.

The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel)

The Chapel on the Rock (Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel) – This is in Allenspark, Colorado, south along Route 7 out of Estes Park on the grounds of the Saint Malo Retreat.  We didn’t know this was on our route. It’s wonderful to discover something unexpected like this while on a drive.  Another 4 image pano.

I guess we humans are hardwired to find new and unfamiliar things more interesting.  And familiarity can breed complacency.  Do people in Colorado get used to the mountains and sleep in some days instead of getting up and out to see and photograph them?  Like we sleep in here instead of getting up to go out into a world-class wildlife refuge like Merritt Island?

Bristlecone pine trees
Bristlecone pine trees – Some of the trees in the Mount Goliath Natural Area are over 1,600 years old. I used my IR modified Olympus E-PL1 for this photo. Yes, it’s one more 4 image pano.

Wildlife is different out there too.  Some non-Florida species I saw included six new life birds (Steller’s Jay, Gray Jay, Common Raven, Black-billed Magpie, Dark-eyed Junco, and a Broad-tailed Hummingbird) as well as plenty of Mountain Goats, Marmots and Chipmunks.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Behind my Sister’s house in Littleton, Colorado. These birds look very similar to the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds we have in Florida, but the Broad-tailed doesn’t have a black chin. No, this is not a pano.

I wonder if Florida’s unique landscapes and wildlife are as interesting to people visiting here as Colorado’s are to me when I’m out there?

Here are two earlier posts about Mount Evans:  Mt. Evans and Mt. Evans Redux.  You can view other Mount Evans photos here on Flickr.  And this set on Flickr has more Denver area photos.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos – of new and of familiar things!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

7 thoughts on “Colorado: New vs. Familiar

  1. Interesting to read the blog and learn a little about Colorado. And you got me searching your site to see if you’ve done a ‘tips and tricks’ blog about creating those wonderful 4 image panoramas?!

    1. Hi Rhona,

      There is a lot of info on how to make panoramas on the web, but I don’t think I’ve ever done an article on exactly how I do it. It took me a while to solve some of the problems I’ve run into, so it might be worth writing about. I’ll add it to my todo list. Thanks for the suggestion!


  2. For me, there’s too much info on the web and I circle for days, whereas a comment or two from a someone like you can really cut to the chase. Despite your rarefied level, you take time to write simply – and it’s without commercial bias. (I’m thinking, for example, I might invest in some stacking software, if only I could find the blog where you talked about what you use…!) So thanks again for the blogs.

    1. You’re too kind, Rhona.

      Maybe the blog post you’re thinking of is this one: Focus Stacking Experiment.

      Since I wrote that, additional focus stacking software has come out. But Helicon Focus and the built stacking capability in Photoshop CS6 are the only two I’ve tried. I’ve been using CS6 lately, but I think you can achieve similar results with either one.

      1. Thanks Ed – that’s the one! I don’t have Photoshop so, armed with your blog, will give Helicon Focus a go.

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