Okay, so I'm planning my precious few days of photography in Colorado, and I find this place called the "Garden of the Gods". I find many beautiful images of this place, and decide that I need to put it on my "must see" list.
I rent a car, and drive from Denver down to Colorado Springs, planning on spending the night and shooting a sunset/sunrise and moving on. But when I get there, much to my dismay, I see that the town of Colorado Springs has basically built and developed every square inch of land as close to this natural wonder as possible! There is a road going through the park, houses within 1/4 mile of the park, parking lots directly under the rocks, paved pathways, horse paths, rock climbers on the rocks, kids running around screaming, and a plethora of people, including myself all "enjoying" this natural wonder.
Now, I had just come from a conference in Denver, and I neeeeeeded some nature (real bad), so I drove through the park, and kept driving another 4 hours to the Great Sand Dunes National Park! I just couldn't handle the urban development surrounding the Garden of the Gods at that moment.
On my way back to Denver from the dunes, I decided to try and tackle this park. This is the result. A beautiful place, but a bit too developed for my taste. You can see some paths and some distant housing, but it doesn't really show the closer houses and you can't hear the thrash metal blasting from cars (with the windows down) driving through the park (yeah, I really heard that).
I really did enjoy the park before sunrise, as the crowds weren't there yet, and the sun rising on the red rocks was pretty amazing. I have some great vintage postcards of this area and I tried to shoot in the same spots, which made the hunt for the comp more interesting and fun. I also have to give the city credit for keeping the wish of the original property owner and maintaining the park as a public area, free of charge for visitors.
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105L @50mm
2.5 second exposure @ F16
Lee soft ND grad .9 + .75 filters
Single exposure at ISO 50