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Million Dollar View | by Aaron M Photo
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Million Dollar View

This fall I spent a week exploring Colorado with my coworker Ana. We started in Denver, drove to Breckenridge (met up with Nick Selway), had our car break down in Crested Butte, and eventually made our way to the San Juan mountains before flying back home. The majority of the trip was spent near the San Juans and we had clear skies every single day.


Clear skies are great -- except when you want to photograph grand vistas and need clouds in the sky to make something interesting. I spent most of the time making the best of the light and photographed intimate scenes. There was one reason for shooting grand scenes though -- Milky Way photos. On a clear night, face south and the Milky Way will rise over the mountains.


As much as I hated having to lose a day on the trip for our broken-down car, there were some positives: our replacement vehicle was a beast of a Ford Expedition that handled the rough terrain of Last Dollar Road like a champ. The extra clearance proved handy multiple times. Towards the end of the road, as we neared Telluride, we came across this viewpoint of the San Juan mountains with a beautiful patch of aspen trees changing color in front of them. We waited for the sun to sink well below the horizon and for the Milky Way to come out, snapped some photos, and then raced back to the hotel to get some dinner before everything closed down.


D850 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:

Foreground: 60mm, f/9, 0.6 sec, ISO 640

Sky: 24mm, f/2.8, 15sec, ISO 6400


Viewed best nice and large


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Taken on October 1, 2019