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The Alluvial Fan Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park looked like a great place to shoot a waterfall foreground under starry night skies. So on one of my night photography workshops in August with great conditions, I took my students to the falls. And with our timing at about 3 am, we saw the Milky Way running in an east-west configuration - something that worked especially well in this location. I wasn't completely happy with my images of the falls from the August workshop so on another workshop in September, I decided to give it another try with a little better composition. It worked well that I arrived with my class at the Alluvial Fan Falls parking lot after having seen several awesome locations for night photography and with most of the instructional portion completed, so a few students were very happy taking a bit of a break by just shooting from the parking lot. This may not sound like much of an option, but in this spot in RMNP with stunning skies above, the parking lot was actually a pretty neat place to shoot from! So a few students stayed in the parking lot shooting while the more adventurous and I made our way up to the falls. There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, the technique, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/capturing-starry-night-waterfall.... via 500px 500px.com/photo/53094278

Clouds pass quickly overhead revealing the Milky Way skies above. In this image taken from the Mount Evans Observatory (elevation 14,148 feet), city lights from Denver show the reach of their illumination from 50 or so miles away as the observatory and clouds overhead glow brightly without any assistance from light painting. I liked how layer of clouds added some interest as it plays a little hide & seek with the stars above (even if it does add a little noise too).

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Over the past few months, I've taken a good look at opening the door to offering some instructional training on night photography. I've done some research on what it would take to be ready for workshops (which are coming soon) but I've found that the demand for classroom training to even stronger than I had expected. When asked a few months ago, I agreed to do a series of classes for a local photography group and found such a strong response that all the classes filled up and went onto a waiting list within just a few hours of being announced. This image was taken as part of a meetup we sandwiched in between two of the classes. Now that this initial series is complete and I know a little more about the demand, I decided to do a little more.

 

So I've lined up an all-day training event called "Capturing The Dark Side" - set to take place on Saturday, October 27th in Lone Tree, Colorado. With a whole lot of great content, we cover everything from the planning and the shooting technique to the post-processing. With details at meetu.ps/kt4ZP, last I checked, the class is all fillled up (I'm happy to say).

 

Beyond the instructional training, I've also been working hard on building a new website to replace what is currently showing at www.coloradocaptures.com. I'm excited and hopeful this will allow Colorado Captures to take a big step forward. For now, it's just my excuse for not posting many images. :-)

    

Official Website | Google+ | Facebook Fan Page | 500px

Easy to recognize, Balanced Rock seems to pull in all the stars like a black hole vortex. This image started as a single exposure photograph captured with the moon directly behind the rock and evolved into a work of art.

 

In one of my night photography workshops, we had great conditions for the Milky Way earlier in the evening so I steered the class over to Balanced Rock for something a little different. And with some light painting from the far left side at capture time, the scene really came to life! What you see here is my taking it one step further by connecting the scene's foreground with the sky using a little Photoshop scripting...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/balanced-rock-vortex.

 

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Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars - night photography workshops

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

I've had one of these horizon-to-horizon Milky Way captures in-mind for a little while now... just been waiting for the right spot to try it. And while I really went up to Windy Ridge to catch the Perseids Meteor Shower, I ended up liking the results of this effort even more than the couple of meteors I was able to catch.

 

In this image, the Milky Way stretches behind a scraggly looking tree all the way from one horizon to the other - reaching over to the light pollution and glow from the rising moon to the east. And with the scraggly tree seemly reaching out into the core of the Milky Way, the title you see above came to mind pretty quick.

 

The composite image you see here comes from 18 individual captures that featured a little light painting at both ends - captured up on Windy Ridge in the Bristlecone Pine area near Alma, Colorado and then stitched together with Microsoft ICE.

 

Official Website | Google+ | Facebook Fan Page | 500px

Milky Way skies have a certain magnetism that most any night photographer has experienced. Every spring it gets us up early and every summer, it keeps us up into the late hours of the night - all to get a glimpse and a capture of the wonderful galaxy we live in.

 

In contrast to the draw to capture the Milky Way skies, I thought this scene with Balanced Rock seemingly getting pulled toward the Milky Way was especially interesting. And with the summer night skies fast approaching, I know I’m feeling that same Milky Way Pull...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-pull-balanced-rock

 

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This image was taken during one of my night photography workshops in Arches National Park in August 2013. Please consider joining me on one of my night photography workshops this summer (2014) as I have two events with spots remaining open including one event at Arches & Canyonlands. If you're interested, act fast because they're coming up soon!

 

Here are the details.

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (5 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (4 of 6 spots available)

 

In a nice surprise while I was in Iceland, I ran into a group on my ice cave tour where the group leader entertained his group by "spinning wool" under the glacier. It was a real treat and my first clue that it was coming (funny enough) came from my spotting a wire whisk sticking out of his backpack.

 

I was already excited about the coming ice cave tour. And while I'd seen my fair share of this wool spinning technique where you burn some steel wool inside a wire whisk and spin it, seeing it inside an ice cave was something else! All those reflections of the sparks on the icy walls were indeed a sight to see...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/spinning-wool-under-glacier.

  

When I first arrived at the John Moulton Barn under super-dark moonless skies, I saw that I wasn't alone. What looked like a person on the other side of the barn got into position by one of the small buildings and shined a very dim light toward the barn for a few seconds. I didn't shine my light in that direction so I wouldn't blind him/her.

 

Soon after, I got around the other side of the barn and saw there was no one there. I realized that there were no cars in the area where I'd parked which made me wonder if I didn't see someone, but rather something...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/moulton-barn-milky-way-panorama.

 

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This location at the Barns on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park is another one of the featured locations students can expect to visit on our Night Photography Workshops. With great access to the barns in a relaxed environment, learning with both the Barns and the Tetons in our foreground is a real treat!

 

I know I'm really looking forward to the workshops in both locations, but especially in the Tetons. Together with pro photographer Darren White, it should be an exciting series of workshops!

 

Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

Waters of the Big Thompson River resist the freezing temperatures of winter for as long as possible. A colorful sunrise sure looks warmer for a moment but soon enough, even the holdout surface waters will succumb to the cold and freeze solid for the winter. This image was taken from Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

People that know me know that I really like to revisit past efforts. It's a great way to look critically at my own work and say - you know, I just want to go back and shoot it again. I use different techniques and I almost always get interesting results.

 

I created this image from a spot near West Spanish Peak and La Veta, Colorado with the moon setting over my shoulder. In-fact, you can see the last of the moonlight hitting one of the so-called Great Dikes of West Spanish Peak shown in the foreground. Besides that, the super detailed stars above became the highlight of the image thanks to my tracking of the stars during the exposure. With celestial goodies like the Eagle, Omega, Lagoon, and Butterfly Nebulas, I'm already looking forward to seeing this printed big...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/tracking-milk-over-west-spanish-...

 

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For those of you interested in the learning side, keep an eye on my Night Photography Blog. I'm working on something very cool on the training side and will soon have a big announcement regarding my training schedule for 2015. You won't want to miss it so stay tuned!

Unknown animal tracks combine with lines in the sand to provide a great foreground in this image captured under starry skies. I was hoping to find some great lines leading to the Milky Way and this scene with the animal tracks sure got my interest. The glow you see on the right side is light pollution coming from the little town of Alamosa, Colorado.

 

I described a few of the techniques I used in taking my last uploaded night scene from Sand Dunes. An interesting one I tried here was an attempt to "hand paint" the foreground. No, I'm not talking about post processing; I'm talking about light painting. When I shot earlier that night, I used my light diffuser to illuminate the foreground with a soft, gentle light. In this case, I was a bit lazy and tried just illuminating the palm of my hand with my little flashlight. Normally, this approach produces a light that's a bit too warm, but in this case, I thought the results looked great!

 

So there you have it, a hand painted night scape from Sand Dunes National Park, near Alamosa, Colorado.

 

Official Website | Google+ | Facebook Fan Page | 500px

As one of the best looking mines I've found yet in Colorado's backcountry, the Yankee Girl Mine stood out as a spot worth returning to on a recent scouting trip. So with a plan in-mind for some dark night photography, I set out to shoot the Yankee Girl against Milky Way skies. This light painted, stacked, composite image was taken at 4:30 in the morning from a jeep trail off of Red Mountain Pass between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado.

 

Worth mentioning on the technical side is that I'm really happy with the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens I've started using. As you can see here, there's very little coma effect on the stars in the corners.

 

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Background below provided courtesy of wikidot.com.

 

Yankee Girl Mine has an amazing history. It started in 1882. A prospector named Mr. Robinson was out hunting and found a rock full of galena on Red Mountain. He found where it came from and found a huge chimney of silver ore. He constructed the Yankee Girl Mine. This was the start of the Red Mountain mining boom. Mr. Robinson sold his mine for $125,000 after one month. The mine has a 1,050 foot vertical shaft. The Yankee Girl shaft house above the mine has a bull wheel and wire for getting out ore. You can still see the shaft house today. At its height, the mine produced ten tons of ore each day. Ore wasn’t sorted because everything was valuable. There was no waste! Each day, a mule train of seventy five mules, each carrying 250 pounds of ore, went to Silverton because they had a train and Ouray didn’t. The mine produced silver, copper, and gold. It made $8,000,000 in its time. There were problems too. Everyone knows when you dig down, water fills up the shaft. So they bought a $30,000 pump to keep the water out, but corrosive water eroded the pump in just one month. This bad water was a major problem at the mine. Guston, a town near the Yankee Girl, had a population of 300 people. Guston had the only church in the Red Mountain mining district. There were two other mines nearby, the Guston Robinson and the Genesee Vanderbuilt. While the boom lasted, the Yankee Girl was the center of attention.

Before heading up to Iceland, I knew I wanted to make the most of my visit to the big falls of Goðafoss (pronounced goathafoss). They're so immense that they really need something to give them a sense of scale. I had seen a few images that showed off this little perch so I just kept it in-mind and hoped I could get there safely.

 

I'll admit this was a challenge with the new snow as I couldn't easily tell the difference between what was safe and what wasn't. Without fences or signs, it was entirely possible to stand on new snow that wasn't stable and to find that out the hard way - falling right over the edge. Adding to the excitement, pieces of snow were regularly breaking away from the edge on their own, falling down into the abyss below...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/godafoss-grand-scale

 

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Upcoming Night Photography Workshops

June - Colorado Photography Festival Symposium & Workshop

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (6 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (4 of 6 spots available)

In life, there are a lot of places where we can see a balance. There's a balance between artificial and natural lighting and another one between day and night. But then on another level, there's a balance of life between humanity and nature. And then there's the balance between our planet earth and all the external forces that affect it.

 

For me, it's all a delicate balance that I love to show off in my photography. This image was captured at the beginning of twilight (before sunrise) from Delicate Arch during one of my night photography workshops in Arches National Park.

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/natures-delicate-balance

 

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Night photography workshops are going really well and I only have room left in one final workshop for 2014. If you're even thinking about a night photography workshop, check out the details now before these spots are gone.

 

Night Photography Workshop in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in August

3 of 6 spots available

The early birds were already filing in for a good position with the barns at twilight but I had some other ideas. In one of the most popular spots in the park, the glow in the eastern skies was on the increase - a sure sign of a sunrise that would soon be coming.

 

And while that first light is sure beautiful on the rugged Tetons, I was there more to catch the shoulder period where both stars and good light can be captured. There's something about those stars that makes it clear that we're looking at a nighttime perspective on the peaks.

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/grand-teton-twilight.

 

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This is one of several locations we'll visit on Night Photography Workshops in Grand Teton National Park with instructors including myself and Darren White and you're invited to learn to capture Milky Way stars! Just see which dates work best with your schedule and pick an event. Of course, let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

  

In my recent visit to Iceland, I got to see some incredible sights. And I was especially fortunate to see really good Aurora activity on two nights - my first night on the island and again on this, my last night. I got my wish with clear skies and a solar storm with lots of Aurora activity over what was perhaps my favorite location in Iceland - the black sand beaches of Jökulsárlón.

 

With only hours to go before I needed to get on a plane to fly back home, it would have been very reasonable to focus on working my way toward the west side of the island. But I wasn't there for excuses, I figured I'd make the most of this one last prediction for clear skies on the east side of the island - ignoring the low forecasts for Aurora activity. So on faith, I drove out to Jökulsárlón and shortly after arriving, got a text from SpaceWeather.com letting me know that a moderate solar storm had just begun. With that, I knew that the Aurora party had started and I was one of the first to arrive!

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/glowing-gems-iceland.

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Some of my favorite elements came together in this image captured high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Rugged mountain peaks, glowing clouds, and colorful wildflowers were my reward for an early evening climb up a challenging jeep trail.

 

I had gone up to get into position for some starry night sky images in Governor Basin, but this combination at sunset was simply stunning. This view looks north at Mount Sneffels (elevation 14,157 feet) with the valley descending to the right down to the little mountain town of Ouray (out of the frame)...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/sneffels-sunset-kings-crown

 

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Workshops | "How To" Articles & Tutorials | Product Reviews | Recommended Gear | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

 

Several years ago, I caught a pretty good shot of some light trails as a big tractor trailer crossed over the top of Loveland Pass. I had planned on going up that night to shoot some meteors and having struck out, I resorted to some alternatives. So looking back on this initial image as being the result of an afterthought, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I really applied myself to getting a cool shot of some light trails.

 

So one night in February (2013), I headed up for a spot I had in-mind - once again, on Loveland Pass. This time, I had a spot picked where I would shoot from the relative safety of the shoulder of the road on the downhill side of a curve. The uphill side had very little room between the driving lane and the 20'+ wall of snow. Of course, capturing these light trails is anything but an easy task with a semi driving by about once every hour or two. But this is when a funny thing happened…

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-light-trails-loveland-...

 

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Upcoming Night Photography Training

 

• June 20 - Photowalk Training at Red Rocks Park - 6 of 20 spots available

• June 21 - Photowalk Training at Summit Lake - 8 of 20 spots available

• August 2 or 3 - Night Photography Workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park - 6 of 6 spots available

• August 9 - Night Photography Workshop in Great Sand Dunes National Park - 6 of 6 spots available

• August 31 - Night Photography Training Club Sandwich in Arches National Park - 6 of 6 spots available

 

Sometimes, I like to forget all about the constraints of reality so I can let the creative juices really flow. This image comes from a real overnight hike up above timberline but I used my creativity and some of the scripting capabilities in Photoshop to take it to another level.

 

In this image, Darren White gazes into a swirling vortex of stars over Copper Mountain, Colorado after a hike up above timberline to the old abandoned tram station in Mayflower Gulch...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/one-with-the-night.

 

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We're in the final hours of our December Discount Days promotion and it's exciting to see so many people getting their spots secured. Don't miss your chance to get 20% off your workshop fees.

 

Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars - night photography workshops

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

 

As the last of the series from the "dark side", I wanted to point out that there is no sunrise or sunset related to this capture. The gold light comes entirely from the city lights of Alamosa. Best of all though is a wondrous scene above the town with the Milky Way dominating the sky. This image was taken in the San Luis Valley near the town of Crestone, Colorado.

A creative composition with some good timing places the Milky Way into a position where roles appear reversed. Rather than our planet being suspended within the Milky Way, this image shows the opposite with the distant Milky Way appearing in suspension between foreground features of our planet - a unique perspective that caught my eye from the get-go.

 

Taken at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, this image captures the close relationship between our planet and the heavens above. Using long-exposure settings and some gentle light painting, I was able to illuminate world famous Balanced Rock and other structures in combination with the Milky Way skies above - a combination I was thrilled to be able to capture together.

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest and get free wallpaper from

www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-suspension-at-balanced...

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Official Website | Workshops | Forum | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

 

Explore #15: December 5, 2009

 

Rock formations including Cathedral Rock and Cathedral Spires dominate the skyline in this colorful sunrise shot from Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

If you ask me, Irene shows her best side on first approach. From the first time I scouted Lake Irene before I did workshops there, I was drawn to the way the trees framed this view of reflected beauty ahead as the trail first reaches the lake.

 

On this night photography workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park, I encouraged my students to be patient while some wet weather finished rolling through the park. I did some in-field training and we headed to the first spot on my list - Lake Irene. Shortly after we arrived, the clouds cleared and the Milky Way finished rotating into perfect position...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/silhouette-curves-starry-night

 

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It's time to get ready for some awesome milky way skies. Either on your own or in a workshop, I encourage you to get out there this summer and make the most of it!

 

Upcoming Night Photography Workshops

June - Colorado Photography Festival Symposium & Workshop

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (6 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (4 of 6 spots available)

With Arches National Park being so incredibly good for nightscapes, I used to wonder how night photography in nearby Canyonlands would compare. On this last night of my night photography workshop in Utah, we had so much success with the Milky Way in a variety of locations that I gave my students a choice of either Milky Way or Canyon Moonlight for our last stop.

 

The group elected to take advantage of the moon rising and it's beautiful light in Buck Canyon which turned out to be a big success! In-fact, when the workshop ended and it was time to leave this spot, no one wanted to leave. This is a good problem to have in my book...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/buck-canyon-moonlight.

 

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Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars - night photography workshops

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

On this last night of my night photography workshop in Arches & Canyonlands, rainy skies cleared out which opened the door to Milky Way skies and Mesa Arch. I had a plan for that spot that I'd been sitting on ever since I got inspired by a really good photographer named Abe Blair at that same location years earlier.

 

And while I don't often get into the pictures of my students, I knew my students would enjoy this one. Sure enough, I couldn't help but notice the audible gasps and "holy cows" from students when they captured images that night - from all three of the locations we stopped at...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-madness-mesa-arch

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If you have any interest in shooting Milky Way stars or in shooting images like this, you won't want to miss my Night Photography Workshops in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah and Teton National Park in Wyoming. They're awesome opportunities to learn a ton about shooting Milky Way skies (from myself and fellow night photography instructor, Darren White) and get some killer shots at hand-picked locations and times.

 

Workshops: www.coloradocaptures.com/night-photography-training

Testimonials: www.coloradocaptures.com/testimonials/

 

To be honest, I was thinking more about catching a nap than the sunset. Clouds were thick with no good light at sunrise or sunset. But when I saw the clouds starting to break up over the peaks a little while before sunset, I knew to be ready. So I picked the Teton Point Overlook (one of the less creative but still stunning spots I look forward to taking night photography students to next summer).

 

Sure enough, that last bit of light from the sun was just perfect, coming in from under all those clouds. My favorite part was the way the light appears to come up from the mountains rather than down from the sky...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/sunset-light-rays-tetons.

 

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I hope you'll consider joining Darren White and I for a great opportunity to learn all about night photography and shooting Milky Way stars in hand-picked, scouted locations. Spots are limited so grab yours today!

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

Don't miss an exciting opportunity to learn all about night photography from pros Mike Berenson and Darren White in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks and now announcing... workshops in Grand Teton National Park.

 

Here are the dates & links to see all the 2015 workshop details:

 

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-25, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Park, Utah

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

 

I hope you'll take a look at how you can fit a great night photography learning adventure into your 2015. You've wanted to get good at shooting the starry night and this is an opportunity to make it happen that you won't want to miss!

 

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Want to hear about this image, "Schwabacher Starry Night"?

See the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/schwabacher-starry-night.

 

In an after-hours return to the Ice Castles in Breckenridge, Colorado, I went after a mission to catch the starry night skies above the ice. In my first visit, I found the glowing lights in the ice to be so intense that it made catching the starry skies behind (and above) them very difficult. So I spoke with the owner and got permission on this return trip to shoot after they turned the lights out.

 

It gave me a great chance to shoot the natural blue colors of the ice and the bright stars above. This super-wide (or should I say super-tall) image shows the path through the ice castles in combination with the icicles and openings to the starry skies above...

  

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/ice-castle-windows-starry-night

 

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Upcoming Night Photography Workshops

May - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah - highlight event of the year (only 3 spots left)

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (5 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (6 of 6 spots available)

 

I really like revisiting some of my early efforts in night photography by returning to the same (or similar) locations and trying something once again. So with some of my favorite images (I've taken) coming from the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve near Alamosa, Colorado, it doesn't take much to get me to go for another visit. And with the National Parks Service setting up a Night Photography Display in the Visitor Center at the Great Sand Dunes National Park that includes one of my images, I knew I had to stop by and take a look.

 

Of course, while in the area, I had to do another afternoon scouting mission into the dunes followed by another dark night photography hike under what turned out to be great conditions for Milky Way skies.

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-nightscape-great-sand-...

 

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Blog | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

A little while back, I got to join good friend David Kingham on one of his night photography workshops in Rocky Mountain National Park. He was following-up on a mission he'd come up with to catch the Milky Way rising up over Longs Peak as a quarter moon sets in the western skies. From the get go, this plan sounded like a winner so he decided to include it as part of his night photography workshop and I agreed to tag along as a special guest.

 

After meeting up with David and his three students, we headed up the trail in what I welcomed as the first comfortable conditions of the summer. This was a welcome change for me after all my cold-weather nighttime treks. The weather on the way up was very nice and peaceful with no wind to discourage our plans for a calm water reflection.

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/milky-way-rising-over-longs-peak

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Blog | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

  

I have a couple of spots still available on my two remaining night photography workshops for the summer - one in Arches and the other in Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out the details & links below.

  

• August 15 - Photowalk Training at Red Rocks Park - several spots available

• August 16 - Photowalk Training at Summit Lake - several spots available

• August 31 - Night Photography Workshop in Arches National Park - 2 of 6 spots available

• September 7 - Night Photography Workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park - 2 of 6 spots available

 

With wintry weather settling into northern Iceland, I knew my chances for night photography were pretty low. But in the daylight hours, I figured the overcast skies would give me a good chance of seeing some color at one of Iceland's biggest waterfalls - Goðafoss.

 

And with all the new snow, the scene was especially pretty. I just had to make sure to watch my step to avoid joining the patches of snow that broke away and fell over the edge down into the watery abyss below. For this image, I was already in position when the afternoon sun peeked out from behind the thick clouds - creating a golden glow on the scene. Against the deep blue of the flowing Icelandic waters, I thought this golden glow was especially beautiful...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/godafoss-golden-winter-glow

 

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Upcoming Night Photography Workshops

May - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (SOLD OUT)

June - Colorado Photography Festival Symposium & Workshop

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (5 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (6 of 6 spots available)

Nature's fireworks appear both above and below the horizon in this image captured in the San Juans of Colorado. As though the stunning mountains of the San Juans weren't enough, I went high up in the mountains after an eye candy combo with both blooming wildflowers and Milky Way skies...

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/wildflower-runoff-under-stars

 

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Learning Center Blog | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

Each summer, I try to get to a few places that really show off the beauty of my home state - Colorado. In that direction, I've been on a bit of a mission over the past few years to capture some of the upper mountain lakes that are known for having especially blue water. Of course, I like to do it under starry night skies.

 

My goal here was to capture the scene from a vantage point above the blue water in time for a thin rising moon to show the color in the water. And even though the clouds ended up obscuring most of the Milky Way (left center), I decided I really liked this panoramic scene showing a combination of stars, streaking clouds, and a reflection in the blue water below...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/moonlight-hiking-blue-lake-trail.

 

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Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars - night photography workshops

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

Wonderful morning light illuminates the canyon walls of the Colorado River. This image was taken early in the morning from Dead Horse Point State Park near Canyonlands and Moab, Utah.

 

After scouting the area on the way down to Antelope Canyon, we thought we'd come back here for sunrise on the way back home. Sure seemed pretty with that morning light...

Among the more challenging places I explored in Iceland were the incredibly gorgeous blue water cascades of Brúarfoss. I was drawn to the area from pictures I'd seen but was also pretty discouraged by the difficulty I'd heard I'd run into in just finding it. In-fact, I removed it from my planned list of places to go at one point... and boy am I glad I put it back on!

  

When I first found it, I understood why people had such a hard time getting there. Two of the routes go through a neighborhood with gated entrances while the other one is a less direct route but fortunately has no gate (when I was there in March, 2014). I headed into the neighborhood without the gate and eventually found the closest parking spot to a walking bridge (which is a big clue on the waterfall's location). After I parked, I was concerned that the route to the walking bridge would mean I'd have to hop over a fence to get there. And with inquisitive neighbors watching from their vehicles, I decided to show some patience and continue looking around. At one point, I doubled back and passed one of the neighbors who asked what I was looking for...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/waterfall-blues

 

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Upcoming Night Photography Workshops

May - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah - highlight event of the year (only 2 spots left)

June - Colorado Photography Festival Symposium & Workshop

June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (5 of 6 spots available)

August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (6 of 6 spots available)

 

See the full training schedule for 2014

 

Deneb stands out as the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus (part of the Northern Cross) in this late night image from Grand Teton National Park. Running along the so-called "Backbone Of The Milky Way", Cygnus, is a great place to see the deep colors of nebula clouds.

 

Sure there's some technique behind it but by using a relatively short exposure, I captured the details of the Milky Way in a way that's similar to what we would see with our own eyes if we were there on a dark moonless night. This image was captured from Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park - one of the spots I very much look forward to taking students during Night Photography Workshops in 2015...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/schwabacher-nebula-cloud-reflection.

 

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Don't miss out on your chance to save 20% on your workshop fees in this month's December Discount Days. Secure your spot today!

 

Learn To Capture Milky Way Stars - night photography workshops

 

Grand Teton National Park

June 7-10, 2015

September 21-24, 2015

 

Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

May 22-25, 2015

August 12-15, 2015

September 10-13, 2015

October 17-20, 2015

Milky Way skies have a certain magnetism that most any night photographer has experienced. Every spring it gets us up early and every summer, it keeps us up into the late hours of the night - all to get a glimpse and a capture of the wonderful galaxy we live in. In contrast to the draw to capture the Milky Way skies, I thought this scene with Balanced Rock seemingly getting pulled toward the Milky Way was especially interesting. And with the summer night skies fast approaching, I know I’m feeling that same Milky Way Pull... There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from ift.tt/1gzqApC. _______________________________ This image was taken during one of my night photography workshops in Arches National Park in August 2013. Please consider joining me on one of my night photography workshops this summer (2014) as I have two events with spots remaining open including one event at Arches & Canyonlands. If you're interested, act fast because they're coming up soon! Here are the details. • June - Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (5 of 6 spots available) ift.tt/1tZAcTB • August - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in Utah (4 of 6 spots available) ift.tt/1mVTJA4 via 500px ift.tt/1oICzGr

When I dream of incredible nightscape visions, I often dream of things like mountain peaks, Milky Way stars, and fields of wildflowers. So when the timing looked right this year, I headed up to Crested Butte, Colorado to see if I could bring some of those visions to life.

 

I decided to try bringing my mountain bike this time, in a bit of a misguided attempt to scout locations in the daytime and then return under the cover of darkness ready to capture the glory. That approach didn't work as well as I'd hoped - mostly because I found myself drawn to the steeper trails that just seemed easier to hike anyway. Along the way though, I was able to confirm that the Snodgrass Trail (shared by both hikers and mountain bikers) was once again FILLED with Lupine wildflowers.

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/lupine-blanket-under-stars

 

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Blog | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

 

Last Chances For Night Photography Training (for 2013)

• August 31 - Night Photography Training Club Sandwich in Arches National Park - 1 of 6 spots available

• September 7 - Night Photography Workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park - 2 of 6 spots available

 

Far on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Lake Irene turned out to be the highlight of my Night Photography Workshop (on 8/3/2013). With super dark skies, our view of the Milky Way Skies above was nothing less than spectacular and all the students could feel the excitement!

 

This image comes from a single exposure (that's right, just one exposure) that combines ideal settings for the milky way skies together with subtle light painting - again, all in the same exposure. These and other techniques are included in all of my night photography workshops including this event at Rocky Mountain National Park and my multi-night event at Arches National Park.

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/lake-irene-milky-way-mirror

 

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Blog | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

 

Upcoming Night Photography Training

• August 31 - Night Photography Training Club Sandwich in Arches National Park - 1 of 6 spots available

• September 7 - Night Photography Workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park - 2 of 6 spots available

 

Explore #48: April 15, 2010

 

On a new moon, you'd think the skies would be pretty dark. But on a high mountain pass, light comes from a variety of sources - including the vehicles passing by, planes, meteors, distant cities, and even the stars.

 

My favorite part is that above timberline this time of year has so much snow cover. This means the light reflects to illuminate everything from the terrain to the clouds - making for a wonderful night-time scene. In this shot, a large truck begins the descent from the top of the pass to join up with an interstate highway shown in the bottom left. This 41 second long-exposure image was captured on top of Loveland Pass and the Continental Divide west of Denver, Colorado.

 

To get this image, I rented a Nikon D700 with a full-frame sensor and a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. I've been very interested in seeing what the low light sensitivity of this camera could do for my darker night shots and this was one of my chances to use it. I hope you like the results.

A while back, I read up on a naturally occurring phenomena called Zodiacal Light and at one point, even pursued it (without success). So early one recent morning out for a different purpose, I couldn't help but notice a glow in the sky above. It was a little early for twilight but yet this glow appeared in the eastern sky in a way that was somehow different from what I'd expect from just twilight. And when I looked up higher, I could see the distinctive pyramid shape leaning towards the ecliptic path that told me it was in-fact Zodiacal Light.

  

I was excited to see it and now, I can say I've finally captured it! For more information on Zodiacal Light, see this article: www.skyandtelescope.com/community/skyblog/observingblog/T...

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/zodiacal-light-meets-winter-milky-way.

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Workshops | "How To" Articles & Tutorials | Product Reviews | Recommended Gear | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

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By the way, this would be a great time to get in your deposit for a night photography workshop.

Check out the great night photography training events in the 2014 lineup.

One of the prettiest things I looked forward to seeing this summer was the combination of wildflowers and starry skies. In this image, I was able to include the Milky Way and a collection of stars known as "The Teapot" in the skies above some beautiful wildflowers.

 

For a creative composition, I had an idea to follow-up on a bit of an accident that happened awhile back. You see, during some milky way photography over a year ago, I noticed in one accidental, out-of-focus frame, where the Milky Way stars appeared really cool. I saw a couple of blurry stars appearing as starry bokeh balls - something that really caught my eye as I'm not sure if I'd ever seen it before.

 

There is a lot more to this post...

See the rest and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/celestial-boquet

 

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Official Website | Night Photography Training | Blog | 500px | Google+ | Facebook | FAA

  

Last Chance For Night Photography Training (for 2013)

• September 7 - Night Photography Workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park - 2 of 6 spots available

 

The tree is just near our home and takes on many different looks throughout the year....I personally like it's winter coat best.

 

2015 Calendars are now ready...Get yours today for only $12.99 www.lulu.com/drwhite75

 

2015 Night Photography Workshop info - www.coloradocaptures.com/night-photography-training/shopb...

In life, there are a lot of places where we can see a balance. There's a balance between artificial and natural lighting and another one between day and night. But then on another level, there's a balance of life between humanity and nature. And then there's the balance between our planet earth and all the external forces that affect it. For me, it's all a delicate balance that I love to show off in my photography. This image was captured at the beginning of twilight (before sunrise) from Delicate Arch during one of my night photography workshops in Arches National Park. There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from ift.tt/UchNG3. ______________________________ Night photography workshops are going really well and I only have room left in one final workshop for 2014. If you're even thinking about a night photography workshop, check out the details now before these spots are gone. Night Photography Workshop in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in August (3 of 6 spots available) ift.tt/1mVTJA4 via 500px ift.tt/UchNG6

In life, there are a lot of places where we can see a balance. There's a balance between artificial and natural lighting and another one between day and night. But then on another level, there's a balance of life between humanity and nature. And then there's the balance between our planet earth and all the external forces that affect it. For me, it's all a delicate balance that I love to show off in my photography. This image was captured at the beginning of twilight (before sunrise) from Delicate Arch during one of my night photography workshops in Arches National Park. There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from ift.tt/UchNG3. ______________________________ Night photography workshops are going really well and I only have room left in one final workshop for 2014. If you're even thinking about a night photography workshop, check out the details now before these spots are gone. Night Photography Workshop in Arches & Canyonlands National Parks in August (3 of 6 spots available) ift.tt/1mVTJA4 via 500px ift.tt/UchNG6

I heard stories about how addictive it was to shoot the ice on the beaches in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. Between the beauty of the glowing sunrise colors appearing through clear and blue glacial ice and the excitement of the crashing waves, it was a thrill like no other.

 

In planning my trip, I gave myself time to return to the area after taking a workshop from Tony Prower (highly recommended, by the way). This proved to be a really good move because it taught me about the location and the technique before I set out to use them both on my own...

 

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest of the backstory, how I got the shot, and get free wallpaper from www.coloradocaptures.com/arctic-morning-ice-melt.

On a night where the primary plan (for great night photography) went to pot, I decided to improvise with a plan to head south to the Spanish Peaks with good friend, Jon Blake.

 

We were hoping for some more cooperative weather (than was predicted up north) and with a big 84% full moon setting at 3:30 am, I figured we had a chance for a good composite image. I was hoping for some good light from the moon just as it set on the horizon followed by some good dark sky shots of the milky way afterward.

  

There is a lot more to this post... see the rest and get free wallpaper from

www.coloradocaptures.com/lunar-alpenglow-milky-way-skies-west-spanish-peak

 

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Big Announcement

 

I've given my night photography training schedule for the summer a real kick in the pants with some hot new content and exciting locations - hand picked for night photography.

• Learn night photography at Arches, Sand Dunes, and Rocky Mountain National Parks.

• Each workshop is limited to 6 students to ensure plenty of individual interaction.

• Choose either a single-night in-field photography workshop or a multiple night combination with both in-field and classroom night photography training.

 

Check out the details at www.coloradocaptures.com/night-photography-training/.

 

The heavens really seemed to show their beauty on a recent early morning trek into the backcountry with friends Wayne Boland and David Kingham. This scene was made into something really special with a wonderful combination of blowing snow on Longs Peak, illumination from a quarter moon, and a sky full of stars including the Milky Way.

 

This 30 second long-exposure was taken during a snowshoe trek to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. And now that I've posted it, all that beauty makes the frigid temps and fierce winds seem like a distant memory...

 

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So I keep pursuing these dark night photography adventures even though I feel I've made the most of my camera (Nikon D300) in shooting the dark night. The camera has been fabulous for me but I honestly can't wait to step up to something more sensitive to low light. For now though, I remain patient knowing Nikon is likely to replace several of their top cameras this coming summer. So for the moment, I continue feeding my passion telling myself I won't necessarily get print quality. Once in a while I surprise myself, but I don't expect that to happen consistently until I upgrade. Until then, I just keep challenging myself to get better at finding great photo opportunities and to make the most of them when I get there. Does that mean I'm just scouting for next winter? Maybe...

  

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Like to see more? Please visit my portfolio at www.coloradocaptures.com.

Beautiful morning light hits Longs Peak, Glacier Gorge, and the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. This image was taken from Bear Lake near the town of Estes Park, Colorado - right before some breezy weather blew in and ruined the reflection.

 

As I've been pursuing my goal of an "ultimate sunrise reflection shot" from Bear Lake this summer, this was the closest I've seen in some time. Unfortunately I didn't quite get the clouds lighting up like I was hoping so I'll keep trying a little longer... But boy the peaks sure looked pretty!

 

In terms of post-processing, I made this image by combining 5 bracketed exposures using Photomatix Pro - but it's not an HDR. I used a process called "Exposure Fusion". It's like an HDR, but looks more natural and avoids many of the artifacts commonly found with one. I hope you like the results.

Nature's Delicate Balance by Mike Berenson - Colorado Captures

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