The Peaks of Paradise Divide Tower over Crested Butte, Colorado
June 06, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Winter brings its challenges to those of us who live at altitude. First, there’s snow which is our only form of precipitation from early October until sometime in May. Then there’s the temperature. Last night my home saw -16 but some of my friends living on the valley floor saw -35. They had some trouble getting cars started this morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really complaining. I live here by choice and if I ever tire of the winter challenges I can move to Phoenix.
Along with the challenges, winter brings some awesome photographic possibilities for those of us willing to do a little extra work. The “Paradise Divide Over Crested Butte by Moonlight” image above is a good example. This photograph really only works in winter when most of the ground is white. In the summer the moonlight has little effect on mostly-green foliage. The lights in the homes don’t come on until after 9 pm so they tend to be more scattered than all on at the same time. In winter the lights are on by 6 pm which is an extra bonus for me since I can be done with work a lot earlier than in summer. Another added ingredient for the winter version is the blue of the sky reflected on the snow. Blue tones tend to recede visually and contrast nicely with the yellow lights in the windows which, being warmer tones, tend to advance.
The thing I like most about this image, however, isn’t the colors or that I got to go to bed earlier. My favorite part of the image is the sense of scale. The towering mountains looming over a tiny town show just how this valley feels to people arriving for the first time. It’s a warm, welcoming and inviting feeling despite the towering peaks. It makes me feel comfortable and protected. The effect is enhanced by the use of a long telephoto lens (300mm) which visually compresses the distance between the peaks and the town.
How does this photo make you feel? I would love to know. You can leave a comment here on the blog, send an email or post a reply on Facebook if you prefer. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested. Have a great week and Happy 2011!
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Keywords: Art, Photography, color, Colorado, Crested Butte, Landscape, light, Paradise Divide, snow, Tech Talk, The art of photography, winter, Winter
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