Snowstorm Panorama from Taylor Canyon, Colorado

June 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
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Winter in Taylor Canyon
It’s no secret that I like storms. Snowstorms are no exception. But when it’s dumping outside without a breath of wind and the snow is light as a feather and the air temperature is kind of warm I just can’t stay inside. That was today! This storm was supposed to be really cold and windy creating miserable photography conditions. So far those weather guys have missed the mark…again. No complaints here! So I got to spend the day doing what I really love, making new photos.
The image above is my favorite so far from today’s images. Taylor Canyon is one of my favorite forested areas for winter photos. It’s about 20 miles from my home so I can get there any time the light or weather seems inviting. I’ll probably be back there tomorrow morning for more photos since today’s shoot didn’t quite give me what I was hoping for. That’s the way this photo stuff works more often than not.
The image above is a panorama of sorts created by combining 8 single images. I let software do the actual work of stitching the images together. I’m currently using Panorama Tools GUI as my tool of choice although there are many others that work very well. The challenge with stitching multiple frames is figuring out where the photo should begin and end. After all, a strong composition is a key element in a successful print. This image was actually cropped down from the original capture to help the Aspen trees stand out and become the focal point. Cropping also cut off the bottom of the tree running through the center of the photo. Psychologically, cutting something off lets the viewer know that it’s not as important as other elements in the image that are shown complete. That’s a compositional trick that is usually used at the edges of the photo but a lot of compositional rules get thrown out the window when working in the panorama format.
Another element contributing to the successful image is the lower contrast and softer focus of the background in comparison to the Aspen trees in the foreground. In this case, the background is really in focus but appears soft because of the falling snow. There’s a lot more snow between the camera and the background than between the camera and the Aspen trees so the foreground naturally has more contrast than the background. Hey, there’s another design tool at work. Our eyes are naturally drawn to areas of higher contrast and will tend to see areas that are in focus as more important than those that are “soft”.
OK, enough of that for now. It’s officially Arts Fair Application Season. I’m looking for a few great arts fairs to show my work this spring. I just applied to the Paseo show in OKC but does anyone have any other suggestions? Shows within a day’s drive of CB between April 1 and June 15 will be preferred but others could be considered. Thanks for your suggestions. See you next week.

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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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