How the Art Happens - White Forest

December 11, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

White Forest

White ForestWhite ForestBlack and White rendering of a dense Aspen forest in Western Colorado.
This image is limited to 25 prints on canvas at 20" x 32". The next one will be lucky number 13, so the edition will be half sold-out.

"White Forest" is one of those photographs I saw in my mind a long time before I found it in nature. I really love how densely aspen forests can grow. Some, you can barely walk through. I am also amazed at how the color and brightness of the trunks can vary within fairly short distances. They're not all bright white. But these were.

I travel over the West Elk Loop or Kebler Pass Road probably a dozen times a year. On this particular day, the sky was overcast but bright. That happens to be my favorite light for photographing aspen forests. I had driven by this grove many times before I caught this scene out of the corner of my eye. So, I went back and went to work. The trick was to fill every gap between trees with more trees. It was kind of tough. I had to move the tripod around a lot to create a composition with nothing but aspen trees. I was using my 200mm telephoto lens which tends to compress the space between near and far subjects but has a very limited depth of focus. I really wanted all, or most, of the trees to be sharply-focused. I ended up taking the picture at f22 for 1/8 of a second. But, I wasn't quite done.

It was early October and there were a few bright yellow aspen leaves in the composition. They completely stole the show. My eyes went straight to the only color in the scene, the leaves. So, I converted the photo to black and white. My leaf problem was solved! I ended up with a photograph that I absolutely love, representing how I feel about a lot of my adventures in Colorado forests. I guess others relate to it as well since it's sold 12 of the limited edition of 25 prints on canvas. It was even featured in the Crested Butte Magazine edition that is on newsstands right now. How does "White Forest" make you feel?


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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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