How the Art Happens - Daybreak Crested Butte

July 24, 2019  •  1 Comment

Daybreak - Crested Butte, Colorado

Daybreak - Crested ButteDaybreak - Crested ButteColorful Victorian architecture of downtown Crested Butte, Colorado taken to extremes using HDR processing. Crested Butte photography.

Crested Butte, Colorado got its start in the late 1800s as a mining town. Like many other mountain towns of that era, the architecture was mostly Victorian in nature. While the original buildings were probably not as colorful as they are today, the style and influence of the Victorian era are unquestionable, especially along the commercial corridors.

For those lucky enough to experience Crested Butte's Elk Avenue (main street) without cars or pedestrians, the colorful storefronts can invoke a romantic storybook feeling. In mid-winter with lots of snow, the feeling is even stronger. It's really a magical place but you have to get up early to experience the full effect.

My morning routine includes going out for breakfast, usually at Paradise Cafe. My favorite cafe was located in the middle of town until a few years ago. On this particular morning, I was the first car on the street. An overnight storm was just clearing and it was still snowing lightly but the sky was slowly getting lighter bringing an interesting glow to the landscape. I grabbed my camera!

I photographed the scene from several vantage points and in both landscape and portrait orientations. It seems the best location was from the middle of the street with a short telephoto lens. The short telephoto lens helps to subtly compress the distance back to the Old Town Hall building on the right. The bell tower feature of that structure creates a logical stopping place while viewing the photograph. The angle of the tracks through the snow and the storefronts pull the viewer's eyes from left to right and front to back. Fortunately, the snow banks on the curbs were just high enough to hide the sidewalk and the foundations of the buildings. 

The storefronts in Crested Butte are pretty colorful but not nearly as saturated as they are in this photograph. To enhance the storybook feel, I increased the saturation of the scene and made it a touch lighter than reality. The falling snow added a soft-focus effect to finish creating the romantic, storybook, feeling of "Daybreak - Crested Butte, Colorado".

These days the Town of Crested Butte rarely allows the banks of snow on the edge of the road so this scene is no longer possible. Most photographers hate the snow management plan used today! I'm glad I was able to capture this scene on February 20, 2010.









Dee Morgan(non-registered)
Awesome! Such talent and we are all fortunate to see it! Thank you for sharing! :)
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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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