How the Art Happens - The Base of the Butte

September 11, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

The Base of the Butte

The Base Of The ButteThe Base Of The ButteBrilliant fall colored aspen trees contrast with deep, early, morning shadows on Crested Butte Mountain.

Our fall colors seem to be happening a little late this year. I'm hoping that when the leaves do begin to change I'm paying attention. It seems odd to me that I don't always pay attention to my surroundings since it's such a big part of my job.

"The Base of the Butte" almost didn't happen due to my lack of paying attention. I travel past this scene several times a day which is probably where the problem starts. They say "familiarity breeds contempt". While I don't feel contempt for my surroundings, subtle changes can certainly sneak past my attention unnoticed. 

The year this image was captured had blessed us with great fall colors. Here in Crested Butte, the trees had lost most of their leaves due to wind and rain. I really wasn't paying much attention to the few spots of color remaining in out valley. Instead, I was concentrating my efforts on the colors on Kebler and Ohio Passes which were just starting to peak. While heading home from breakfast around 8:30 one morning this scene caught my eye. The sun was just high enough to illuminate the few golden aspen trees at the base of Crested Butte Mountain while leaving the steep, rocky parts in deep shade. The contrast was beautiful! The details in the mountainside provided lots of interesting compositions. So, I drove on home.

The next morning the same thing happened but I did make a mental note to maybe take a picture someday. The third morning it happened yet again. I really needed to stop and get this image before it vanished. So, I drove home and grabbed the gear I needed, long telephoto lens, tripod, panorama bracket, camera, and finally, the decision to capture this photograph. The light was perfect. The trees were perfect. I had been composing this scene subconsciously for almost a week. The final photograph took only a few minutes. The lesson I learned with this image is that if I don't stop, I won't get the picture. Always stop! Always!

I'm really happy that I finally stopped to make this photo. This scene has not repeated since. These trees are usually the first to lose their leaves lately even though the play of light and shadow still happens every year.  Even though I really love this photograph, I haven't printed it in several years. It looks amazing on canvas and used to be one of my best sellers. Maybe it's time to print "The Base of the Butte" one more time!


No comments posted.
Other Sites and Links

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.

Studio Website

Facebook page

Artist Statement

Artist Resume

Contact Dusty Demerson

Be the first to see this blog, get a free eBook, see new images, and seasonal promotions by signing up here. Sign me up. I'll send just a few emails a month to keep you up to date on new blog posts and special promotions. I promise not to share your information or send you spam! You can unsubscribe at any time.