How the Art Happens - That's Why They Call Her The Red Lady

February 12, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

That's Why They Call Her The Red Lady

Thats Why They Call Her The Red LadyThats Why They Call Her The Red LadyMount Emmons also known as The Red Lady shows how it got the name as an early winter snowstorm comes to an end.

Some days I just can't catch a break. A bunch of years ago, after a long day at the photo lab, I was home watching the evening news and catching some down-time when the setting sun played a nasty trick on me. It had been snowing most of the day but as the light began to fade it also began to change color. When the entire sky turns beet-red one has to go back to work if one is a photographer.

The red sky provided interesting light for the scene but I still needed a subject. I drove down to the Slate River bridge knowing the river was not yet frozen over and could provide a great reflection of the clouds above. Not knowing how long the light would last, I grabbed a few images from the bridge facing west toward Mount Emmons. This locally-famous mountain is nicknamed "The Red Lady", which turned out to be a wonderful coincidence for my photos. There are several stories about how Mount Emmons got its nickname and I had just captured a new one.

The brief but intense sunset had created a unique opportunity for a classic, Crested Butte, landscape photo with a new twist. I guess having to go back to work wasn't all that bad after all. I usually struggle with titles for my work. I think I have some kind of emotional mental block about sharing the soul of my images sometimes. This was not one of those times. "That's Why They Call Her The Red Lady" came to me almost instantly and no other title was ever considered. It's been a popular print for collectors with enough of a local connection to understand the title.


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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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