How the Art Happens - East River Magic

August 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

East River Magic

by Dusty Demerson

beautiful sunrise over the East River near Crested Butte, ColoradoEast River MagicA beautiful sunrise in late September creates some East River Magic near Crested Butte, Colorado.

Some scenes just capture your soul. The meanders of the East River near my home in Mount Crested Butte, Colorado is one of those scenes. I love looking down on the river snaking its way through the valley below. I'm not the only one in love with this scene. It's a really popular stop for photographers and sightseers from all over the world.

Sometimes Mother Nature provides us with a scene for new eyes though. I remember being not very optimistic about making photographs on this morning in late September a few years ago. The overcast sky did not seem very promising so I decided I would just run out to Gothic to see what was happening with the colors. Well, this was happening! I didn't want to lose the light so I quickly found a pull-out and set up the tripod and camera. There was a huge range of exposure between the bright sky and shaded foreground so I took bracketed exposures in the hopes of combining them in the processing step. That approach was a total failure so I ended up using darkroom techniques to bring everything to life with a single exposure. Thankfully, modern software lets us accomplish these tasks easily and with reversible precision.

Besides the snaking river and the sunlight streaking through the clouds, I really like the diagonal line of trees in the middle ground. Diagonal lines add a sense of excitement and movement in photographs. This was definitely not a "static" scene so the diagonal lines help to tell the story of this beautiful sunrise. As it turned out, this photograph was the only "keeper" from that day. I hope you like "East River Magic".


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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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