How the Art Happens - Autumn Glory

October 21, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Autumn Glory

Autumn GloryAutumn GloryAn impressionistic approach to fabulous fall colors on the flank of Gothic Mountain near Crested Butte, Colorado.

Fall is my very favorite time of year. It's usually colorful, warm, and not as busy as the summer season. This year was no exception. In fact, the mixture of reds, yellows, and greens made it one of the most memorable autumns for photography in recent memory. It seemed to take forever to get here since sub-freezing temperatures really get the colors flowing and that was pretty late this year. But, when it finally happened it certainly did not disappoint.

The south flank of Gothic Mountain up Washington Gulch is one of the earlier places to find good color near Crested Butte and I visited the area several times and got several new, strong, images.

One problem with photographing the same area for over 30 years is that it becomes a challenge to find something new. One actually gets to recognize specific trees and drainages like old friends. Which, of course, they are.

I have always loved and appreciated the work of impressionistic painters. It's a look that is difficult to achieve with photography since this medium is all about saving detail rather than capturing the impression of the shapes and colors. I've been trying to replicate this technique for a long time with very limited success. The original photograph of the image above looks much like one I caught a few years ago. This year my visit was on an overcast day and the saturation of the colors was amazing with very few shadows. My favorite light! But I had to create something different.

Using a software program called Topaz Simplify allowed me to eliminate a lot of the photographic details and replace them with large, random shapes like brushstrokes. After playing with the adjustments for a while, I created an image that was just what I was looking for. "Autumn Glory" gets to the feel of the scene without the overwhelming details. How do you like it?


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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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