How The Art Happens - The Last of the Winter Bones

May 28, 2022  •  Leave a Comment


The Last of the Winter Bones

The Last of the Winter BonesThe Last of the Winter BonesA Colorado aspen forest slowly turns to green after a long bare winter near Kebler Pass and Crested Butte along the West Elk Loop scenic byway.

It's finally starting to feel like spring again. Afternoon winds are melting the snow and Aspen and Cottonwood trees are starting their slow progression to deep green foliage. Every grove of trees begins this journey with tiny, lime-green leaves that provide a wonderful contrast to the stark white trunks of the aspen trees. This journey can last a few days or a week or more depending on the weather.


It's the contrast that I am attracted to. The lime-green leaves seem to really make those tree trunks pop and seem even more bright. But, even more, it's the promise of warmer, summer temperatures and our backcountry roads opening again to travel to my favorite spots.


"The Last of the Winter Bones" was created using a long, 400mm, telephoto lens to get me closer to the subject but also to compress the distance in the scene. Using this technique, especially with small apertures for increased depth of field requires a commitment to perfect technique. A sturdy tripod, locking the camera's mirror up, and using a cable release all aid in creating a photograph that's sharp from front to back. I think it's especially important to have details like tree trunks and tiny leaves in razor-sharp focus for the larger prints I usually create from these images. The other key ingredient in the photo above is the lighting. I usually prefer bright but diffused sunlight provided by a thinly overcast sky. I feel that deep shadows from direct sunlight detract from the feeling of the scene.


I hope you enjoy "The Last of the Winter Bones". It's one of my favorite spring photographs.



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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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