How the Art Happens - A Grove of Light

October 12, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

A Grove of Light

A Grove of LightA Grove of LightAfternoon sunlight fills a panoramic aspen forest decorated with autumn leaves.

Last week I was asked to photograph a family retreat above a ghost town. The property is a gated private ranch today. I met the original developer many years ago as they were putting in the gate and got him to send me an email granting me access to the abandoned cabins which are great foreground subjects with mountains in the distance. I had never been past the old cabins.


As I was driving to the home I was amazed that this hidden grove of aspen was in full fall splendor. The grove went on and on filled with perfect yellow leaves. There were no green, red, brown, or crimson leaves, only yellow. Since the grove was at the top of the hill, it was filled with warm, afternoon light. The recent winds had brought many leaves to the ground creating a yellow carpet matching the canopy. The scene went on and on for hundreds of yards. Finding trees that stood out was a challenge.


Once I found a couple of trees a little closer to the road, I decided the scene needed to be photographed in a panoramic format. I use this format frequently to reduce boring foregrounds and sky. Plus, this format looks great over a bed, sofa, or fireplace. To create the panorama, I used nine separate photographs overlapped by 50% and stitched together into a single image. This technique requires some special equipment including a super-sturdy tripod. The tricky part of shooting panoramas is keeping the camera and lens perfectly level while capturing the sequence of photos. I use a bracket for this specific purpose made by the maker of my tripod and ball head, Really Right Stuff. The bracket has built-in levels and rotates left and right, up and down. It really is the "right stuff"!


I hope you enjoy "A Grove of Light".


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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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