February 2019: Loveland Pass, CO - Wilderness Exclusives

This is an example of a location that I’ve wanted check out for a long time. The conditions needed to be a certain way, though, for the images to carry enough drama to convince me to carry my camera gear up to 12,875’ off of Loveland Pass, here in Colorado, in order to shoot the sunset.

I’d been to this spot before, actually, on a spring hike. For some reason, I did not have a camera with me. The long light of a Colorado sunset, coupled with a landscape that holds so many Colorado landmarks, I couldn’t wait to get back to the spot and start shooting!

I parked at the summit of Loveland Pass, and it was a breezy, cold February afternoon. I decided to add another layer, to replace the tee shirt that was going under my hoodie. After getting out of the car, this hoodie was quickly replaced with a gore-tex snowboarding jacket, also with a hood. If it is breezy at the pass, the summit is going to be really windy.

As I made my way to the spot that I had in mind, the winds really started to pick up! 50+ mph sustained wind. There were tears blowing out of my eyes, under my sunglasses, and freezing on the lenses. Should have grabbed goggles when I was gearing up! Also like a rookie, I had forgotten to attach my lens to my camera before heading up, keeping dust out of the sensor while attaching a lens was going to be as fun as shuffling a deck of cards in the wind and cold!

Upon reaching the spot, Torreys Peak (14, 267’) comes into view, and this was the main reason I hiked all the way there. I had seen compositions that I liked (and ended up using) for the second vantage point, looking back at the pass, but Torreys is just a beautiful, dominating peak. One of my favorites. So, I had to go up and grab “Long Light on Torreys”.

Long Light on Torreys

Heading back down to a spot that I’d noticed on the ascent, I set up my tripod to take a five-exposure HDR image of the west side of the pass. I decided in the end to use my wide angle, which required yet another “pulling a rabbit out of a hat” lens change, this time maybe in 40 mph winds, as I was a little lower on the ridge. I still had to hold the camera down, on the tripod, as the five exposures were taken to prevent a blurry image after all of this!

I love how the sun burst in the corner illuminates the rock and ice in the foreground of “Glistening Summit”. After a careful, if slippery hike back down to the car I felt content, having photographed one of my favorite mountains and captured an iconic Colorado sunset!


Glistening Summit

Prints of both images are available, click the “buy” button to see options! Feel free to comment and thanks for reading!

Powered by SmugMug Log In