Up to the very top

This past weekend, I happened to drive through the San Luis valley (south central Colorado), and so was able to wiggle a bit of free time loose in order to see sunrise at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Up to the very top

Sitting on a dune ridge, looking even further “up hill,” I thought this was a striking sight.  A natural environmental abstract…

Down from on high

An abstract shot from the Ice Castle in Breckenridge, Colorado:

Down from on high

One of the fun things about living in Colorado is the plethora of great photographic subjects at hand. Among these, a new one (to me) is the “Ice Castle” built in Breckenridge during the winter. Made out of thousands of icicles, with imbedded LED lighting, it’s fun to walk through and a great photo subject.  The lighting changes colors every few seconds, so you’ll need to be on your toes if you want to capture a formation lit with a particular color — and a tripod (or one of these) along with some sort of remote (corded or cordless) are pretty much essential.

Oh, and one more piece of advice — look up!  If you limit yourself to photos taken on the level, you’ll miss some really interesting abstracts like this.

Enter the Bean

I almost titled this one “Self-portrait of Tripod,” given that I made this shot on self-timer so I wouldn’t be in it.  As a result, though, you can see over a dozen reflections of my camera on its tripod.

Enter the Bean

The reflector in this case is, of course, the “Cloud Gate” sculpture (a.k.a. “The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park.  This is taken from under the middle of it (officially called the omphalos, Greek for “navel”).  You can also get distorted shots of the weather and local architecture by using Cloud Gate’s exterior reflections.

Loads of fun, but you need to get there early unless you want to make photographs with lots of people in them.  Remind me to do a full writeup on photography of / with The Bean some day…

Blue, white, blue

Seen at 35,000 feet, somewhere between Denver and Atlanta:

Blue, white, blue

The clouds really were this smooth — I love the simple, semi-abstract look that the matching sky & jet engine colors gave this view.

Last (?) shot of winter

We got hit by an odd late-winter storm the other day, and here’s what we woke up to:

Last (?) shot of winter

This was the result of a storm that was supposed to dump a foot or more of snow on us, but wound up leaving us maybe an inch. And since the storm hit town quickly (temperature dropped by 40 degrees F in a matter of a few hours), it landed on warm pavement.

Shot of winter -- big

So for at least a few hours the next morning, I could play with my camera (in super cold temps) with this unusual snow pattern — only surviving over the joints between our patio pavers.

Gridded reflections

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a fun place to skulk around in, should you ever be in town. Aside from all the great natural history material on display, the building itself has been added on to more times than I can count — leading to some interesting interior architecture.

Gridded reflections

I made this image in one of the building’s atriums (atria?), that once was a courtyard but since has been closed in and covered with a glass roof. Polished metallic wall tiles lead to interesting reflections and intersecting geometries.

Radiating

I’ve really taken a liking lately to architectural abstracts — little interesting bits of texture and pattern that you’ll find while wandering through the built environment. Along those lines, I spotted this on a radiator at the Grant-Humphreys Mansion in Denver:

Repetitive

I made this image during this year’s Doors Open Denver event — a fantastic excuse for a little architectural exploration if you’re in Denver in April!