The Story Behind the Images - Winter Aspens (2000)

This is a continuation of my series - The Story Behind the Images - the stories about my favorite photographs as I remember them. I hope you enjoy and please share.

This is probably my most popular photograph and an image I can vividly remember taking.  While I was living in Fort Collins, I would wake up early to photograph sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park.  This would typically require a ~4am wake up and then a very fast drive up Big Thompson Canyon so that I could hike and set up my camera before the sun would light up the peaks.  Many times I would be able to make a trip up the canyon, photograph and get back to Fort Collins before work.

On this trip, I was a little late in arriving to the park so I made my way up through the Fall River Entrance and decided to explore a stand of aspens near West Horseshoe Park.  The sun had already risen as I parked my truck and gathered my gear and snowshoes.  West Horseshoe Park is probably most visited in the fall during the elk rut and a large heard of elk was still occupying the meadows and trees as I made my way into the trees along the hillside.  The snow was rather deep in this area and I can remember post holing pretty good even with snowshoes on.  

This group of aspens and blue spruce were situated in a little bowl that allowed me to get a somewhat elevated position that helped in reducing the chaos of smaller trees that were on the ground surface.  The aspens were glowing in the morning light which was even more pronounced with the contrast of the snow covered blue spruce in the background.  The combination of the light, aspens, snow and spruce created a scene that was perfect for Fuji Velvia film.  I can only imagine what this shot would look like if it were shot on large format. 

Photo Details - Nikon N90s and a Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 lens on Fuji Velvia 50 transparency film. It was scanned by West Coast Imaging using a Heidelberg Tango Drum Scanner. If you enjoyed this post please share and visit me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr (links on the left). Thanks again. Jason C. Ruf

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