Last week, I went for a sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park. The original plan was to go for sunrise at Lake Helene or Two Rivers lake to photograph sunrise on Notchtop. However those plans were scuttled due to a miscommunication with the friend that was coming with me. We both thought the other was picking us up. So we arrived too late to get to Helene. Due to this delay, we decided to divert to Dream Lake for sunrise, which you can easily get to in half an hour or so. It looked like it was going to rain and overcast completely. Luckily right at sunrise, an opening in the clouds at the horizon let through a spectacular sunrise.
This is looking back in the direction of the rising sun not long before sunrise. The glow is starting.
Ushering Dawn. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1.6s, ISO 100.
A few minutes later an almost unearthly glow was starting on Hallett peak and Dragon Couloir. There was a strong breeze kicking up waves on the lake which gives the water a smoky appearance.
Dreams of Snakes. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 2.5s, ISO 100.
I also created a horizontal version of this image using another tree trunk as the foreground element.
Smoke on the water, fire in the ... . Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1s, ISO 100.
A little later, the color got really intense and a few very short breaks in the wind allowed me to compose images that included a reflection. This was really quite spectacular. Very little editing went into these pictures. I did also move back a little bit to get some more quiet water.
The quiet. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 0.8s, ISO 100.
The color was changing rapidly at this point. This image has a somewhat more perfect reflection but the sky was already taking on more blues. The light was fading in and out all the time due to the patchy clouds on the horizon as you can see in the first image above.
Upside Down Dream. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 1.0s, ISO 100.
I also made a portrait version of this. I like both a lot. This one again has more direct light on the peaks compared to the previous shot
Reflection. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28mm at 16mm, f/16, 0.4s, ISO 100.
At this point, we moved on to Emerald, Hayiaha, Mills and more. On the way to Emerald. I came across a small strand of Aspen trees that was backlit and really glowed. This is a handheld shot.
Trees. Bigger and prints.
Nikon D600, Nikon 24-85mm at 28mm, f/11, 1/25s, ISO 100.