Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Once again, about twenty feet into the air, there was something magical at that height. You can't quite see over the trees, but you are high enough to see most of the mountains in the background. Forest Service Road 650 seemed like a lightly traveled road that is the only winter-time entrance into the town of Ophir. We parked between the highway and town, far enough from both that we didn't hear the sounds of either. Besides the occasional car coming by every five-ish minutes, the only other sounds we heard were those of the birds.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
After reaching a height of 1,600 feet above my starting altitude, I looked directly down. I saw the dirt road on the left side, a small stream on the right, and trees on both sides. I had a little trouble deciding which line I wanted to align the picture with, but I eventually settled with the tree line. I thought about choosing the road, but it wasn't entirely straight. So, the only other option was the tree line. I wouldn't call it the best alignment, but I think it's pretty good.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
The next part of this adventure involved turning down an unnamed dirt road after seeing some interesting-looking houses. I didn't know it yet, but from 1,500 feet, I could clearly see the small town of Ophir nestled in the valley of these mountains. Something that bothers me about this picture is the town's slant. It is not perfectly flat but slopes to the right. This is just a minor detail that annoys me since I am the photographer, but I still think it is an amazing image.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
When one of the drone batteries became a little low, I looked down, trying to align myself for a landing. I found the landing spot, but I also found these trees next to me. I saw I had about six more minutes of flight time and took a detour. And what I saw was unlike anything I had seen before. The almost setting sun made for some great shadows, and there were some very nice shadows from the trees. I knew this image had to be in black and white, but besides that, I didn't change anything else. I wanted the picture to speak for itself and to show the unedited scene.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
You probably thought that the title meant that this adventure was over, but it's not. I just like how it reflects what we used the road for. Similar to some other recent pictures, the road winds its way to the back of the image where the main subject is. I also like the contrast within the image. On the right side is a large group of trees, while on the left side is a mountain.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
After flying around for a bit, I found this mountain. In retrospect, I probably should have flown a little higher and tried to match the altitude of the peak, but this vantage point still looks incredible. What makes the image for me is the very wispy clouds. In the lower half of the image, you have the beauty from the mountain, with the trees and their shadows, and the peaks ruggedness. In the upper half, you have the soft clouds. Everything flows so nicely together, and it is hard to look at this without feeling a sense of calmness.
Monday, April 19, 2021
After leaving Trout Lake, we continued west, stopping and pulling off to the side of the road many times. This first stop was next to a large, mostly untouched area. Whenever I take off or land the drone, for some reason, everything looks better from twenty or thirty feet in the air. This image, for example, I'm sure would look good from the ground but looks a whole lot better from this vantage point. Maybe it's because we don't typically view things like this, or it's just this specific image, either way, I really like this picture.
Sunday, April 18, 2021
On the side of the road were a group of Aspen trees. I took a little stroll through the muddy road and centered myself with the bunch. The picture itself is relatively simple, a picture of trees. I then adjusted the tilt of the image to make the middle tree vertical, turned the picture black and white, and added a whole lot of contrast. I don't think any of those adjustments were necessary, but they add another level of depth to the picture.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
For this final drone picture from Trout Lake, I found a little gap between two peaks that allowed me to see for miles. In the foreground of the picture, you can see the road snaking through the image. But the further you look back, the more it disappears and the more the mountains appear. I would like to say that I intentionally kept the focus very crisp on the mountains in the background, but I am not advanced enough to know how to do so.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
From 1,600 feet up, the valley floor turned into a vast emptiness. There are very few markings (besides the obvious road in the middle) and the only contrast in the picture between the black trees and white snow. The trees have no real structure as they just look like black points. Then you look back at the very crisp mountain and the wispy clouds. Once again, there was a slight blue hue to the image, but a quick edit in Photoshop cleared most of it up.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
After turning the camera to face south, I found this road snaking through the valley floor. It is appropriately named Trout Lake Road, who would have thought. The lake was also where I saw some film being shot. As we were driving away, I noticed some 'crew' signs on the side of the road. Then, as we drove further west on CO-145, I saw a large gathering of people and some cameras. I am not sure what they were filming, but I guess this frozen lake in the middle of Colorado was the perfect spot.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
For my next adventure, I turned to Google Maps. I found a lake nearby CO-145, dropped a pin so I would have directions even out of cellular coverage, and went. It was strange how a drive of only eleven miles revealed an entirely different landscape. It wasn't like a transition from winter to summer, but the views were all new. For this picture, I noticed this house positioned below the untouched landscape and mountain peaks. I wanted to capture this with an isolated feeling, and I did so by going high into the sky and photographing as much of the view as I could.
Monday, April 12, 2021
As the sun continued to set, I turned around and faced the town. This picture ended up being the last one I took for the night. Not because the battery was running low or it was too cold, but because I took a video of the sun setting. Of the many picture and video options on the drone, one of them is hyperlapse. What this mode does is it takes many pictures (this specific one was 250) and compiles them together. Think of it like a timelapse feature, just from a drone. Hopefully, I will have posted the video by the time this post comes out, and you all can see the mountains turning from orange back to white.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
As we continue to plow through the series (day 20 of 45), I was reminded of a recent picture. The sky above Bald Mountain reminds me of the sky above Seaside from the Florida series. The baby blues, greens, and oranges all forming this gradual transition from color to color. Then you look down at the mountain and notice the ski runs twisting and turning all over the mountain. And to top everything off, there is the hint of orange on a singular western-facing slope. I don't think I have seen a better image of Bald Mountain.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
This next picture is a simple camera rotation from yesterday's one. There was something about these mountains that was calling me to post them. Maybe it was the orange sun that hit only the western-facing slopes or the completely untouched snow and exposed rocks, but whatever it is, it is magnificent. Also, at the bottom of the picture is Mill Creek Road. This is just one of many hiking and offroading trails that are around Telluride. Right now, they are just lines in the mountain, but once summer hits, they are frequently visited and is definitely something I want to do in the future.
Friday, April 09, 2021
After picking up some food from Telluride, I noticed the sky turning into some wonderful colors. Out of all of my skiing trips, this is the very first one where I was able to capture a colorful sunrise or sunset. For some reason, the sun has never cooperated while I have been in Colorado in the winter. But for this night, it did. The lower sky turned a bright orange, the upper sky a dark blue, and the clouds a vibrant yellow. I am not sure what more I could have asked for.
Thursday, April 08, 2021
As I began the long flight to the parking lot, I stopped for a second to appreciate the view looking west. The tiny town of Telluride is situated in the valley of multiple 14,000-foot behemoths. Luckily, it had just snowed, and these mountains were a wonderful shade of white. For some reason, there was a slight issue with the white balance of the camera, as all the pictures (especially this one) turned out slightly blue. I am not sure whether that is just a side effect of shooting a white object or if it happens to all drones, but some minor corrections in Photoshop fixed most of the mistakes.
Wednesday, April 07, 2021
This is Bridal Veil Falls, if the title didn't give it away. It is a 365-foot tall waterfall accompanied by the Bridal Veil Falls hydroelectric powerplant at the top of it. The distance to the falls was much further than I originally planned. I simply put in a fresh battery (thankfully) and started flying towards the falls. And 5,460 feet later, I reached this point. I was a little nervous sending it all this way but was very satisfied with the performance; a perfect 5/5 signal from a mile away, very long battery life (30+ minutes), and zero close calls. I'd call it a successful day!
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
Monday, April 05, 2021
The next day the clouds broke and left behind snow-covered everything. This meant drone flying weather! While looking around from about 400 feet, I noticed this house. It was further down the road from some other ones, making it the perfect subject for this picture. I positioned myself so that the house would be centered and that you can see just enough of the road to get the essence that it was there without it being too intrusive. When editing, a simple contrast increase and a hint of saturation were all that was needed to create this masterpiece.
Sunday, April 04, 2021
As I kept walking around, I found this icicle hanging onto a pine tree. It is nothing special, but I thought it looked interesting, so I took a picture of it. More specifically, I took many pictures of it. I was trying to capture the snow falling around it. I was able to catch a few snowflakes, but nothing like what I was imagining. But the sharp focus and bright colors make up for the loss of snowflakes, so it turned out to be a pretty good picture.
Saturday, April 03, 2021
As I mentioned a few posts ago, Wednesday brought snow clouds. Snow clouds mean no droning (a new verb I created for myself!). Instead, I walked around with my camera, the old-fashioned way. What interested me about this lift was its straightness. The further you look back, the more faded the picture becomes. It almost disappears, leaving me to wonder what's back there, but it's just more snow and the lift.
Friday, April 02, 2021
We have moved! Continuing our adventure, we traveled through the town of Telluride and into the town of Pandora. I'm not sure if it is entirely a town or if it's just a location on Google Maps, but I'll call it a town. Either way, in Pandora, on the east side of Telluride, there is a pass, Black Bear Pass. It connects the towns of Ouray and Telluride. It's a little hard to see from this image, but the cut bits on the mountainside are the lower parts of the pass. It cuts the mileage from 49.5 miles and an hour to 8.5 miles and about four hours. It requires a high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle and is only one way and a car length wide in some parts, but with the right driver, it is passable and very, very beautiful.
Thursday, April 01, 2021
The sun was very much not cooperating with me. Not at all. Granted, I should have probably expected this to happen. Shooting towards the west while the sun is setting is not the best idea, but come on, if those clouds could have shifted up just a little. Maybe next time. I ended up embracing the challenge by taking many different images with varying exposures trying to find the perfect one. I chose the one that made the sun not too overexposed and the mountainside darker but not too dark so that it wasn't uneditable. And with the magic of editing, it all comes together like this.