Tag Archives: mountains

Loveland Pass, Colorado – Top of The Continental Divide

As I stated last week, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 2 of 3 from Colorado. Last week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide, with this week being Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon as featured last week. This week finds us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado).

Loveland Pass 1

The highway winds its way up the western slope of the Continental Divide, climbing in altitude and bringing you above tree-line as you approach the pass. Tree-line in this part of the Rockies is approximately 11,500ft /3,500m.

Loveland Pass 2

As we wind our way near the pass, we have just climbed above the tree-line when i stopped to take this picture…please note the blue sky and puffy white clouds as I look west back towards the area we came from.  I point this out as you will see dark storm clouds as my shots rotate to the east towards Denver (again typical afternoon thunderstorms for this time of year).

Loveland Pass 3

We arrive at Loveland Pass elevation 11,990ft / 3,655m to a crowd of folks enjoying the serenity and beauty of the 360 degree panorama. This capture is looking generally north. Please note the hiking trail as both sides of the highway have them leading to trails accessing the summits of nearby mountain peaks.

Loveland Pass 4

Looking slightly northwest as you see one of the trails wind its way across the top of the peaks.

Loveland Pass 5

This shot shows the parking lot and the hiking trail from the last picture. I added it because (and I get it’s hard to see) if you look at the ridge-line of the peak to the left of the obvious group of people going up the trail, you will see a few heads of hikers that are traversing this summit heading to the very top point.

Loveland Pass 6

This is the part of the Continental Divide that the Eisenhower Tunnel goes through………

Loveland Pass 7

This is the trail on the other side of the highway where I was taking pictures from. See the difference in the sky? This is looking southwest towards Colorado Springs along the base of the Rockies south of Denver….looks like they are getting some rain.

Loveland Pass 8

This is a capture of the west side of the pass and the highway we will be taking down to rejoin Interstate 70 heading into Denver. This is looking towards Denver and it looks like they are getting some rain also.

Loveland pass 9

As we wind our way back towards tree line, I took this shot of the Loveland Ski area. It starts down by the Eisenhower tunnel and has ski slopes carved into the thick forest at lower elevations and also has runs above tree-line. Since it’s quick and easy to access from Denver, we spent many a day off skiing here.

Next week I’m going to post a blog highlighting downtown Denver. For most of the week we were staying in the mountains just west of Denver proper, but we did spend the last two days in downtown proper. Denver has a very dynamic downtown and has done an incredible job creating a true living/working core to this great city (ok, I’m biased…but it really is cool).

Thoughts?

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Abstract Sunrise and Sunsets – Featured Art Prints

I have been working on a project for a client encompassing abstract sunsets and now sunrises. I am featuring three of my most recent art prints, two are with the sunsets and the third is the first of some sunrises. I featured the first three sunsets I created for the project last September in two different posts. One featuring a lighthouse and another a sailboat and then the post about our moving back to Southern California, leaving the Arizona desert behind, which was a group of Saguaros in the desert at sunset.

If you follow my blog you will remember that the move was precipitated because our granddaughter and her parents were expecting a little brother for her….which fast forward…happened this last week. Our grandson was born last Monday 10 days early and when he decided he wanted to come into the world…he wasted no time…very quick delivery. Mom, Dad and grandson are doing great as are his grandparents.

So back to the project, I had a client who wanted a series of abstract sunsets and sunrises done in this abstract style with a variety of subject matters. From my moving post, I put eyes and smiles on the cactus, which prompted a comment from one of my blog followers (yes, Brad that was you!!) about using them in a children’s book. At the time I had actually just finished a children’s book, which I wrote for my granddaughter and had my niece (great artist) illustrate it. I casually mentioned Brad’s comment to a source who helped me with the first book and they encouraged me to pursue it. So, as I complete the initial request, I am already planning on what “tweaks” I want to make and how that would fit in a children’s book. So, more on that as I go forward, but more importantly I wanted to thank Brad for his comment and let him know how it is being played forward (the power of positive input).

With these three, the first one is Serengeti Sunset with a group of giraffes on the Serengeti at sundown. With the sun on the horizon, I chose to stay close to primary colors creating a bold look, but darkened and softened the orange and yellow as they pulled up and down from the horizon line. I did the three giraffes in black silhouette to complete the look of this abstract representation. The digital drawing of the silhouette figures in all three prints looks simple, but trust me the drawing is very tedious and time consuming done digitally (if only I had the drawing gift free hand).

The next art print called Mountain Sunset is done using the same general technique with the bright primary colors filling the sky.

The third one is done using the same concept, but to depict a sunrise, I changed the sky to blue to create a different look. This one features Flamingos feeding under palm trees.

Thoughts?

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Wenatchee River, Washington – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

For the weekend of March 10th, as a Christmas gift to the family, one of our daughters put together a family getaway weekend. The location she chose was up in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle (two of our three daughters and their husbands live in the Seattle area – the other daughter who put this together, her husband and our granddaughter live in the Los Angles area and my wife and I live in the Phoenix area). She chose a location near Stevens Pass (spring skiing) and just outside of Leavenworth, Washington (Leavenworth is a Bavarian village featuring great German food, beer gardens and wine tasting from nearby wineries). The location of the house we stayed in is the subject of this weeks post.  The house was located along the Wenatchee River which flows down from the pass area into the eastern side of the Cascades. Most of the river is white water rapids, but the portion of the river where the house was located is just upstream from a small dam. The dam backed up this portion of the river into what looks like a still water pond. The house was perfect with floor to ceiling glass windows allowing the views I posted to be seen throughout most of the house.

Wenatchee River One

This first capture is straight across the river looking at a cabin in the woods on the other side (all it missed was smoke curling up from the chimney). The water appears very calm, but  is actually flowing at a fairly rapid pace. Loved the reflection on the water.

Wenatchee River Two

This is just a close up of the cabin across the river…..

Wenatchee River Three

Standing in the same location as the first two shots, this is looking to my right up-stream along the river. If you could zoom in on the river where the green reflection ends, you would see white water rapids as the water flows into this calmer portion. We could hear the sound of the rapids from our location.

Wenatchee River Four

This is a cabin located downstream from the house….thought it had that great cabin in the woods look…from this perspective the river is reflecting the white snow of the hillside across from us.  Thoughts?

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Mount Shasta – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I was on a quick two day road trip this week with my son-in-law traveling from Phoenix to Seattle. We had a short time frame to meet, so we had two very intense driving days to get up to Seattle (the good news for me, I flew back to Phoenix, so only had the drive one way). Anyone that follows my blog knows that I never go anywhere without my camera….you just never know!!

Because we had such a tight timeframe, there really wasn’t much opportunity to stop and take pictures, but I was able to grab some shots of Mt Shasta when we stopped for breakfast in Mount Shasta, California. With the amount of moisture that has been hitting the western US (much needed for California), the amount of snow on Mt Shasta was incredible, as you can see by the pictures. Tidbits about Mt Shasta: It is a volcano that sits on the southern end of the Cascade Mountain Range in Northern California and has an elevation of 14,179 ft. It last erupted in 1786.

Upon arriving back home and reviewing the shots, I thought that part of the series I hurriedly took would make a great example of framing a shot either while you are taking a picture or afterwards if you have the right software.


Mount Shasta One

Mount Shasta One

This first capture I created using the zoom feature of my lens to frame the shot. I was standing in a parking lot right outside of the restaurant.

Mount Shasta Two

Mount Shasta Two

This capture gives you the look and feel of what I was actually seeing in my line of site…..again, the first shot was my zoom lens framing the shot above the Shell gas station (notice the tree branches that were in the first shot).

Mount Shasta Three

Mount Shasta Three

Another approach if you don’t have a strong zoom lens or just didn’t use it, is this method. This capture is from the second shot….I cropped it in Photoshop to eliminate the “street noise” of the other picture.

I think both methods created the final image that I was looking for. Thoughts?


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Rattlesnake Ledge – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I love to hike and since it’s summer here in the desert, hiking is limited due to the heat. We are headed up to Seattle this weekend for a visit with our youngest and her fiancé. The trip will include wedding dress shopping for the ladies and hiking for the guys (camera in hand always). One of my favorite hiking trails is Rattlesnake Ledge. The trailhead is located by Rattlesnake Lake not to far from North Bend, Washington. I love the sheer beauty of the Central Cascades and this trail certainly contains that. I have attached three shots from a hike a few years back that will give you an idea what I am talking about.

The first shot is the beginning and the end of the trail. Look down at the lake and you see the parking lot? That is where the trailhead starts. A couple of hours and about a 1200 foot elevation gain and you are on these rocks over-looking the lake. The ledge itself is much larger than depicted in this picture with numerous rock formations like this around the ledge. All told there has always been about 50+ people on the ledge whenever I have been there and yes, it’s busy with people, but not crowded.

Rattlesnake Ledge 1

Rattlesnake Ledge 1


The other two shots come from viewpoints along the way. Your hike is mostly in dense forest, with an occasional viewpoint as you make your way up. Stunning country and a beautiful hike.

Rattlesnake Ledge 2

Rattlesnake Ledge 2

Rattlesnake Ledge 3

Rattlesnake Ledge 3

Thoughts?


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Sun in the Forest – Featured Art Print

This week I’m featuring a print from a series in my Landscape Oil Gallery. The art print is titled: Sun in the Forest. The setting is a forest in the Cascade Mountain Range where the tree canopy creates a natural barrier to direct sunshine. Then suddenly you see it, a shaft of bright sun piercing the canopy and illuminating the undergrowth of the forest floor. The suggestion of birch trees frames the scene and adds depth to the setting. To recreate this scene, I used a gothic oil technique that I like as it uses warm earth tones and bold brush strokes creating an old world look to the art print.

Thoughts?

I invite you to visit my Landscape Oil Gallery to enjoy this print and many more.

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Mountain Meadow Lake – Featured Art Print

Today’s featured art print is titled: “Mountain Meadows”. It is a new addition to my Abstract Watercolor Gallery. I chose an abstract approach to a landscape scene to soften the look of the final piece. I used muted colors and strong suggestive lines to create the framework of the scene.

Mountain Meadow Lake

Mountain Meadow Lake

At first glance, you may not be too sure just what you are looking at, but then you recognize the suggestive outlines of hills, trees and grass. You see a smooth area, which you now see as a lake or pond. Your eye is pulled into the print trying to figure it out. The abstract approach creates some different elements in a print. It uses a different methodology presenting a picture. If it were a true impressionistic approach, the shapes and colors are more about evoking a response or an emotion versus portraying accurate detail. I like that approach with free form shapes and bold colors. Another approach to abstract art prints is a subtler look such as the featured art print. A specific scene is being depicted but without the detail found in a photograph or a typical art print. It is more suggestive of the subject matter letting your mind fill in the blanks.

I have two abstract galleries, one done in oil techniques and one done using watercolor techniques. They both use the same basic premise, but the results are different because the elements are created in two distinctly different ways. The oil techniques typically produce bolder, stronger looks and the watercolor techniques create softer looks using more subtle methods. They both have their place in an interior design depending on the look you are going for. Thoughts?

 

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the addition of art prints to the collection in Abstract Watercolor Gallery.

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