Join us every Tuesday @ Lunch in the Photoshop room (B205)
Brian Amdur President http://www.brianamdurphotography.com/
Nick Gilbert -V.P. http://www.nickgilbertphotography.com/
Arron Wald Co President http://aaronwaldphoto.weebly.com/
Daniel Hassell Co President
Elk Meadow Photo Shoot
On Monday January 21st, 2014 I was in denial that I actually had to go to school the next day. Since I didn't truly believe I had to wake up early in the morning I decided it would be as good of a time as any to go out and try to capture a few nighttime shots. The previous night I had gone to Elk Meadow to take some pictures and had gotten mediocre results. I thought that I could improve upon some of my photos by adding in startrails. After setting out on the hike back to where I had shot the day before, I quickly learned why the meadow is called Elk Meadow. Walking with my headlamp off I unknowingly stumbled into a herd of elk which suddenly ran off right to where I wanted to shoot. At that point I decided to change plans and head to the old barn seen in the picture above. Alone at night the barn was not too inviting. The occasional creaking wood and other mysterious noises were enough to remind me of every horror movie I have ever watched. I quickly composed my shot and set experimented with my flash. I found that firing the flash from within the structure produced the most interesting light with the best contrast. I toggled with my settings and finally landed on a 30 second shutter, f/4 aperture and iso 800. Once everything was set up right I left my camera and caught up on some homework. During this time I convinced myself that someone would certainly find my camera sitting alone and decide to keep it for themself. I came back 200 pictures and almost 2 hours later relieved to see my camera was still there. (Side note: while it is highly unlikely that anyone would even see my camera in the middle of a dark meadow far from any trails at 8pm on a Monday night is unlikely, leaving my valuable camera unattended is a risk I do not plan on taking ever again.)
After I had all the pictures taken for this shot I spent some time tweaking the photos in Lightroom. Unfortunately when I took the pictures there was a lot of airtraffic and airplanes appeared in over 30 of the shots. After two hours of removing airplanes, I used a program called startrails.exe to combine all the photos into one. After some more tweaks the photo was ready to go.
Chief Mountain Photo Shoot
Chief Mountain is a small mountain (11,700ft) on Squaw Pass with full 360 degree views of many 14ers and the city of Denver. On January 11th, a few friends and I decided to make it to the summit by 7am in order to catch the first light of sun from the top of the mountain.
About a week earlier we mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to camp on the mountain. We made it about halfway to the top and set up camp but once the temperature dropped to -10 degrees with 40 mph gusts of wind we decided we would have to try again on a warmer day. Last saturday the temperature was supposed to stay above zero the whole night so we figured this would be warm enough for a successful trip. This time we decided camping wasn't the best idea and instead chose to wake up early. After going to bed at 1:30am got a quick three hours of sleep before waking up at 4:30am. I packed my camera gear, bundled up, then left my house. I met up with Daniel Hassell and EJ Rainville at 5:15 then arrived at the trailhead at around 6:15. We laced up our snowshoes then quickly headed out. The wind had been terrible the night before and blown snow completely covered the trail. Combined with the darkness this made the trail hard to follow. Once we got about half way the sky started to light up. At this point we had to hurry in order to make it to the top before sunrise. After approximately 45 minutes of hiking we made it to the tree line. Most of the snow was blown off the mountain from the wind so we took off our snowshoes and started scrambling straight to the top. We were getting nervous about not making it up to the top in time and knew we had to rush if we wanted to make it.As we approached the top the sunrise started to hit full stride. The sky began to catch on fire and was filled with yellow and orange clouds. Unfortunately, the wind also began to hit full stride. It became hard to keep my balance while taking pictures because the wind was so strong. We made it to the top at around 7am, just before the sun made it's appearance above the horizon. Our time spent at the top was short lived. We quickly moved down the North side of the mountain just below the summit to avoid the wind. Moments later the sun peeked above the horizon. As we sat just below the summit taking photos I wished I could freeze time and make the moment last forever. The sunrise from the top of the mountain was simply amazing. While waking up at 4:30am did not seem too appealing at first, I have never regretted waking up early to take photos and this was no exception. This trip turned into one of the best hikes of my life and it was an amazing way to capture some new shots for my portfolio.