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Yesterday, after checking the weather forecast, I decided to head off to a different location along the South Platte. Heading down to Sedalia, I then turned towards the mountains to Deckers and the South Fork of the Platte River. It has been a few months since visiting this stretch of the river. This fork was flowing more gently than the North Fork that I visit more frequently. Most of the snow had melted since this stretch gets more sun. At a narrow section of the river, the water flows over coarse granite rock and boulders. At this section, the flowing water had gouged the rock, leaving water-filled hollows that looked like giant footprints.


Gouged Rock Pools, Like Giant Footsteps

This section of the river is very narrow, with a vertical canyon wall that plummets down to the water. The granite wall has some interesting features that I captured below. I also included two giant foreground boulders in the composition.


Granite Rock Face And Boulders

Further upstream, I found this water pool with a reflection of the giant boulder in the background.


Reflections In Rock Pool, South Fork


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Night Shoot, Washington Park — wk 11

Last night was the Illuminate Workshops Meetup group. This month we headed to Washington Park. I made sure that I arrived well before sunset so that I could make images in daylight. Just as the sun was setting, I some images of trees reflecting in the Washington Park lake. When I looked at the image in Lightroom, I noticed that the foreground shadows were lit with blue from the sky. In this image, I increased the saturation of the blues and oranges to create some more color contrast.


Sunset Reflections In Washington Park Lake

As the sun sank lower in the sky, the orange skies from the setting sky were reflected in the lake. The park (and lake) has scores of Canada geese at this time of the year. I waited for the nearest goose to enter the frame before making this image.


Geese Silhouette, Washington Park

I headed around to the other side of the lake, to be closer to the meetup location. Here I made some image blurs. Horizontal blurs were not working at this location — too many long dark streaks — so I tried some vertical blurs. I made several vertical blurs that included the top of the trees and the bottom of the trees (reflected in the water). In Lightroom, I applied some negative clarity. This increased the “blurriness” of the trees in this image.


Island Blur In Washington Park Lake

After meeting the group of photogs, we made our way to the northern side of the lake. I made the following image that includes the reflections of the streetlights in the water.


Streetlights, Washington Park

The main attraction that was planned for the meetup was to create sparks and firewheels. In this image, Efrain was spinning the firewheel to create an orb of light. As the sparks fly, they leave trails in the night sky.


Orb And Sparks, Washington Park

The firewheel is created by putting steel wool inside a whisk. The whisk is attached to a chain or rope and lit before spinning the whisk. Be sure to have fire extinguishers available before attempting this. Also, stay away from trees and dry grass!



South Platte River, Mile High — wk 10

After gym this afternoon, I headed down to the Platte River, close to Mile High Stadium. It has been a few years since I last made photographs in this area. With the light rail running through the area, there have been many changes. One of the river trails has moved! As I walked along the trail, the afternoon sunlight lit up various buildings and structures; these were then reflected in the river. The light rail bridge was reflected in the relatively slow flowing water.


Reflections Of Light Rail Bridge

The orange/brown steelwork reflecting in the water made the image above come to life. In the image below, I composed the lines of the steelwork against the blue sky.


Light Rail Bridge Steelwork

Farther along the trail, the power generating station was reflected in the river.


Power Station Reflection

The I-25 highway crosses the Platte River close by. After a couple of weeks of frigid weather, many people took to the trails to enjoy the sun. Under the I-25 bridge, I capture a lady in red walking the river trail.


River Trail Walker

The highway bridge was supported by several Y-shaped supports. In the following image, the sun was reflected by the river, lighting the underside of the bridge. This made an interesting image when converted to black and white.


I-25 Bridge Supports

I headed back towards the car through a construction yard parking lot that contained many pools and puddles from the melting snow and ice of the last week or two. In this image, the towers of the power station were reflected in the pools. There were some interesting clouds in the sky, that I included in the composition.


Tower Reflections In Parking Lot Puddle

Nearby was an alley that was decorated with some colorful murals, also reflected in the pools.


Mural And Reflecting Pool



Frigid Week — wk 9

This last week was a frigid one with plenty of snow. On Thursday night, I-25 was busy with traffic. While waiting at the Arapahoe Station, the Light Rail train came over the bridge. As it arrived at the station, the train emerged from behind a cloud of snow!


Light Rail Train Emerging From The Snow

On Saturday, I headed down to Bear Creek. Along the side of the creek were snow fields with shadows cast by surrounding trees.


Snow Field Near Bear Creek

Close by was a children’s playground. Here I found icicles growing from bright red colored seats.


Icicles On Playground Seat

At a nearby table, several icicles were growing upwards out of the table top. I wonder how they grew up? Maybe from water dripping from a tree?


Icicles Growing Out Of The Table

Close up, these became “Icicle Towers” in the following image.


Icicle Towers

This morning, I was at the Denver Art Museum for a National Geographic Traveler seminar. After arriving at the museum, I found some more icicles growing on the sculpture located outside.


Icicle On Sculpture, Denver Art Museum



Daffodils On The iPhone

Yesterday, I was listening to the TWIP (“This Week In Photo”) podcast. As one of the picks of the week, Ron recommended some iPhone apps — Waterlogue and Tangled FX — both of which I have used. This morning I made an image of a vase with daffodils, that I gave the Waterlogue treatment; a watercolor effect.


Daffodil, Waterlogue-d

While visiting the iTunes store, I found another app, Glaze, that gives an oil painting effect. This app has several oil effects that I liked. So, I thought, I wonder what oil paintings look like in black and white (50 Shades of Grey)? I took the same original photo into Glaze and then processed in Snapseed as a black and white image. After a little burning and dodging, I got the following image.


Daffodil, Glazed Monochrome



Harlequin Plaza, After Work — wk 8

Friday, after work, I changed the route to return to the light rail station. This time, I headed towards the Orchard Station. The walk takes me past Harlequin Plaza. On the south side, a bridge crosses the pond to connect the office buildings to the parking lot. I stopped here to make this image that was converted to black and white. This building is great fun to photograph since it has angular roof line and plenty of glass windows that reflect the surrounding.


Bridge To Harlequin Plaza

Walking along bridge, I stopped to make this image.


Harlequin Plaza, South Side

Last weekend, I was experimenting with some images that I made at Harlequin Plaza last July. These can be found on Ello. One of the images was similar to the one below, but without the overcast skies.


Glass And Sky, Harlequin Plaza

Finishing up at Harlequin Plaza, I headed over to the Orchard light rail station. This station has benches with colorful opaque backrests. While waiting for the train to arrive, a lady sat down on the sunny side of the bench. The sun emerged from behind the clouds, picking up her shadow in the backrest.


Backlit Commuter, Orchard Station




Ice In The Platte River, Foxton — wk 7

Last Sunday, I made a trip to the South Platte River at Foxton. Having visited the river farther downstream at Waterton Canyon two weeks earlier, I did not know what to expect. After arriving at Foxton, I found thick slabs of ice covering most of the river!


Ice In The South Platte River, Foxton

Working my way along the river, I found a place that allowed me to get reasonably close to the flowing water. I made the following image with a 5 second exposure. This gives a milky white surface to the flowing water, just below the ice.


Ice And Water, Long Exposure

Here is another image of the ice above the flowing water.


Ice Above Flowing Water, Platte River

Heading downstream, I noticed the setting sun lighting up the pine forests. There was one spot where the ice had melted, leaving a pool of water. The sun was lighting up the trees on the far bank of the river. Reflections of the trees in the water looked like they were covered in fall colors!


Sunlit Reflections In Icy Platte River

I made the following image of the pine trees catching the last sunlight of the day.


Catching The Sunlight, Foxton





Reflections And Leading Lines — wk 6

This last week we had a wild weather week, starting with snow that soon turned to warm spring like weather. With the sun setting later in the day, I had the opportunity of making images after work at the end of the day, without avoiding snow in the images. I made the following image just before the sun sank over the mountains. I shot down into the pond to get the reflection in the water of the building and the lone tree. Two minutes later and the orange glow of the building was gone.


Reflection, Tuscany Plaza And Tree At Sunset

Walking to work on the following morning, construction of the new AMG Bank building was lit up by the early morning sun. There were colorful construction vehicles working around the building. Stopping at the same pond as above, I made the following images of the construction reflections in the water. Some ducks and geese had made some ripples to the right that made interesting abstract shapes in the water.


Construction Reflection In Tuscany Plaza Pond

The next morning was clear blue skies again. Taking a walk through Samson Park, I was drawn to the contrast of the orange/brown branches reflecting in the blue of the water. Again, there were just enough ripples to break up the reflections into a more abstract image.


Reflection In Samson Park Pond

On Friday afternoon, I returned from work, taking a stroll through Tuscany Plaza. Leaving the building through the covered walkway, I noticed the leading lines created by the railings, also reflected in the windows. I setup a composition and made an image. Just then, a lady came walking her dog on the far side of the street. I made a few images, this last one when she turned to walk through Samson Park.


Tuscany Plaza Exit

Friday was First Friday Art Walk on Sante Fe. I am always inspired by the art on display in the various galleries, so I usually have a camera with me on the art walk. I headed down to the basement of one of the galleries to view the art work. On the way out, I turned around to make this image with leading lines going down to the basement. Around the corner below, there was mixture of various colors from different light sources that rendered as gaudy colors. So I converted this image to monochrome for less distraction.


Stairs, Down To Art Gallery Basement

After visiting several galleries, I noticed the warm colors in the empty store front. A street band had just finished playing and were packing up their gear. I made another composition with leading lines as they were busy.


Santa Fe Blvd Street Band, Packing Up Gear

After selecting some images for this week’s post, I noticed that I had two themes in the images — reflections and leading lines. I pruned my selection to just the images above.