Crested Butte is currently hosting the 30th Annual Wildflower Festival. For photographers, one of the side-benefits is the opportunity to enter photographs in their annual Photography Contest. Entries are evaluated by local artists, and winning photos are posted in the Wildflower Festival booklet in the coming year. This is my second year to submit photographs, and I’m hoping for the best. I have heard that the Wildflower Festival is the most popular Festival in Colorado, which says a lot. The Festival hosts flower-lovers from around the world to participate in photography workshops, painting, handcrafts, hikes, back-country expeditions, and many other adventures. Of course, wildflowers are the featured attraction. The high altitude setting together with abundant wildflowers make for ample opportunities for nature-viewing, practicing art-craft, and leisurely or vigorous exercise in a breath-taking setting. One evening, as I was making my way to dinner, I came across two young men who had just completed a bike-ride from Aspen to Crested Butte. They were exhausted but happy!
This year, photographers were limited to two entries, and I’m posting the two that I submitted. The first is a photograph was taken during a 4×4 excursion workshop with Dusty Demerson, a local photographer who was our guide. The photo was taken on the banks of Emerald Lake just above the small town of Gothic, high above Crested Butte. I took shameless advantage of a local phenomenon – in the early morning light, water of Emerald Lake reflects the brilliant blue sky, creating the perfect backdrop for orange flowers. The Asters (sneezeweed) were merrily displaying on the bank in exactly the right place.
The second photograph was taken during a landscape photography workshop, also with Dusty Demerson. This photograph was somewhat of an experiment, in which I used a process called “focus-stacking”, basically using a “stack” of several exposures taken at exactly the same camera settings except for manually changing the focus to have both foreground and distant elements in sharp focus. The sunflowers in the foreground were mere inches from my lens, while Mount Gothic in the distance was miles away. I was pleased with the composition – it accurately reflected the scene as I observed it.