July 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Window to Capitol Peak

When two good friends pay a visit from California I have to bring out all the goods and show them the best locations to photograph in Colorado. Michael Bonocore, Natalia Stone, and I spent all night photographing the Milky Way over Capitol Peak and just after sunrise resorted to our tents for a quick nap before heading off on our next adventure. The view out of my tent door wasn’t too bad!

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Sunrise Above the Fog – Patience Paying Off

Recently I wrote a post titled 10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life. In that post, the item that I gave the most value to was patience. A few weeks ago this paid off for me in the best way.

Mount Evans is a 14er which sits on the front range just outside of the Denver metroplex. On it is the highest paved road in North America which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Since moving to Colorado in 2007 I’ve kept a daily eye on the weather hoping to see a prediction of slow moving storms which bring low fog through the valley below the peak’s summit. Time and time again I’ve left my house at 3:30 AM only to catch a cloud-free sunrise or a dense whiteout. Watching a new day begin from 14,000 feet made each trip worth it, but continually not getting what I set out to see was a huge test to my patience.

That all changed last week.
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November 2012 Desktop Wallpaper – Blanca Peak, Colorado

November 2012 Desktop Wallpaper Blanca Peak Colorado

With fall winding down in Colorado, I’ve been making it a point to get a few more difficult mountains climbed before they’re covered with snow. Blanca Peak, a 14er in the Sangre de Cristo range, has been on my list for a while. This was shot the night before while camping in the valley below.

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Gear List: Essentials and Photo Equipment

It’s that time of year again. The snow is melting. The temperatures are rising. The waterfalls and rivers are flowing. Hikers and backpackers are starting to hit the trails, and the outdoor magazines are publishing their gear lists of recommended items to bring along.

When I head out on an overnight backpacking trip, I leave with the priority of photos in mind. The heavy photography equipment means that I have to live by the light is right mantra. What I take on my journey can be just as important as what I end up not taking. Here is my list of gear that I just can’t live without:

Essentials

  • PackF-Stop Gear Satori (5lb 8oz)
  • This is easily the best backpack for adventure/nature photography. A bold statement, but I challenge anyone to find a better system. At 58 liters, this is the largest expedition backpack that F-Stop makes.

    Their packs are designed with an internal camera unit (ICU) that makes customizing the room that I wish to commit to my gear very simple. I use the medium size ICU which holds my gear perfectly. I could probably downgrade to the smallest size, but if I do find myself with extra room in the ICU, I use it for storing food. The pack is back-loading, meaning that when laying it down in the mud, none of that gets transfered back onto me after I’m done shooting.

    F-Stop Gear Satori Backpack

  • TentBlack Diamond Bipod Bivy (1lb 13oz)
  • At first, I was hesitant of going with a bivy as my main shelter. The major flaw being that if it rains or snows, I have little to no space to store my photo equipment. I solved this by carrying a simple emergency blanket in my pack. If it’s dry, the blanket provides an extra barrier between my bivy, my sleeping pad, and the ground. In case of rain or snow, I store my photography gear with me in the bivy , and cover my pack with the blanket outside, holding it down with rocks.

    The bivy is a bit cramped for space, making sleeping on my side a bit difficult, but the bug net provides me a full view of the night sky, and the small amount of space and weight it takes up easily outweighs any cons.

    Black Diamond Bipod Bivy

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