Marcellina Aspens

Marcellina Aspens

20×24 prints are $2,000
30×40 prints are $4,000

2003 was a very productive year for my photography with 24 new images added to my repertoire. It was also the year that I first photographed the aspen forests in the Kebler Pass area of Colorado, making seven worthwhile photographs in five days, this being one of them.

Bright sunlight is too harsh when photographing most forests but not aspen forests. Their yellow leaves, white trunks and dried grasses temper the sunlight and soften the shadows. This was one of the first scenes that greeted Ruth and me the day we entered this astonishing forest.

The sun was high in the sky, the scene backlit at a slight angle. I could see that there were three sources of light illuminating the trees, each light of a different color. The direct sunlight was neutral, the light from the sky was blue-green and the light illuminating the front trees was a soft warm light reflecting off of the trees behind me.

I knew the three colors of light would make the foreground trees stand out and give visual depth to the forest. I used my 240mm Apo-Sironar-S lens at f/22-2/3 for a 1/4 second exposure on Velvia 50 film.

Making Cibachrome prints of this image is a challenge. The goal is to preserve the luminous quality in the forest while preserving shape in the trunks and the sense of depth as you look into the scene. The overall color balance is very sensitive, even a 0.2CC color adjustment is noticeable.

This is a joyous image to me and expresses the wonder Ruth and I had when we first experienced this remarkable place full of light, where visual treasures abound.

Format: Large (horizontal)
Location: Colorado
Reference key: ma