Trout Creek Aspen Forest

Trout Creek Aspen Forest

20×24 prints are $1,500
30×40 prints are $3,000

In 2003 while on a photo trip we discovered the aspens in the Kebler Pass area thanks to a tip from a fellow large format photographer. For four days we had perfect weather for 8×10 photography: full sun with no wind. This was the last photo I made there that year, on October 1, 2003.

It was early morning with more diffused sunlight than I had in the previous three days. I could see that the scene was beautifully lit with two colors of light. The foreground trees were lit with yellow bounce light from sunlit yellow aspens behind me and all the background trees were lit with blue-green light coming from the green leaves high up in those trees and the blue sky overhead.

I knew the opposite colors of the lighting would make the foreground trees really stand out and give a lot of visual depth to the final Cibachrome prints. I used my 360mm Apo-Sironar-S lens at f/32-2/3 for a 2 second exposure on Velvia 50 film.

I made the first Cibachrome prints eight years later in 2011. Making the prints required a strong enough contrast mask to preserve the luminous quality in all of the aspens without losing shape in the trunks or loss of tonal separation between the foreground and background. The overall color balance is also very critical and even a 0.2CC color adjustment will throw off the visual balance between the foreground and background trees.

The final prints have the depth and luminosity I was hoping for and faithfully represent the aspen forest I saw on that peaceful October morning.

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