Truffula Aspens

Truffula Aspens

20×20 prints are $1,250
30×30 prints are $2,500

In 2003 Ruth and I were photographing in Colorado and were returning to our campground after a rather uneventful day. Ruth was driving as always and I was still looking for a photograph, as always. As we sped by this really unusual clump of aspen trees I instantly saw that they had photographic potential but the light was all wrong. Unbeknownst to us, we were just minutes away from encountering the unique clouds and light which resulted in my photograph “Day’s End.”

The next morning we set out just before sunrise and came back to this spot. Ruth was surprised that I knew exactly where to go and that I had spotted this scene the previous evening as we went past at 50 mph, as I hadn’t mentioned anything about it to her. I knew precisely where to put the camera and tripod and used my 250mm Superachromat lens on my Hasselblad, using Velvia 50 film. This lens has perfect color correction and exceptional sharpness which perfectly resolved the details and color differentiations in the leaves.

I waited a couple of minutes until the sunlight was almost in the scene but not quite. You can see a bit of bright sunlight on the background trees at the top of the photo. Over the years I’ve learned you can get a marvelous glow to the quality and color of natural light if you can have the rising sun skimming the air over your head but not quite hitting the scene. You have to set up before it gets there because you only have 30 seconds or so before it hits the scene with too much contrast.

This image is fun to print, although I have to use two dodging wands simultaneously because there’s a lot of dodging and some burning to balance the tonalities and densities of the “pom-poms” on the trees. The truffula name is because these unique trees reminded me of the truffula trees in a Dr. Seuss book.

Format: Medium (square)
Location: Colorado
Reference key: tra