With the heat of summer bearing down on the Lone Star State, I’ve escaped to the mountains of Colorado for a while. With my wife holding down the store front back in the Hill Country, I’m off gallivanting around Colorado in the middle of the night – photographing the Milky Way – and trying to grow our business in the Rocky Mountain State.

I haven’t had the luxury of much sleep lately. A few mornings ago, I shot at the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (the highest paved road in the United States). From this lofty vantage point over 11,000 feet in elevation, the Milky Way is clear and crisp. But to witness the nighttime spectacle, I had to roll out of bed at 1:45am. I normally never use an alarm clock – always able to awaken on my own even for early morning sunrise shots. However, this was a little early for me. I then drove the one-plus hour to RMNP and made my way up the switchbacks, above tree line, set up and enjoyed the light show. Using a star tracker, I took several long exposures of the Milky Way in a few different locations. One location looked across one of the valleys of RMNP where low clouds filled the cracks and crevices. Another, Lake Irene, provided both a trail and a lake to use in different images. I’d photographed Lake Irene many years before at night, but wanted to return in order to produce high quality prints and digital files – some that could go quite large – up to 8 or 9 feet high – and would retain their crispness.

Starry night over Lake Irene in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Lake Irene is a small, high mountain lake sitting at about 10,000 feet in altitude. In early summer – around 3:30am, the Milky Way rises over this area. Here, the beautiful night sky even showed in the reflections of the calm water.

I returned to RMNP a few days later – this time shooting just after sunset when the Milky Way is more in a horizontal position. I also shot this same view of the Milky Way over Lake Dillon Reservoir near Frisco and Breckenridge.

I think now I’ll focus more on sunrise and sunset photographs. The middle-of-the-night stuff is wearing me down!

Feel free to visit my new Colorado gallery. I hope to be adding images to it for quite a while now.

Happy travels, my friends!

~ Rob

Follow my on my Colorado Facebook page, too!

As the summertime weather moves in, it is time for me to head north to the Rocky Mountains. I’m looking forward to working on and adding to my Colorado Images website. I hope to travel around the state for a month or so photographing mountains, towns, and wildflowers – and maybe even the Milky Way if the conditions are right.

I recently spent a week out in west Texas shooting in and around the Davis Mountains. This little state park rests between Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Davis Mountains State Park is small in comparison – only about 2700 acres – but does offer a few trails for hiking and biking. The Skyline Drive Trail boasts some spectacular views of these ancient mountains, and when I was photographing this Texas landscape at sunrise and sunset, I rarely saw another person.

http://www.imagesfromtexas.com/photo/davis-mountains-sunrise-4/

Connected to Davis Mountains S.P. is Fort Davis National Historic Site. You can reach this restored military outpost (manned from 1854 to 1891) by hiking a two mile trail from the Davis Mountains or driving your car to the site’s parking lot. If you hike, the views as you wind down the lava cliffs into the Fort Davis valley are spectacular. Walking the grounds and taking in the exhibits displaying what life was like 150 years ago on the frontier, one can begin to appreciate the harshness of the area and the sacrifices that were made protecting settlers from marauding Indians.

To see a collection of images from this west Texas area, please visit my Images from Texas website.

Thanks, and happy travels!

~ Rob

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