Christopher Burkett, White Snow Spires

Christopher Burkett

White Snow Spires, Colorado

24 x 20: $1,250.00 and 40 x 30 inches: $2,500.00

As far as I've seen, the aspen forests of Colorado are unparalleled anywhere in the world. This particular area is the best I've found in Colorado: the Kebler Pass area, near Crested Butte. This photograph was taken in the National Forest area, off of the gravel road in a secluded area which is used informally for camping. We have been to this exact spot during at least four different, yearly photographic trips. While this spot was incredibly beautiful, in the past, I had always been frustrated at not being able to come away with a satisfactory image.

However, this was the first year that I brought my panoramic adaptor for use with my 8x10" camera and as it turns out, this was the right format for the scene. I deeply regret not starting earlier with this format, as it fits so many scenes perfectly. (Slow learner: took me 30 years to realize this.)

We had camped out overnight at this spot, arriving at early evening the night before. I had hiked around looking at the area and even set up the camera a few times, but nothing was coming together for a photograph. That night, I was a bit distressed to hear rain falling off and on throughout the entire night, wondering if I would be rained out the next day or not.

At dawn, the rain had partially lifted, so I set out to photograph. I walked around in this area for about five hours, trying to find the right image but with no success. I would think I found something, set up the camera, switch lenses a few times before finally realizing that it just wasn't coming together. The rain would come up from time to time, with a bit of wind, driving me inside our vehicle until it stopped.

This scene finally came together and I took several shots of it. The light was quite varied, with a mixture of brightness levels, "glow" and even full sun from time to time. On this particular shot, all the factors fell into place, with the glow on the trunks and background forest and even the stormy clouds echoing the shape of the skyline trees. As with many delicate images, it is difficult to print but personally very satisfying.

To me, the image conveys an energetic but peaceful feeling, full of life and joy.

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