Pic of the Week 9/20/19
“Garden of the Gods”
Location: Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO.
Date taken: 9/25/17
Fall time is almost here as the month of September finishes. I’ve been seeing reports of the aspen trees changing colors in the Rocky Mountains and that made me think back on one of my past fall adventures in the Rocky mountains, but I have already shared those images (at least the ones worth sharing). What I have not shared, however, are photos from our last day in Colorado. My good friends Ian Glasgow and Jaden Corbin made the journey with me to southern Colorado. We camped our first two night in Lathrop State Park outside of Walsenberg, CO. But after hiking over sand dunes, and wading through cold streams, and traversing the landscape, we were tired, so we decided to book a hotel in Colorado Springs. I was looking forward to sleeping in a warm bed that night.
The next morning, we woke up before sunrise and made the short drive to Garden of the Gods. This was my second time visiting this location. The first was my freshman year in high school. It was just when I was starting to get into photography. I had my 2.1 megapixel Kodak CX6230 digital camera. Since that time those photos have been lost to buried or disabled hard drives and all that is left are my memories. Needless to say, I was excited at the opportunity to properly document this iconic location. We pulled into the parking area and scouted around looking for compositions at the base of the fins and spires. While this led to some interesting photos, I was more interested in photographing the early morning light on the rocks. I told the guys I had a different composition in mind.
We gathered back into the vehicle and took a quick drive to my preferred sunrise location. We passed by the famed “Kissing Camels” formation along the Juniper Way Loop. As the road curved around the rocks, my composition came into view. Most people photograph this location as sunset, but I picked sunrise to avoid the crowds and hopefully capture a more unique image. We parked the car and it didn’t take much for me to lock in my composition, now I just needed to wait for the sunrise. Something that was a bit of concern due to the patchy cloud cover.
I spent the next 30min taking pre-sunrise blue hour shots, finalizing my composition, and kicking rocks on the side of the road waiting for the sun to break the horizon. Eventually, the sun rose and sent a warm glow on the tips of the sandstone rocks. It almost resembled the flame on a match, but there was very little light on the foreground. I waited around hoping the light would improve on the foreground and that the clouds would be favorable to my composition. The sun did squeeze through the lower clouds and sent beams of striking contrasty light throughout my scene. The light reflected off the fins and stretched its way around the rocks making a zebra stripe pattern of sunlight on the landscape. We captured this wonderful sunrise until the clouds blocked out all our light and we returned to our vehicle.
Garden of the GodsMorning in the Garden of the Gods © Ben Jacobi
This was one of my favorite captures of this location, but I was so impressed with all the other Colorado images that I disregarded this photo. Now almost two years later I have decided to share the image. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and gain some perspective, better late than never, right? There are many more adventures I have planned in the coming months; I just hope fall weather shows up soon. I’m ready to start camping/hiking again and I’m very excited for these new locations I’ll get to photograph.