I am really excited to show this photograph as I start making headway into my work from this autumn (which isn’t over yet). This piece is titled “Christmas Tree in Autumn”, as the moment my wife saw the image for the first time she exclaimed, “That is such a beautiful Christmas tree!”

I really enjoy stumbling through an aspen forest because searching and finding my own unique composition is inspiring, especially given the ease with which one can stop at a well known overlook and capture an incredible shot (yet be surrounded by other photographers). A romp through the forest is creatively liberating and I hope to do it more often. I spent this particular morning in the Silverjack area of Colorado’s Cimarron Range in the fine company of good friend and skilled photographer Kane Engelbert. We wandered through this particular aspen grove in a “giddy with excitement” sort of way. The morning light was filtering through the upper canopy and everything was just glowing gold. We walked around, sometimes coming together to photograph a particularly cool spot, sometimes splitting up to explore our own creative pathways. The beauty of these forests is that if I could walk through there twenty times on twenty different days, and I would emerge each time with different, yet equally compelling, unique compositions. This is a truly inspiring place to be.

When we reached this hillside I became very intrigued – there was the golden light filtering through the canopy, but there was also a certain bluish color cast on the tree trunks of many of these aspen. The deep blues of the sky behind us was being reflected by the white tree trunks and it created a really striking contrast with all of the super saturated gold coloration. When I found this lone pine on that same hillside I knew I could create an interesting photograph.

As a side note, I am showing two versions of this photograph – the RAW version straight from the camera, and my processed version. I believe that the post-processing a photographer employs is just as important and definitive as his practice of the craft in the field. This develops our look, our style, and I get really excited when I see an image reveal its true beauty when I am back in the comfort of my home. As you can see from the RAW version, not processing a digital image shot in RAW would be foolish – the data is there but it needs to be massaged to accurately portray what I saw on that particular morning.

I hope you enjoy this image and perhaps it can remind you of a peaceful walk you once took in the woods some time ago.