Rocky Mountain National Park – A Photo Excursion

Many, many moons ago – like all of the way back to the 2010 holiday season, I received a pretty cool gift: a 6-hour photo safari with a guide in Rocky Mountain National Park. Fast forward ten+ months and an entire lifetime, and we arrive to last week when I finally made it up there. A good friend of mine (Adam) and I went up there for the six hours with a fella by the name of Jared and spent an amazing morning touring around the east side of the park playing with photography.

Since sunrise and the hour immediately afterwards are perfect lighting opportunities for photography, we met early: 6am in Estes Park…which means that there is a leave-the-house departure time of 430am. During October, the front range of Colorado’s weather fluctuates all over the place: snow one day, 80 degrees just a few days later. But up in the foothills and mountains, things aren’t nearly as up and down…they are just simply trending colder….and this morning was no exception from that trend. The air temperature wasn’t too bad – just below freezing at sunrise – it was the wind that was difficult: 25-30mph gusts. All that means is that you quickly learn to manipulate the camera with gloves on.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunrise at Moraine Park before heading over towards some aspen trees. The aspens were my initial goal from the experience, but two things played against us in that hunt: a foot of snow a few days prior to our trip, and the high winds. We did find a few remaining stands of aspen trees, but nothing earth shattering. Rather, both Adam and my favorite part of the trip was doing the macro photography. In order to really accomplish this well, you need a very specific camera lens, and a special tripod capable of making those angles. What makes the experience so fun is that you do all of the photography, you use your camera body, and you can use the guides lenses and equipment were wanted. The macro shots, and a few long shots were where we used his stuff (the long shots were simply an excuse to use a $6,000 lens and didn’t really amount to anything). Oh, and those cold temperatures for the morning? Turns out that when you slip into a stream and get your shoes/pants wet up to mid-calf, the wind doesn’t seem to help dry it quicker….instead it makes it really, really cold for a while – like ‘get back in the car, turn the heater on, change socks, and hope for feeling in your toes’ cold.

Anyhow, I’m pretty stoked about how these pictures turned out and I have already planned for one of them to make it’s way to large canvas print – come by the house sometime and take a look. It was a blast to be up there with Adam, Jared is a really nice guy, and if you are in need of his information for yourselves, I’ll gladly pass it along. What’s that? You want to buy one? Send me an e-mail, let’s talk.

my favorite from the day

moraine park at sunrise


  1. Hot damn! Nice work! I love the pictures. I hate the story of slipping into the water – bad flashbacks for me. Hope you still have all your toes. loveyoumeanit…

  2. I am cold just sitting here looking at the beautiful pictures. It is cool and cloudy this morning but was sunny and nice yesterday.

    Do you ever try to sell any of the pictures to calendar companies? One of my fellow bank employees used to sell several a year for calendar companies and he did very well.

    After Emailing you yesterday about you receiving comments on the Little Hippie site, I thought to myself that I must be getting soft in the head. I had already received an answer from you from a Sunday night Email when I asked about your new personal Email address. Such is life.

  3. How beautifully you have captured the very essence of nature! Spectacular photos, Oren!

  4. Oren, you have a great eye for composition. Great pictures; I really like the ones at Moraine Park.

  5. Oren, you have a great eye for composition. Love the pictures, especially the ones in Moraine Park.

  6. Jess Newcomb says:

    these are awesome!! i think i need a lesson sometime!

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