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The nakedness of Aspen

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Everybody comes to Estes Park in the fall to photograph the golden Aspen. It's almost a spiritual pilgrimage signaling the near close of the summer tourist season and the last splash of vivid color before the early snows come in. I'm no exception. Traveling with my youngest child, Allie, over Trail Ridge Road near the west entrance to RMNP, and in later days along Highway 7 past Ward, the display is truly breathtaking. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, and the window is brief -- less than two weeks. Literally hordes of shutterbugs crowd the roadway seeking light and vantage points that make their shots unique. I too found shots of personal significance that now grace the pages of my website. However, in my growing fascination of these marvelous trees, I soon discovered an often unrecorded state of Aspen, their profile undressed -- naked to the world, their exposed personality and frequently warped forms, provide a rare and special beauty fitting to the changing backdrop of approaching winter. Aspen in this state have a particular contrast in black and white. Depending upon the season, I found there are many more perspectives not always seen throughout the region. I took this b&w along the trail below Bierstadt Lake, looking back towards Longs Peak: ISO 1250, 1/30 sec, f4.0.

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