Yesterday [1-1-2013], I decided to head into Rocky Mountain National Park to take some pictures of the snow/clouds pouring over the Continental Divide. It really was a pretty scene, and I’m surprised at how many out-of-state plates are in town again this winter! It is almost like the tourist season never ends, now. At any rate, it was nice to see so many people out enjoying the mountains!
So, I have to say, it was COLD! The temperature when I left was in the mid 20s and I was prepared with a lot of layers and extra layers if needed. However, even with all the layers, I still had to expose my fingers to the wind in order to operate the camera. Boy oh boy! The wind chill was something else. Less than a minute with the mitten off and it started to get difficult to feel whether I was pushing the buttons or not. I made a purchase of some fingerless gloves in December, and they helped. I also, put a mitten over the top of the fingerless gloves while I was setting up and then only took off one mitten for the hand that I needed to use. All of these tricks helped, but as soon as my fingers were exposed, it didn’t take long for them to become numb.
I made a few stops along the way. My first stop was in Horseshoe Park to take a couple of pictures of the Mummy Range. Although, the clouds were so thick pouring over them, that the only peak that was fully visible was Chapin. Then, I stopped at Alluvial Fan and tried a couple of pictures there. The sun was getting closer to setting, which meant I needed to head to my objective photo spot.
I went over passed Deer Ridge Junction and down to the over look above Beaver Meadows to capture some pictures there. The sun was still quite a ways from setting, but with the clouds and snow blowing, some of the pictures turned out decent. I stayed there for about half an hour plus, and was able to manage the wind chill fairly well. I had to go back to the car to warm up my fingers and wait for a little better light, and I realized how numb my fingers were! I got a couple of decent pictures after the sun went down, and then decided to move on to Moraine Park while the lighting was still getting better. This was a good decision because it gave my fingers and opportunity to warm up.
While, I was on the way to Moraine Park, the lighting kept improving. My objective was to go to the visitor center parking lot which was a good call, because there was only one other car there and they left when I pulled in! At this point, I got out of the car for a few shots of Longs Peak and the Continental Divide. My fingers quickly got cold again, so I went back to the car and turned the heat on high. At which point, I figured I would roll down the window and spare my fingers more abuse! This actually added the benefit of a somewhat more stable shooting position, and I was able to get some pretty nice HDR shots of the sunset colors and the mountains.
The sunset really didn’t pop as much as I thought it would, but the effect of the snow and the clouds rolling over the peaks was cool enough! Check the store soon for the album.