Landscape photography in Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colorado, is for the masses, not just the few…
When I arrived in Chautauqua Park, (via my first ever Uber) it did not take me long to find this composition. The natural beauty of the Flatirons will be visibly majestic in any photo, whether they are in a fine art photograph or just a cell phone snapshot.
There was also an abundant wealth of foreground subjects, from rocks to wooden posts and gravelly trails, to make the composition stand out. So if you want to get some great photos of scenic beauty, without too much trekking, then I highly recommend Chautauqua Park.
Anyway, At the time, I was shooting with my beloved, (yet now sold) Canon 6D and the 50mm f/2.5 macro lens. (Macro lenses also make great Landscape Photography lenses.) Acting as a nifty fifty, I found that lens lightweight, extremely versatile for landscape, street photography and studio work. Yes, with a 50mm lens, you don't get that awesome wide angle, foreground view, like you would from a 35mm lens or a 24mm or something similar, but you can still get a strong element / interest.
Being fairly young, extremely good looking, vulnerable and eternally innocent to the world, I decided to go to the park in the middle of the day, as I had no idea what it was going to be like, plus I needed to keep my regular, Trident Booksellers & Cafe and Oskar Blues Bar, evening schedule, in Pearl Street, Boulder.
Luckily, there was some pretty spectacular clouds going on… not the round puffy kind, that make a few of my photos look like a cartoon. So there was some fairly decent, soft light, so as not to completely ruin the composition.
I have learned that great composition, with flat light from extreme sunlight will ruin the image, especially if you are out in nature. Obviously with Street photography, harsh shadows can be workable. But an evenly bright grassland or mountain top, can rarely be saved by Graduated Lightroom filters, in my humble opinion.
When I processed this image, I opted for black and white as I wanted to get some decent contrast; and I found that the dark tones of the trees juxtaposed nicely with the brightness of the mountains and the sky. The detail in the foreground rocks reflect the detail in the Flatiron rock faces
I am very pleased with how this shot turned out. The bold features, the dark to light tonality...
However, next time, when I go back to Chautauqua Park, I will go in the evening or early morning, and save the drinking for another time.
I can happily confirm that even though I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts that day, I somehow looked like a Wedding Photographer, or so the bride thought as I was packing up my gear.
Boulder and Flagstaff are the best places I've ever been to, (I will be moving to Boulder ASAP). I don't think I've ever felt so relaxed as I did in those cities. Beautiful scenery, a chilled atmosphere, friendly people, great food and an abundance of photographic opportunities right on the doorstep, or in my case, hotel step.