Stormy Sunrise Over the East Fork
Ifirst became entranced with the fluted cliffs, flying buttresses and jagged spires that rise above the East Fork of the Cimarron River when I backpacked through the valley in the summer of 2007. I also noticed the aspen groves dotting the valley floor and vowed to return some day in late September to shoot fall color there.
As I was studying maps of the San Juan Mountains in the fall of 2010, I realized that Mount Jackson, a high point along the rim of the East Fork valley, might offer a superb vantage point for photos of the valley and 14,309-foot Uncompahgre Peak, which rises at its head. Never mind that the summit of Mt. Jackson lay 2,200 feet above the valley floor and that there was no water source nearby. I added a gallon of water to all the camera and camping gear I needed for an overnight trip and headed up.
The weather, which had been dusty dry for more than a week, had finally turned. With rain and snow in the forecast, I knew I could easily get shut out at both sunrise and sunset. At least I could hope for dramatic skies instead of the boring, relentless blue I'd been shooting for days on end. After setting up camp, I began searching for a foreground to complete the composition. Fortunately, I found a grove of aspen with beautiful fall colors about 200 vertical feet below the canyon rim. Sunset was a bust, with heavy clouds blocking the sunset light, but the skies had cleared by the time I finished dinner well after dark, and I went to bed hoping for a good sunrise.
When I awoke well before dawn, I could see from the absence of stars that the clouds had returned. As dawn brightened, I saw that rain was already falling over the Sneffels Range to the west and Uncompahgre Peak to the south. It would just be a matter of time until the storm reached me as I waited next to my tripod. Then, to my astonishment, I noticed a faint orange glow on the clouds gathering ominously over the East Fork. The rising sun had found a hole in the clouds to the east and was starting to paint the clouds with a marvelous orange light. The glow intensified, and soon the orange light bouncing off the clouds began backlighting the aspen trees in my foreground. Soon they too began to glow as if burning with a fiery inner light.
All too soon, the light show faded. Minutes later, a curtain of rain swept over me. I waited, and was rewarded for my patience with a gorgeous rainbow over Cimarron Ridge. As the storm broke up for good, I struck camp and headed down in brilliant sunshine, blessing my good fortune to witness such a rare display of natural light.
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Larger framed sizes
I offer over 100 images on this site, in four or five sizes each and as many as five different presentations (loose, matted-only, framed, gallery-wrap canvas, and gallery float). It is impossible to keep every size and presentation of every image in stock at all times. Accordingly, most of the items I offer for sale on GlennRandall.com are hand-built one at a time as customers order them. It normally requires between five and ten business days to complete an order, but it may take longer if I am on an extended shoot. Shipping time is in addition to these figures. To get specific information about delivery time for a particular item, please call 303 499-3009 or email me. I will do my best to accommodate rush orders. Thanks for your patience!
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I use elegant hardwood frames on all of my framed prints. The image above right shows the frame I use for the smallest framed size of this image. I use proportionally larger frames with the same color finish for larger prints. The moulding shape will vary, depending on the size. For more information on the frames I recommend for different size prints, please visit my framing page.
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