Glenn Randall Photography

Extraordinary landscape photography from Colorado and the West

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Sunrise from Mt. Shavano



God beams (crepuscular rays) from the summit of Mt. Shavano at sunrise, San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

Sunrise from Mt. Shavano, Sawatch Range, Colorado

I had lost the previous night’s sleep hiking up Tabeguache Peak in the dark and shooting sunrise from its summit, so I was feeling rather weary when the alarms went off at 11:30 p.m., signaling the beginning of my ascent of Mt. Shavano. By now the trail was familiar, and I summited Shavano in time to photograph a beautiful display of crepuscular rays to the east just before sunrise. Crepuscular rays, also called god beams, form when shafts of sunlight shine through holes in dense clouds. In this case, the clouds forming the rays were out of sight below the eastern horizon. We see the shafts of light only because the dusty air scatters some of the sunlight to our eyes. The long path the sunlight takes through the atmosphere at sunrise causes the blue light to scatter out of the beam. The reddish light that’s left goes straight ahead, causing the shafts of light to take on a reddish hue. The sun is so far away that its rays are essentially parallel. The beams apparently converge at the horizon for the same reason that railroad tracks, which are actually parallel to each other, appear to converge when we stand between the tracks and sight along them.


Pursh's wallflower and alpine parsley near the summit of Mt. Shavano, San Isabel National Forest, ColoradoDuring my nighttime ascent I had noticed a jewel-like patch of alpine wildflowers just below the summit. Now, as I was descending, I retraced my steps with the help of my GPS receiver and relocated the flowers. I set up and tried to photograph them, but discovered to my annoyance that auto-focus had apparently stopped working. Repeatedly I pressed the shutter release halfway down, (the default technique for starting auto-focus) but the lens wouldn't respond. I checked the auto-focus switch on the lens. It was set to auto. I checked the camera body. Auto-focus was enabled there. I switched lenses, but got the same behavior. Again and again I pressed the shutter release halfway down, hoping the camera wasn’t broken, but still nothing happened. After puzzling over this issue for a good five minutes, I finally remembered that a year and a half earlier I had removed the auto-focus function from the shutter release and assigned it to a button on the rear of the camera. For the past year and a half, I had always focused with the button on the rear of the camera, not the shutter release. Just half an hour earlier I had been pressing that rear-mounted button every time I wanted to focus. Granted, I was at 14,000 feet. The night before last, I had gotten up at 10:30 p.m. so I could summit Tabeguache at 4 a.m. Last night I'd gotten up at 11:30 p.m. so I could summit Mt. Shavano at 4:30 a.m. So I had hypoxia and sleep-deprivation as excuses, but forgetting how to auto-focus? Sheesh!



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Glenn Randall Photography  |  2945 Colby Dr.  |  Boulder CO 80305-6303 | Office 303 499-3009  |  Mobile 720 320-7126

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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 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!

All photographic prints, regardless of presentation (loose, matted-only, framed, etc.) are delicate and require careful packaging to be shipped safely. Accordingly, all online purchases will have a 15 percent charge added for shipping and handling. This shipping charge only covers shipments to the continental United States. Please contact me for a quote on shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or to international destinations. If you would like to pick up your print at my home office in Boulder rather than have it shipped, please call 303 499-3009 (office) or 720 320-7126 (mobile) to complete your purchase and make arrangements for pickup. Alternatively, I can deliver prints in the Denver metro area for $1.00 per mile based on round-trip mileage.

All matted-only and framed prints larger than 24x30 inches, all gallery-wrap canvases and gallery-float prints larger than 30x40, and all framed panoramas wider than 30 inches, are too big to be shipped via FedEx ground and too big to fit in any standard-size art box. While these prints can be shipped, they require a custom-made crate and the cost is exorbitant ($300+). I strongly suggest that all customers who live outside the Denver metro area and who wish to purchase a print larger than the maximums specified above buy the loose version and take it to the custom frame shop of their choosing. Loose prints can be shipped rolled at the standard shipping rate of 15 percent of the retail price. I will gladly provide detailed instructions to the framer on the moulding I use and my preferred method of mounting and framing the piece.

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.

Studio Moulding frame 353-125 cherry Studio Moulding Forte 4934 mahogany-finish picture frame Studio Moulding Forte 4834 mahogany-finish picture frame

I allow returns for a full refund (minus shipping) for 30 days from the date of delivery if you are dissatisfied with the print. You are responsible for the cost of shipping the print back to me, including the cost of insuring it for the full retail value, and the print must arrive in salable condition for a refund to be issued.

All online orders are processed by Paypal, but you do not need a PayPal account to order. All major credit cards are accepted. Order processing through PayPal is completely secure. Neither I, nor anyone who might be able to hack into my computer, will ever see your credit card information. You can order online with complete confidence.

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