Only a few miles southwest of the Denver metro’s large population center, Roxborough State Park is a great place to visit any time of year. On our way south to Arizona, I accepted the invitation of a Facebook friend and fellow Nikon photographer, Fred Mast, to visit and to share a couple of his favorite photogenic places. The photo above highlights the warm tones of autumn in the grasses and the red rocks and the always verdant evergreens.
Fred is an accomplished photographer, a retired photojournalist who has spent a lifetime behind the viewfinders of many a camera. His knowledge of digital cameras and the required digital software tools to bring out the best in an image indicates that he has kept up with technology after he retired from his day job. Just prior to heading south, I acquired a Nikon D500. Fred’s input on how to use the new camera; (a step up to “professional” level from my Nikon D7000, a “semi-pro” or hobbyist level; was very helpful.
Fred, my wife, Lynn and I captured many images between us. The trail we walked looped easily about two miles (3.2 km) from the visitor center and back. For those who want a more challenging hike, the 6.4-mile (10.3 km) hike to the top of Carpenter Peak at 7160 feet (2182 m) awaits the more physically adventurous. Leave your pets, horses and mountain bikes at home, they are not allowed in the park. Day admission is $7 USD per carload.
Fred was the first person to spot the buck in the grass ahead. Some distance ahead and to our left, a buck and two does were moving on an intersecting path toward our trail. We were quite far from them, but my 300 mm telephoto zoom brought them close enough to get a clear image. Though we stopped our progress on the trail in hopes that they would cross it in front of us, something told them that they should move back in the direction they were coming from.
It was about that point they emerged into a clearing. Maybe they spotted us, maybe they heard other hikers on the trail. Whatever the reason, the buck pointed himself back to the left and the two does quickly followed.
Digressing to the technical matter of photography, I’ve been bracketing my exposures into 3-shot sets and using Lightroom’s HDR function to convert the three exposures into a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image. Fred recommended that 3-image bracketing isn’t always necessary as software tools available can pull out pretty much the same information from today’s wide image sensor range. I took that advice and the images above as well as the gallery of images below feature HDR images from Lightroom’s brackets, from Nik Tools’ HDR2 application and from Seim Effects HDR presets. The shot above is from Nik Tools black-and-white conversion tool, Silver Efex Pro 2. Click on an image below to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.