Zenfolio | Kit Frost | Colorado Wildflower Report

Colorado Wildflower Report

July 24, 2015  •  2 Comments

July 23, 2015

Wildflowers-2015-3Wilds Along the CreekWildflowers at Minnie Gulch

Scouting locations:

  • West Mancos Road to Beef Basin-go as high up on the road as you feel comfortable, good wilds at Beef Basin and in Aspen Forests
  • Purgatory Creek, Sig Creek, Cascade Divide Road-mushrooms in the trees, sporadic wilds, columbine near the creek fall.
  • Maggie Gulch-excellent near waterfall
  • Minnie Gulch-the best, so far

Every year I head out into the mountains to photograph and enjoy wildflowers.  This year is amazing. I have never seen a better wildflower display. This year's variety is fun.  In locations above Silverton, the mix includes the high altitude , parry's primrose, columbine, blue bells, paintbrush, American bistort, and in the above photo there are three kinds of paintbrush: yellow, rosy, and sulphur.  I enjoy framing wildflowers against flowing water in the creeks.  The real challenge is to be able to use a slow enough shutter speed to make the water "flow" and at the same time freeze the action of the flowers blown by the wind. A challenge I accept.

Wildflowers-2015-8Parry's PrimroseParry's primrose is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in moist areas, bogs and along creeks.

Parry's primrose is one of the first flowers to bloom at altitude near creeks, tarns and streams.  At Minnie Gulch, the flowers were like those in June, early, healthy and prolific.  Usually by July, the primrose and marsh marigold are finished their bloom, as the creeks dry up.  I scouted both Maggie and Minnie Gulch. Maggie Gulch wilds were beautiful near the waterfall, but a bit inaccessible (but the stinging from the nettles on my arm was worth it).  Steep in places, I used trekking poles to balance myself.  


Wildflowers-2015-15ColumbineI like to spend a few moments in the area, scoping out the magical light on the flowers.

While balancing myself on the steep area within a few hundred feet of the Maggie Gulch waterfall, I handheld a few images.  The shallow depth of focus created at f7.1 gave me a shutter speed of 1000 of a second for this brightly lit Columbine.  I often like to photograph deep depth of field, closer to f22, but in this case the "star of the show" and the supporting cast works to give a sense of depth.

Some Photo Assignments in the Field

Isolate a subject

When presented with the wide range of flowers in the basins and along the gulch, see if you can isolate a few single flowers

Isolate a ColumbineMake sure the flower is perfect, hold the camera steady

Show a sense of place

Focus on a near flower, and include the background.  Let it be slightly out of focus.

Wildflowers-2015-25Columbine, Maggie GulchShow a sense of place by including a background.

Macro setting

Most point and shoot cameras, and your smartphone have the ability to focus close up (usually the flower icon on your point and shoot)

Move in close, move in closer, hold steady.

Macro, Close UpGo in close, go closer, hold steady. If you want to learn more, we're heading out for 1/2 day of photography lessons, wildflower identification, macro, grand and intimate flower views on the following dates:

July 30, noon till 8pm

August 5, noon till 8pm

email Kit Frost, to register.




Kit Frost
Thanks so much Barbara. I appreciate your comments
barbara lastfogel(non-registered)
Your photos just keep getting better and better. Some take my breath away! Keep up the awesome work girlfriend!
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