Clearing Storm

Clearing storm over the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
[+] Click to view larger!

Here’s yet another 4×5 photo from the archives, unearthed from the depths of a backup harddrive where it’s been collecting dust for 4 years. This was taken back in September 2006, during a backpacking trip in the San Juans with fellow photographers Momo Vuyisich and his friend Csaba. (See more photos from the trip here). We had arrived at the high elevation Columbine Lake in the afternoon in the midst of a rain/sleet/snow storm and sat around in our tents for a while. When we noticed that the storm was clearing we quickly hiked to a high ridgeline above the lake and beheld this amazing view of the storm clouds clearing off the peaks! This was the first shot I took, with a wide angle lens. Since the clouds were lifting so fast, I quickly switched to a longer lens, refocussed, and shot a second, tighter shot that has been a favorite ever since. This one here has more of the clouds, though, and looks really cool especially at full resolution.

I’ll never forget witnessing and photographing this fleeting spectacle from such a lofty vantage point. Nor will I forget Momo’s enthusiasm… he kept shouting “Woooohooooo!!!!! Woooohooooo!!!!!” Good times…

By the way, this orange mountain here is one of my all time favorite mountains on Earth… because of the amazing snowboarding lines it offers in the winter! I’ve ridden countless different lines on many different sides of it over the years. See, and read on below…


Ann Driggers skis the gnar

Here’s Ann Driggers skiing right down the guts of the big orange face in the top photo. And since I was rocking the helmetcam that day, I have first-person footage of myself hauling ass down the same line. Check out the video here, along with other photos from the day (this descent is the second one in the video, starting about halfway through).

Anyhow, while I’m rambling, and getting further and further off topic… perhaps you have noticed the new blog redesign? Or I should say, the newer new redesign, since I just redid it a few weeks ago. Well, I took just took it several steps further down the redesign road. This is what happens when I don’t get outside enough… I redesign my websites and post “from the vault” photos…

I completely abandoned the traditional two-column blog layout, in favor of a simpler, narrower one-column layout, with all the navigation repositioned up top in compact drop-down menus. (Courtesy of the amazing PixoPoint Menu Plugin). This offers two advantages, to my eyes: 1) The traditional navigation sidebar was getting so cluttered, it made the whole page look like a ton of text, when I’d rather the have the balance be on the imagery instead. So it’s much cleaner and simpler looking now. And, 2) by ditching the sidebar, the whole thing is narrower now, which shows more of the background imagery, which was the main new visual feature of the new design, and which wasn’t even showing up on standard size monitors before. Now it should. And just in case some people have troubles with the dropdown menus on really small monitors or phones, I’ve also included a secondary backup navigation at the bottom of the pages.

I’ve tested it on numerous browsers, Mac and Windows, and so far so good. But as usual, please leave a comment if you see something wrong or have any suggestions or harsh criticism. ; )

12 thoughts on “Clearing Storm

    1. Yeah right, like any casual reader here would figure out where this is… notice I haven’t said a name here either, have I? Anyhow, what are you doing at the computer? Shouldn’t you be out killing elks?

  1. Beautiful! And considering the amount of 4×5 you are posting lately, you do miss your LF setup after all 🙂
    And in the meantime, I’ve managed to develop my first simple scene sheet-speak about a dynamic workflow: shot at 1900 and scanned at 01 am, almost as digital 🙂
    I agree with the others- the Sultan shot is definitely a top 3 contender.

    1. Nice! Seems like you’ve got it figured out… definitely faster to do it all in-house. I used to HATE having to mail my film out, and then wait a week for it to come back to me. Plus the developing labs, at least around here, are becoming more and more expensive all the time.

  2. That is one amaaaaazing breathtaking view and shot. Good work. I am sure the detail in the 4×5 must be quite nice! I like the panoramic view here as opposed to the tighter shot. The tighter shot is fantastic but I love seeing the grandness of this mindblowing mountainscape.

    Also, fantastic work with the menu plugin! Love how you moved the clutter from the right column to a menu. I’ll have to look into that, I too find that I now have way too much text in the right column.

    1. Thanks Flemming! Yeah this type of pano vista is right up your alley, eh? This is definitely one of those photos that gets better the bigger you see it. I think the tighter shot probably conveys better at these smaller web sizes though.

      Glad you like the menu. I had to sacrifice the sidebar widgets, but for now I don’t miss them…

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