INFERNO
GARDEN OF THE GODS
Canon 5DSR
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

When the morning sky above Colorado Springs goes supernova, there’s no better place to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Mother Nature than Garden of the Gods. A light snow covers the scene as the red rock towers bask in epic morning light. The first rays of the sun touch the mountains, casting pink and purple hues over the snowy landscape. I watch the magic unfold, hardly able to believe that such an experience would ever be possible. The shutter fires and yet another epic moment in this iconic location is immortalized.



AUTUMN ARC
SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS
Canon 5DSR
Canon 16-35mm F2.8L

Some days the stars just happen to aline in perfect harmony. Fall colors are in full swing all across the San Juan Mountains and it is shaping up to be a perfect evening. High above the snowy peaks the clouds are turbulent with both form and color, while down in the valley the air is perfectly still. The camera couldn’t ask for better conditions! This little beaver pond became a perfect pane of glass, reflecting this immaculate scene as the sun painted its final brush strokes across the heavens.



FIRST SNOW
COLORADO SPRINGS
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 70-200mm F2.8L

Funny story, I completely screwed up this shot the day I discovered this scene. Excited for what I had captured, my heart sank as I looked through my images later that day, only to find that this tree was completely out of focus! I could have kicked myself for making such a beginner mistake, and begrudgingly returned to the location the following morning, pre-dawn. By the grace of God, not a single flake of snow had moved! Redemption! Rarely do photographers get second chances when it comes to such ephemeral moments.

These perfect ribbons of stark white snow laced across the branches, creating beautiful leading lines. The little tree produced some of the most vibrant colors I’ve ever been treated to. Eager for soft light, I arrived well before sunrise and the air was absolutely freezing (my poor fingers just throb thinking about it). I was certain to make good on my second chance. F16 never fails, and the image is easily one of my all time favorites.



FOREVER ASPEN
ASPEN, CO
Canon 5DSR
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

Okay sure, this location has been photographed TO DEATH, and there’s virtually no way to capture this scene that hasn’t already been done a million times… But that doesn’t stop this place from being any less amazing! Every photographer should visit the legendary Maroon Bells at least once. Even if you don’t trip the shutter it is quite an astonishing scene to behold. So here is my obligatory image. Sorry to bother you.



TRINITY
KAUAI, HI
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 70-300mm F5.6L

The island of Kauai is one of the most spectacular places on earth to witness the power of the Pacific Ocean. The legendary Napali Coast stretches out across the horizon as countless waves erupt into an infinite number of amazing shapes. Generated by outbound waves colliding against inbound waves, this trio of fantails conspired to create an especially charismatic ocean dance.



VERMILLION SHORES
MAUI, HI
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

The sun rises over the Pacific Ocean, painting a sensational orange glow across the jagged lava formations which protect this hidden beach. Like the armored dorsal spikes of a dragon rising from the waves, the lava spine shelters a pristine lagoon surrounded by a cauldron of red earth. Yet another of Hawaii’s fantastic gems, this location creates one of the most surreal places in which one could ever hope to enjoy the ocean. Golden light glances across the rich aquamarine waters in a spectacular morning. What a perfect place for a swim…



MYSTIC FOREST
MAUI, HI
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

The island of Maui is home to a truly diverse set of ecosystems. I hiked for over an hour in this forest, searching for the perfect vantage to illustrate the massive koa trees which create such an impressive jungle canopy. Once I came across the set of vines which can be seen in the right side of the frame, I knew I had found the spot. The swooping curves of these venerable vines created the perfect leading lines into the scene. Layers of massive trees provide a sense of depth as this magical forest unfolds before the lens. Lush green undergrowth covers every square inch of ground, making this a true emerald oasis.



SOULD OF THE SEASON
OREGON
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

Japanese maple trees have always been a favorite subject among photographers. Famous for their delicate array of lacy leaves which fan out into an umbrella of rich color, these trees seem to drink up the sun’s rays and emit a soft glow of their own. Like an intricate system of capillaries, the dark branches twist in all directions, producing a beautiful display of contrast. This particular tree lives in Portland, Oregon, which is known for its world-famous rose gardens. Having soaked up my fill of the elegant flowers, I strayed from the gardens in search of something different. After a few hours of wandering I came across this tree, which presented a full spectrum of colors, ranging from red and orange to yellow and green. I could not help but feel that somehow, all of the seasons were somewhat metaphorically represented in this single composition.



PASTEL FLOW
VALLEY OF FIRE
Canon 5DSR
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

Ribbons of color ripple and converge through the winding contours of this elegant slot canyon. Situated deep in the heart of Valley of Fire, these sandstone rock strata are segmented with a rich amalgam of hues from different geological eras. Much like a layer cake, they reveal a magical rainbow when cut into. Eons of flash floods are responsible for carving up these desert lands, leaving little gems like this one in their wake. Capturing this otherworldly location took a great deal of scrambling around in the pre-dawn light, but finding the heart of this colorful canyon was well worth the effort. The power of erosion will certainly never cease to amaze me.



DRAGON GRASS
DENVER, CO
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 70-300mm F5.6L

Delicate spears of lily grass reflect in the calm waters of the Denver Botanic Gardens on a warm summer day. The myriad pools attract an assortment of brightly colored insects. Look closely and you can spot the iridium blue dragon flies which dart playfully amongst the blades grass. Drawn to the stark reflection of the spears, I knew this was a special location. I set up with a 300mm lens, waiting for just the right moment. As the clouds parted, a splash of sun lit the grass, creating an explosion of yellow and green. The serene waters offered up a perfect reflection and this intimate insight into the big world of little things was captured.



ANGEL OAK
SOUTH CAROLINA
Canon 5DMK III
Canon 24-70mm F2.8L

This is the oldest living tree on the planet… almost. At just over 1,500 years old, the Angel Oak has lived through centuries of history, the rise and fall of civilizations and the first generations of human habitation on the North American continent. To lend a little perspective, this tree was just beginning to sprout its branches when the Roman Empire was falling to the barbarian hoards sometime before 500AD. The only lifeforms which can claim to be older (coming in at an astonishing 3,000 years old!) are the legendary bristlecone pines which inhabit the arid mountain ranges of California.

Photographing a specimen like this is definitely an interesting challenge. Thankfully, overcast skies and a gentle rain provide beautiful soft light and a perfect pop of color. Standing in the presence of such a venerable life form is certainly awe inspiring, and having the chance go capture such a magical tree is something I will never forget.