Sunday, September 22, 2013

Major schedule changes for the annual Fall photo meetup

After much thinking and much talking with others, I need to make changes to the annual Fall photography meetup. Many of these changes are big switches from the original schedule which should now be completely disregarded. As many of you know, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park were hit very hard by the recent flooding we have had here in Colorado. As such, access to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park has been severely limited due to the usual highways, HWY 34 and HWY 36 being all but destroyed. The only way to access Estes Park is to come in from the west side and go over Trail Ridge Road which can close at any time due to weather this time of the year or take 6th Avenue west to HWY 119 out of Blackhawk, to HWY 72 to HWY 7 which leads into Estes Park. I have mapped out the specific routing for getting there via Google maps

I am going to cancel the second week all together, sadly. Right now it appears that our Government will be shutting down which would in effect close Rocky Mountain National Park all together during that time. I am also cancelling Saturday the 28th of September as it is a free day in the park and with much of the park & its roads closed due to flooding, it will an absolute zoo and very bumper to bumper. Not an ideal situation. All alerts, conditions and closing, along with openings for Rocky Mountain National park can be found here

New Schedule-Where, when, times; 

Sunday September 29th 6:30am
We will meet in the parking lot of the Beaver Meadows Visitors Center inside Rocky Mountain National park at 6:30am. This is the west side entrance in Estes Park. See map here It is where mark "B" is located. Please, don't be late as we will need to leave quickly to get in position to photograph the sunrise over Longs Peak. Afterwards we will look for Elk to photograph along with other wildlife within the park. Please be advised that all trails on the Estes Park side of Rocky Mountain National Park are currently closed. I will be in a silver Dodge caravan with a black and white dog. So keep an eye out! I will have my tripod out behind the car so I am easily recognized.

If you plan to stay overnight in Estes Park or have made previous reservations, I would call as soon as you can to check and see if those are indeed still good. Many hotels and motels have closed due to the flooding.
I hope to see some of you out there! Just allow yourself enough time if you are coming from Denver as it is longer to get there. 3am may seem to early to leave but I can promise you, in the end you will glad you did!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Fall in Rocky Mountain National Park meetup!

Well, it is hard to believe that Fall is almost here and with that comes our annual meetup in Colorado's beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park! This is something I put together on a yearly basis and everyone is welcome regardless to what you shoot and there is no cost involved to join us all. It's always proven to be a wonderful time and we have always had a lot of fun. It is also a very relaxing type of atmosphere, lots of fun with the ability to also learn from your fellow photographers too. More or less, it's just a time to unwind and enjoy Fall in a way which you may have not before if you haven't joined us in the past.

Last year we witnessed many amazing things, from a spectacular sunrise along the shores of Lake Estes overlooking the famous Stanley Hotel, to seeing and photographing bull Elk crossing the lake to working on more intimate nature scenes with macro photography in Moraine Valley. The sound of Elk bugling fills the air early in the morning and it makes for a magical experience. Get ready to see, hear and photograph things like you never have before!

The dates;

Week 1---Saturday  Sept. 28 & Sunday Sept. 29
Week 2---Saturday Oct. 5 & Sunday Oct 6th

Place & Time;

We will meet at 6:30 am on the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado. GPS coordinates are 40.376418,-105.503399 roughly. A map can be found here through Google Maps  Don't be late and allow yourself enough time to get there, we wouldn't want you to miss anything after all. It is very easy to get to and I will be there early with my tripod set up, just look for a tripod on the shoreline pointing east along with a silver Caravan. From here, we will shoot the sunrise and then move on to Rocky Mountain National Park to photograph the Elk rut in the morning light of Golden Hour. You are of course also free to do your own thing too, naturally!

What To Bring;

*A change of clothes. Dress warm for the mornings but also bring a change of clothes for the warm temps mid day. Temps swing wildly this time of the year and going from 20 degrees to 70 is commonplace. That means gloves people! I can't stress this enough.

* Food & drinks. There aren't many places in the park to get a drink so be sure to stock up on bottled water and the like which also helps with the altitude. Same can be said as far as food goes.

*Lenses. Generally you will want something in the 300mm range at minimum to be able to photograph the Elk. Though we have been known to lend out a few lenses while on location to fellow photographers who don't have that focal length depending on what system you shoot.

*Money for entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park. Be aware that Saturday, Sept. 28th is a FREE day into the park. As such, no admission is charged however that also means that the park becomes very crowded by late morning. Fees are $20 per car and is good for a full week. More about the fees and annual passes can be found on the website of RMNP here


I highly suggest inquiring about reservations as soon as possible if you plan to stay over night. 

*KOA Estes Park.  Several people have stayed here in the past and have had good experiences. They offer quite a variety as far as lodging goes including cabins with showers. The rates are quite affordable.

*RMNP Campgrounds Many are first come, first served this time of the year and don't take reservations.

*Saddle & Surrey Motel. One of Estes Parks best kept secrets.

*Comfort Inn Estes Park has very high reviews with competive rates.

Bring on Fall in the Rocky Mountains!