Longs Peak

Longs Peak, Cloud Dance. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 2013.

Longs Peak, Cloud Dance.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 2013.

Longs Peak is a landmark on the Front Range of Colorado.  At 14,259 feet, its summit is readily visible from Denver, and indeed can be seen for many miles up and down the Front Range.  Its distinctive, flat-topped profile is easily identifiable and recognized, even in the image in this post, where I deliberately placed it toward the left lower corner of the frame, unobtrusively behind the Never Summer Mountains in the foreground and beneath the dancing display of clouds in the sky.

It’s not very difficult to photograph Longs Peak.  Some of the best views are on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.  There must be at least six or seven pullouts or parking lots that offer tremendous, breathtaking views of this gorgeous mountain.  In the evening, the position of the setting sun produces very dramatic sidelight that creates extremely compelling shadows on and around the peak.  Throw in some dramatic clouds in the sky – not an infrequent occurrence up there – and you have an excellent base of ingredients for good photography.

Having captured many images of this peak, I will confess to having a bit of insecurity about them.  Isn’t there something wrong with capturing what are basically variations of the same image over and over again?  Aren’t these images just derivative of what others have photographed before?  Shouldn’t I be devoting my scarce time for photography to other, less discovered subject matter?

For a long time I’ve resisted building a collection of Longs Peak images, for the reason of not having great answers to these questions.  But the truth is, I’m really drawn to this mountain.  I feel a connection to this subject matter, it speaks to me.  What better reason is there to photograph something than this? If I build a collection of images, perhaps there will be documentary or artistic value in the collection as a whole.

So I’m setting my insecurity aside and going with the flow.  Trail Ridge Road opened for the season this weekend, and I’m looking forward to many summer evenings with this peak in the weeks ahead.

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