Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | return to the aspen

return to the aspen

October 01, 2017  •  4 Comments

The weather was perfect this week for another aspen viewing drive, courtesy of U. S. Highway 64 in northern New Mexico.  As is frequently the case, the aspen and scrub oak trees were in varying stages of yellow, red, and orange, displaying more color than the week before, given two morning low temperatures of 32 and 30.  The mountain peaks east of Taos, near Truchas, and east of Santa Fe are all sporting snow.  If the recent rains don't bring down the leaves, there will be even more color next week.  You can see the veins of gold piercing the mountains.

Photographing aspen involves several elements.  A decision has to be made whether the light and weather will "cooperate" with the shooting schedule you establish.  Because the quality of light is a bit more forgiving in autumn than in summer, you can sometimes tweak the rule about shooting between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Particularly when you are working with overcast or partly cloudy skies. One of my favorite aspen shots I titled "Aspen Rain Shadows", made on 6 October, 2004 at 9:33 a.m.  A combination of rain, hail, and snow had just fallen, leaving the aspen bark wet on the side where the moisture struck the trees. I include it here again, just as a demonstration. of what can be done given adverse weather conditions, patience, and luck.

  aspen rain shadowsaspen rain shadowsKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA


The next element of photographing aspen is totally up to the photographer.  What am I looking for in the photograph?  Frequently, I don't have a clue.  Do I want trunks or snags?  What do I want?  That is the joy of human spontaneity in combination with nature.

second aspen shootsecond aspen shoot

second aspen shoot 4second aspen shoot 4


Details, a scenic shot, or both?  

second aspen shoot 6second aspen shoot 6

second aspen shoot 3second aspen shoot 3


The choices you make vary depending on conditions and timing.  I look, I see, I adjust, I shoot.  Then I turn around, look to the side, look down or up,  or lie on the ground and find the subject matter, dust off my bum and try again.

second aspen shoot 5second aspen shoot 5

All of it is good and part of the continuing photographic education process.


This week, Fred and I will be preparing for the Taos Wool Festival on Saturday, 7 October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 8 October, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kit Carson Park (Big Sage Artians Booth 6). Something furry may walk in front of my camera lens.  Who knows?

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@



Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Aspen trees always so great to photograph.
You do good justice to them.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
All are stellar! I can see why you've shown us your 2004 offering. It's a beauty. I concur with Luella on that one. I'm particularly taken by image three. Love the angle. That one led to a dusted bum I'm guessing.

The advice "turn around, look up or down or lie on the ground" are words to live by.

As always we look forward to seeing Fred's fabulous wares at the Wool Festival. See you there.
Daryl, I just love your eye for composition and framing. If those trees could talk, they'd thank you for taking pictures of them with such grandeur. Autumn is truly a photographer's paradise, here in the mountain west, and Aspen are such hams. :) Thank you for sharing your gift. Have fun at the wool festival, and I hope it isn't a bear that walks in front of your camera. Or maybe you would like that?
Great shots. Love the depth of the first photo.
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