Images of Fall

As a photographer, I love shooting in every season, but Fall is by far my favorite and here’s why

Christine Falls – Mt. Rainier National Park
Fall Snow and Aspens in Color
Forest Orange
Willows in Color – Guanella Pass
Along the Golden Road

“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

Snow Fall

Fall Snow & Aspen Tree

Spent the day out shooting some last of the fall colors. The clouds came in and the rain was coming down at the lower elevations. Higher up, above 9,000 ft hype snow started lightly and the higher I drove, it became more intense. It was a great day even though the colors were pretty much done.

Morning has Broken

I’ve written a few blogs posts about sunrises in the past. Yesterday I captured some amazing colors in the sky due to several wildfires burning in Southern Colorado. Thanks to Mother Nature, she graciously blew the smoke north creating a canvas of natural filters to capture the morning light.

Morning Glow.

I love the view from across the street from my home. Living in a rural town there is less congestion and open farm fields. This view is less than 60 yards from my front door and the tree has always made a nice foreground subject. Enjoy a moment of peace today.

Colorado colors

Rural Sunrises

Early light on the plains of eastern Colorado is always stunning. Living in a rural town in South central Weld county, Colorado provides me a multitude of opportunities to capture sunrises any day of the year.

Spring Morning 2020

There are ample open spaces, reservoirs and wetlands near by, which never cease to amaze me as a photographer. Capturing the perfect light is a challenge in some instances. The image above is from one of the many reservoirs near my house along a dirt country road and during any given morning you can capture birds, waterfowl, or even an occasional fox or two.

Bulrush Wetlands area

Getting down low and shooting high is another compositional value I like to utilize when shoot sunrises. Capturing the foreground provides more detail and the follows it toward the sky. This image was shot for the town of Frederick as a submission to 5280 magazine for an article about birding in northern Colorado. I have yet to see the article, but there is hope.

Early light on Agriculture

Shooting sunrises is not all about capturing the sunrise, but seeing the light in other ways as seen here on the irrigation system. There is also an abundance of farmland, old cars and rail cars on properties that serve as backdrops or subjects to shoot. The following images depict the variety of subjects I have captured during sunrise shoots. Low light, faded light, and side lighting are other techniques I’ve learned and implemented during my photography experience.

Morning Light on Old Boxcar
Sand Dunes or Gravel Pit
Wooded morning
Morning with horses
Frederick Sunrise

This is the view from the front of my house. I am blessed nearly every day to see these types of colors fill the sky. No wonder we say “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” The views are vast for now. There is a lot of growth happening in northern Colorado and with three additional subdivisions, I worry about losing these views.

River Front Cabin
South Platte Historical site

I’ll leave you with this image of an old cabin at the South Platte historical site in Fort Lupton, CO. This site is a replica of an old fort site near the South Platte River. Open May through October on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you for stopping by and viewing this article.

Alaskan Wildlife

September was another trip to Alaska and Denali National Park. I captured this bull moose just east of Savage River along the road as he made his way down the hill to “say hi.” He was so majestic to watch and be as close as I was. The best thing was that everyone else along the road gave him space and respected the boundaries between humans and wildlife. Tech info: Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 at 400 mm. ISO 2500, f/5.6, 1/250.

I’ll be posting a more detailed article this week about the trip so check back as well.

Alaska – Denali Road Trip 2019

Denali National Park and Preserve

In 2018, my wife and I spent 11 days in Alaska for our 30th anniversary. Our first few days in the 49th state was up north in Denali National Park and Preserve sightseeing and capturing the beauty of the land known as the Last Frontier. We had decent weather during that trip and even had one sunny day where we had the view of Denali. The views and wildlife and beauty of the land made us want to return. During our time here, we learned about the annual Road Lottery held every September. This is the ONLY time (permits permitting), you can drive the entire length of the 93 mile Denali Park road in a private vehicle beyond the campgrounds all the way to Wonder Lake and back.

In May of this year, we entered the lottery and were notified that if we had been chosen, we would be notified in mid June. We told our kids and family we had entered and that had entered a lottery that would cost money, and “if we won” anyone could go. We had decided that we would enter the lottery every year until we did win. We just did not know it was the first year we entered. Yes, we found out we had been drawn to drive the road on one of our four days we had chosen. So the planning began.

Alaska Range

By the end of July, we had all the travel arrangements made. Fly into Anchorage, stay at the Best Western we had stayed at last year, grab a bite to eat at the Mooses Tooth and bum around town for the afternoon. The Mooses Tooth is an Anchorage staple and the food is equally satisfying. The atmosphere and is upbeat and everyone is friendly as can be. Multiple menu options and excellent brews on tap. When you go, you have to take a souvenier home with you from there. People from all over know the Mooses Tooth.

Travel Day – Sept. 13, 2019

Our day started early, 4:00 am. Got the car packed with suitcases, last minute items and made sure all my camera gear was ready to go. Extra lenses, tripod, monopod, batteries, etc….. Oh, and my wife. Just kidding, she’s the main reason we are going back. Got to DIA with time to spare, checked our bags on Delta (I highly recommend flying Delta)…. No, I am not a paid spokesman. We flew Delta in 2018 and again this year and the service was remarkable. Boarded and set to the sky around 6:30 for our first leg with a short layover in Seattle. I love flying into Seattle and sitting on the left side of the plane so I can have views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. Yet, another trip planning in the future.

Reindeer Farm – Palmer, AK

Saturday morning we were up early and checked out of the hotel and grabbed breakfast at Kaladi Brothers Coffee. The company was started by two friends back in 1984 when they had set up a coffee cart on the street in Anchorage and the company grew from there. Check out their story at https://kaladi.com/our-purpose/ . The coffee was hot and made to order and they also have a quaint bakery within the store the shop was in. I am always up for some new tastes and we all decided to forego Starbucks for the day. Kaladi Bros. Coffee came at the recommendation of our adult kids who went with us. After all, were not on a specific time schedule and had the day to sightsee.

After breakfast, we headed north. Our son-in-law was our driver and I was the official Photographer for the trip. It actually felt good not having to drive, allowing me to observe and look at the colors, light, scenes and mentally make notes for our destination of Denali. It was a good day weather wise with clouds in the morning that broke away to sunshine and high clouds in the afternoon. We headed to Palmer since we had our 6 month old granddaughter with us as well. We had told the kids about the Williams Reindeer farm in Palmer and wanted to go back and capture her feeding the reindeer. Not that she cared too much, but it was another great adventure with the family. I think the kids had fun as well, and our daughter and my wife even got to kiss Rocky the Moose. From Palmer, we continued our way north and made a side trip to Talkeetna, which we did not do in 2018.

Feeding the herd
Kissing Rocky
The kids having fun
Alaska Range – Talkeetna, AK

From Talkeetna, we made our way to Healy, AK for the next couple days as our base. We spent time in our previous motel, Denali Park Motel. Of course we had to have dinner at State 49 brewing. Great food, awesome atmosphere and of course great brews.

State 49 – photo from 2018

Wetlands of Weld County Colorado

It has been a while since I have posted a photographic blog. I was recently asked to photograph one of our local wetland park for a possible article in Colorado’s 5280 magazine about local Northern Colorado Birding locations. BulRush Wetland Park is an 80 acre oasis for migratory birds and other wildlife on the western edge of Weld County in Northern Colorado. Located approximately 2 miles west of I-25 on Hwy 52, it is home to great blue herons, avocets, killdeer’s, finches, sparrows, eagles, hawks and other local birds, amongst other wildlife including foxes, deer, coyote and the bull snake. The park was created as a wetland mitigation bank and granted a charter by the Army Corp of Engineers, and the developers deeded the property to the town of Frederick in 2007.

American Avocets in flight

The wetland park is managed by the town of Frederick. It has two main trails, the heron trail 0.5 miles and the turtle trail 0.25 miles that encoumpass the open water lake that may be overrun with native grass and plants and the terrain may be difficult to navigate. You will have good opportunities to see a variety of wildlife though. A shorter trail, the Chickadee .25 mile is a mowed path with irregular terrain and runs along the south end of the parking area.

The wetland park is open by appointment as the area is an eco-habitat that must be protected. The park can be reserved through the town of Frederick

https://www.frederickco.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Bulrush-Wetland-Park-6

A PDF map of the park is found here https://www.frederickco.gov/DocumentCenter/View/863/Bulrush-Wetlands-Map?bidId=

Changing Site

Greetings bloggers and followers. I am working on upgrading my site and will be changing my site name to ToddMGrivettiPhotography. For the past few years, I have been working under both my name and GrayWolf Photography. I want to further pursue my passion and move it into a full-time aspiration over the next several months with the hope to incorporate my passion into part-time work and eventually full-time when I retire.

Thank you, and stay tuned for more exciting things to come.

Todd

Gulf of Alaska fishing

Fishing in the Gulf of Alaska had never been on my mind, let alone a bucket list. We arrived in Homer during our second day in Soldotna where our B&B Fishing Lodge had arranged our entire package. I must say that the owners Monika and Steve know how to do things.

We got up at 2:30 am and hit the road by 3 for the 1.5 hour drive south to Homer to catch our fishing charter with Captain Shane on “Misty”. We pulled out of port at 5:15 and headed out to the gulf for a 12 hour day of fishing.

Early morning was not bad and the weather held out most of the day. After about an hour ride out to the our first stop, we dropped the lines into 400 ft of icy blue water to hook our first Halibut. That didn’t take long to do. With three couples on the boat, we all took turns and ended up becoming a square dancing team by the end of the day. After we all caught our limit of Halibut on the first round, we headed to our second spot, which was about a 45 min ride. The second spot for Halibut proved a bit more challenging. I thing we fished for about an hour and a half until we all caught our fish. The morning carried on and later into the morning and early afternoon, we were hitting 6-7 foot seas. By 1 pm, it was time for some Dramamine. After that, the afternoon was awesome with the run of Silver’s. We all caught our limit of fish and even caught some Rock fish during the day.

 

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We headed back for a 3-hr ride to Homer. The seas calmed down somewhat in the late afternoon, but it was still a heck of  a ride. During the ride back, Julian our deck hand began filleting all the fish and separating them into our individual bins.

 

Only about 30 minutes from Homer, we came through the channel and saw a herd of Sea Lions on the beach.

img_3554
Sea Lion Colony 

We finally made it to Homer around 6:45 pm and had to fuel up. Grabbed a cup of coffee and chatted with the dock hands while Capt. Shane filled the boat with fuel for the next trip.

We got off the boat and hauled our catch to the car in the cooler we had with us. Got back to the lodge at 9:45 pm… A long day for sure. We hit the sack early. Our trip on Tuesday was our fly-out to Big River Lakes for Silver’s. Stay tuned. More to come.

Healy, AK and Denali

Driving north from Palmer and Wasilla the country is just as spectacular as the Anchorage area. Highway A4 is the main route north from Anchorage to Talkeetna, Denali, and onward to Fairbanks. Healy is a small town of about 1020 people in the Denali Borough and sits approx 400 miles north of Anchorage and 200 miles south of Fairbanks. We reserved our hotel at the Denali Park Hotel just south of town. The hotel was once the home to the National Park service with a 2 story building, thus it was called a hotel. The property has three Alaskan Railroad cars and one is Lobby of the hotel property. I may have posted some information in an early post, but wanted to dedicate this post to the hotel and surrounding area.

Each of the four buildings has 12 rooms and you park your vehicle right outside your door. Room rates were extremely reasonable at $160/night plus tax. We had coffee in the room, full bath/shower and satellite TV.

After we checked in, it was around 8:30, so we decided to get some dinner at the 49th State Brewery just up the road. The brewery has a large open area out front with a stage for live music, picnic tables and a replica of the bus from Into the Wild. The place was busy even at 8:30.

Mind you, the sun did not set until 10:30 pm, so that was definitely hard to get use to. Had a great dinner and headed back to the hotel for shut eye. It was an early morning day on Friday. We had to be in the park by 6 am to catch our bus for the Eilison visitor center.

Check out my other posts from Alaska including: Denali, Gulf of Alaska Fishing, Anchorage, and our trip back down to the Kenai Peninsula. Thanks for stopping by.