Needle Mountains Sunbeam Sunset



West needles saturation sunset pano pd--c59.jpg


A light snowstorm hit our area a little earlier than usual here in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado.  I mistakenly thought it would still be snowing in the morning.  I woke up and looked outside and was surprised to see a beautiful red sunrise just starting to develop.  I then left in a panic mode and literally ran out the door in my pajama bottoms with no shirt on and a sweat jacket with some old boots that hardly fit.

I knew I would never make it up to the peaks in time which are about a 20 minute drive up the canyon but I tried anyways.  When I arrived, the sunrise was long gone but there was some nice misty fog still hugging the peaks with a little color still left in the aspens.  I jumped out, set up my gear,  and started firing away.  As I was leaving to find another spot, a couple pulled up and her husband set up to shoot the same scene. As he was taking shots, his wife came over to me and asked if I lived in the area.  After a brief conversation I told her I had to get going to scout another location.  They were from Kentucky so I knew they really didn’t know where to look so I invited them to follow me to my next location.  She yelled at her husband to come over who at first reluctantly wanted to join us but her persistence paid off.  “He’s a local professional photographer and said we can follow him to his next shot!” she yelled.

At that her husband loaded up his gear and they followed me to a beautiful outlook that showcased the fresh snow on the San Juan Mountains. After shooting this location I invited them to join me again later that evening for a sunset opportunity which required some climbing.  This is the shot I have posted.  God was really good to us as the saturation and sunset was incredibly beautiful that evening, the best I have seen it the entire year.  Afterwards, I invited them over for dinner and we all had a great conversation and a new friendship was born.  I love photography!

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