Chasing Light: Timing is everything

Peak One Tenmile Range
I trekked up Lake Hill, along the Dillon Dam Road, early on this brisk morning, knowning that the broken, multi-layered cloud deck could produce some good light.


As in many other endeavors, timing is critical to photography. Sometimes, a certain combination of light, clouds and reflections only persists for a few minutes, or even just a couple of seconds, as in the panoramic shot in this set of the sun breaching a low cloud deck over Dillon Reservoir. The first glint of sun behind the distant peaks on the horizon lit up the clouds from below, but that confluence of clouds, sun and foreground reflection made this a unique moment. Knowing where to be under certain lighting conditions is also critical. Watching a low cloud cover brake up over Frisco one morning after a storm, I realized that the early morning sunrise glow was likely to coincide with the disintegration of the clouds, so I raced up the Old Dillon Reservoir trail just in time to see mighty Peak One, my hometown’s landmark, emerge, bathed in a golden glow above the gray cloud shards.