Follow these tricks of the trade to make your Rocky Mountain photographs look like they were taken by a pro.
Lake Nanita, RMNP
The walk from Bear Lake to this location is 14 miles. It was a little windy on the lake so I found a small tarn sheltered from the wind to capture the flowers and the reflection of the evening light on Andrews Peak. I shot this with a wide-angle lens (17mm) and used a graduated neutral density filter to balance the brighter sky with the darker foreground.
North side of Bear Lake, RMNP
Most people have no idea just how hard it is to shoot some of these images. I’ve been trying to get a shot like this of Bear Lake and Longs Peak for six years. On this autumn trip, it was the first time I had no wind, a good reflection, warm light on Longs Peak, multicolored aspen, and at least a few clouds. Generally, one or more of these elements is missing.
Off-trail creek in remote valley, RMNP
Far off the beaten path, I was exploring a remote area that I had never visited. There were dozens of small streams making their way down from the lakes above, leaping over the rocks as if in celebration. To capture the movement of the water, I used a 1⁄3-second shutter speed.
Forest Canyon overlook, RMNP
People congregated on Trail Ridge Road as this scene unfolded. Massive clouds were continuously descending and lifting as the evening sun lit them. I climbed a hill to get a better view of the scene and show man’s smallness against the waltz of nature. A 200mm lens let me compress the scene.
Estes Park-based photographer Erik Stensland fell in love with the mountains as a child and now spends two or three days per week in the park. His favorite spot? "Anywhere I haven't been before," he says. See more of his work at imagesofrmnp.com or in his galleries in downtown Estes Park, Grand Lake, and the Trail Ridge Gift Store.