Favorite Photo, September 30

Aspen and Porphyry Peak. September 30, 1986.

My favorite photos for September 30 are especially significant to me and represent a turning point in my life.

Mike Baroli had been working with me for two years and he was slowly turning me from an avid and happy snap-shooter into a photographer. You can read that story here.

My day job took me to the Sante Fe, New Mexico area for several days. When I finished up I had two days of down time before I needed to be back in Oklahoma. So I decided to head for one of my favorite places on the planet, O’ Haver Lake (near Poncha Springs, Colorado). My parents started taking my brother and I camping there when we were growing up. Years later my wife and I took our children camping at O’Haver Lake.

I headed north through Truchas, New Mexico. I came upon the movie set for director Robert Redford’s The Milagro Beanfield War. I watched them film one scene, took some photos of the set and headed on north to O’Haver Lake. I took a few non-nondescript photos that evening and came back the next morning, September 30.

It was cloudy so I mostly did closeups. And I soaked in memories from past trips. Thanks to the light I didn’t think there was a good grand landscape photo to be had.

Then I climbed the hill behind the campground on the east side of the lake. As I climbed, Porphyry Peak came into view. I looked for a frame within a frame and chose two large evergreens. The clouds started to break up a bit and sunlight hit the aspens. I set up my tripod and went to work. I stopped down the lens aperture to increase the depth of field. When I was done I was really pleased with the image. This is my favorite photo for September 30.

Dew Covered Aspen Leaves at O’Haver Lake, Colorado. September 30, 1986.

My second place image for September 30 is one of the closeup images from earlier in the morning.

It really was an amazing morning and I had a great time. My work with Mike Baroli gave me both the technical and artistic skills to create some images I could be proud of.

I made a decision that morning. I said to myself “I want to become a photographer!” I didn’t mean as an occupation. I loved my day job. I just wanted to create more quality images on a consistent basis I could be proud of.

It was just icing on the cake when my image of Porphyry Peak became my first internationally published magazine cover photo.

I hopped in the car for the long drive back to Yukon, Oklahoma. But on the long drive home I had a new resolve: to become a good photographer. I also made a commitment to myself to do whatever it would take to become a better photographer.

More information about O’Haver Lake is here.

Warren Stevens on the air. Columbus, Ohio. September 30, 2011.

My third place favorite photo is very different. I was in a radio studio taking pictures of DJ Warren Stevens while he was live on the air. This was a special treat. In this photo my camera is right above the board.

Warren Stevens on the air. Columbus, Ohio. September 30, 2011.

Here’s another look from a different angle. The computer monitor above the board has all of the upcoming planned options for the broadcast.


In Memory of Mike Baroli

Favorite Photo – August 16 – our children at O’Haver Lake

Favorite Photo – October 2 – O’Haver Lake

O’Haver Lake Campground – USDA Forest Service

O’Haver Lake Campground – Out There Colorado