About the Garden of the Gods When I told a friend of mine in Colorado Springs I was coming to visit and I wanted to take some pictures, he said “Let’s visit the Garden of the Gods”. With a name like “Garden of the Gods” you figure, this place is going to look amazing. Well, it IS!
Getting thereSo we meet up and start to head that way. On the way, we stop by Glen Eyrie Castle quickly to take a look at the castle itself. It was impressive, but I didn’t like the surrounding sky, so I didn’t capture a good picture of it. There was a heard of Big Horn Sheep grazing that I grabbed a quick picture of, and then we kept on going to the garden. These animals are amazing! [caption id="attachment_476" align="alignnone" width="1028"] Big Horn Sheep on the grounds of the Glen Eyrie Castle[/caption]
Finding the GardenI was not disappointed when we arrived with the beauty of the Garden. This garden is nested just east of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains before you get to the city of Colorado Springs. Upon arriving you will be greeted with to large rock walls, the one on the right is called “Kissing Camels” and you can see Pike’s Peak behind it. [caption id="attachment_357" align="alignnone" width="1028"] The Kissing Camels in front of Pike’s Peak as the sun is setting behind the mountains[/caption] This was my first time visiting this location and I arrived about 3:30 with the sunset slated for 4:35. I didn’t have much time. I also didn’t bring much gear with me on this trip, an error in judgement I will correct for my next trip to Colorado Springs. I just had my Sony A7R II with the 24-240mm lens, Max and a ball head mount. Almost all of my photos were taken hand held as a result.
Finding the beautyWe park the car and start to take the hike back and the spires are just amazing. We keep walking up the hill and around the trail. We stumble upon some amazing views and I start to click with the camera, I am concerned about loosing all of my light as I see the sun starting to go over Pike’s peak. We reach the top and I see this: [caption id="attachment_477" align="alignnone" width="1028"] Up on top of a rock, you can peak back down into the valley into the Garden of the Gods[/caption] I re-adjust my position to clear the rocks and see this view. I am in awe of the beauty here. Looking to the south you can see the spires and Norad on the mountain to the right Facing East in the Garden of the Gods, these rock formations provide an amazing view We get back on the road and take the service road around, we stop the vehicle, I get out and capture this amazing view, which is my personal favorite from this expedition. Looking to the south you can see the spires and Norad on the mountain to the right
Heading outAfter we wrap up in the Garden of the Gods we drive around and up to the look out point on the other side of the highway. We arrive at 4:15; however, because of the height of Pike’s Peak the sun was already behind it. The view is no less stunning though. The Kissing Camels in front of Pike’s Peak as the sun is setting behind the mountains 4 of these photos were processed using Lightroom only. The other two were processed in Aurora 2018 and finished in photoshop to remove some sensor spots. Lessons learned for next time:
- When photographing mountains, don’t rely on what your phone tells you the sunset time is.
- Get to this location at sunrise, the sun behind behind the mountains might provide better light and better results.
- Bring the tripod!
- Have more than one lens option