Photographer San Francisco / Sacramento California

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San Francisco

Photography has always been a passion of mine.  I have loved taking pictures since I was a kid and had my first camera.  I started with film like almost all middle age to older photographers and have come full circle today as I continue to shoot both digital and medium format film.  Today I spend almost all of my free time away from home traveling the United States and Europe.  

I started as a wedding photographer (and sports photographer) but have transformed over time to dedicate my time to landscape photography.  I still occasionally do weddings for special clients, typically destination weddings, but 98% of my time today is spent traveling and photographing.  My main complaint is not having enough hours in the day to dedicate to editing and social media.  After my most recent Europe trip (36 days straight) I have over 2,000 pictures still hiding in my computer somewhere.  This trip is roughly outlined on my blog but with many more posts to come.  I have also spent several weeks exploring Iceland which is the newest hottest destination for photographers and those checking off their bucket list.  If you want more information on Iceland, contact me and I would be happy to share my experiences. 

Beyond my travels, I run a photography business in California - featuring my photography that is printed, framed, and displayed in galleries. My work has been internationally published and awarded and I pride myself on bringing landscape photography the way I see it to my clients. I am a 100% self taught photographer who travels the world seeking out the best photography locations and share my tips and travel reviews on my blog. 

Travel Photography: Aspen, Colorado

Photography Tips / Articles

Photography tips and articles helping photographers learn techniques for better pictures are plentiful on the web.  What makes this blog different is my photography tips are free and available.  I work to maintain one goal: to help photographers of all levels.  Wedding photographers should browse my tips for better portraits and contact me for individualized help as I have photographed multiple weddings including destination weddings, always seeking methods to make sure the bride is always happy. 

Travel Photography: Aspen, Colorado

Jared Lawson

Looking for fall foliage pictures – head to Aspen, Colorado.  Aspen is home to landscape photographer’s dream scene with Maroon Bells during the fall colors.  This travel tips article will help you plan your next fall trip, including lodging options and eating options for Aspen, Colorado.

Aspen trees in Colorado during the fall 

Aspen trees in Colorado during the fall 

Time of Year

To hit the peak season of fall colors with Aspen, Colorado and the Maroon Bells – plan your trip for late September.  The key to timing your fall trip is to watch the weather for cold nights combined with hot days.  This weather combination aids the color change process.  For 2013, the peak color in Aspen, Colorado landed on September 25, 26.  This year we planned our trip for September 20-22, just missing the peak season.  Peak season for fall colors in Aspen, Colorado is short lasting less than 5 days.  You can see from the pictures the yellow is there, but it isn’t quite peak.

Where to Go

The main attraction to see near Aspen, Colorado in the fall is to experience Maroon Bells.  Maroon Bells is best viewed at sunrise – but beware, there will be photographers galore there in the morning.  On this morning we were able to catch a beautiful sunrise with the morning reflection.  One thing to know about going to Maroon Bells in the fall is there is a shuttle bus that takes you to the park.  If you drive earlier than 9 am you can drive all the way to the parking lot, but good luck if you are driving up there after 6:30 am.  The parking lot fills fairly quickly.  You want to get there before sunrise because this gives you the best bet for a reflection without wind.

Another highlight of Aspen, Colorado is to hike the trail after catching a Maroon Bells sunrise.  Take the scenic trail first – you have better odds at seeing a moose down by the water.  While we were there, there were two families of moose hanging by Maroon Lake.  After you scout the moose, head up the trail and walk all the way to Crater Lake.  It is a 1.6 mile hike – and if you aren’t from Colorado be advised the elevation will take its toll on you!  After making it to Crater Lake, keep hiking a bit further as there is a marshy area a bit further that is also known to host several moose.

Along the hike you can head off the trail and wander through one of many aspen groves that has turned bright yellow during the fall season.  Scout out your best aspen trees – the key is to look for the groves with white trunks.  Several groves have greyer trunks but are unflattering to pictures.  Take your time and find the right grove for your photo.

Up close with a maze of yellow Aspen trees in Aspen, Colorado

Up close with a maze of yellow Aspen trees in Aspen, Colorado

Where to Eat and Stay

One of the better options for staying in Aspen, Colorado is to find  a good VRBO.  We stayed at Lift One during our stay which had two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and was located right in the middle of downtown Aspen, Colorado.  You can enjoy the many local sites, stores and restaurants.  Keep in mind that Aspen is not a town to explore on a budget as most places can become quite pricy.

For eating there are many options to consider – check out The Big Wrap.  The Grateful Deli, and the 520 Grill.  The 520 Grill offers excellent fish tacos topped off with sweet potato fries.

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