1500 Miles

Three disparate Colorado locations, five days of shooting, not a lot of sleep, and plenty of quality truck time. At least it occurred at summer’s peak. Here’s a look back at one of my favorite shoots from this past summer, along with a brief recount of the work – highlights, lessons-learned, and what helped make the shots happen.

Client: Western Rivers Conservancy
Timeframe: late July 2015
Location: Colorado (southern and central)

Schnitzer_WRC_0715-18
Brownie Hills and the Rio Grande, July 2015.


I’ve worked with Western Rivers Conservancy since 2006. During that time, I’ve had a number of opportunities to not only photograph beautiful places, but be inspired and energized time and time again. During recent years, the organization has become much more active in the Rocky Mountain west, including here in Colorado. When they asked me to shoot three different locations for potential future conservation projects, I jumped at the chance.

Schedules, particularly during mid-summer, are tough to manage. I was jam-packed with bookings, but was able to block out three days to try and squeeze the most out of every dawn and dusk. It was like the “good old days,” driving late into the night on twisting mountain roads, sleeping in the back of the truck beside my Pelican cases, living off convenience store coffee and snacks.

The only thing I regret is not having more time to spend in some locations. But, that is almost always the case. Preparation is a challenge when you’ve never been to a location, and gauging the spatial context is tough when all you have are maps and Google Earth. But, perseverance and stubbornness helped make the job happen. I’m now excited to see what comes of these precious pockets of Colorado beauty.

A creek that shall go unnamed. July 2015.
A creek that shall go unnamed. July 2015.

To learn more about Western Rivers Conservancy and their outstanding work throughout the western US, please visit their website. I urge you to consider supporting their mission, which has resulted in a tremendous amount of public access to recreational users.

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