Best Of: 2012 - People's Choice
This year I tried something different. I invited those who follow my work on Facebook to let me know which were their favorite images from Rocky Mountain National Park during 2012. Their responses were then compiled to create the list below. The images are listed below starting with the most popular.
Ocean of the Sky
Rainbow Curve, Rocky Mountain National Park
This morning I awoke to a dark and cloudy day. I almost decided to spend a quiet morning at home and then I noticed just how low the clouds were, so I jumped into my car and raced up Trail Ridge Road to Rainbow Curve, arriving just a few seconds before the sun came over the horizon. What a surprisingly beautiful start to the day. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Stars Above the Gorge
Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park
A starry night above Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park. On this evening a full moon was out lighting the landscape while Longs Peak enjoyed the stars above. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Glacier Creek Autumn
Storm Pass Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park
It was the first morning of October. The air held a hint of crispness, mixed with the fragrance of fall leaves. The willow were dressed in their fine autumn coat, the waters of Glacier Creek gently meandering between them. High above, Hallett Peak stood tall while a dusting of snow covered nearby Otis Peak. Could anything be more perfect? Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Helene on Ice
Lake Helene, Rocky Mountain National Park
On a beautiful January morning I hiked up to Lake Helene to enjoy the dramatic views of Notchtop Mountain. The lake was covered in thick ice and made me wish I had ice skates with me. There could be few places as beautiful to skate as this alpine gem. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Home in the Universe
Lion Lakes, Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park
There is a magical world to be seen far from the city lights. When we finally get away from all the man-made interference we begin to get a glimpse of the stunning neighborhood in which we live. As far as the eye can see and well beyond that wave a billion neighbors glad to have us finally take the time to look up and recognize the wonder of the universe in which we live. This was photographed at Lion Lake #1 in Rocky Mountain National Park with Mount Alice in the background. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Sunset from the Top
Mount Meeker, Rocky Mountain National Park
Those who climb to the highest points of Rocky Mountain National Park enjoy a world seen by few others. Here the air is thin and the views are long. This is harsh, unforgiving terrain but the beauty to be found makes the risk worthwhile. In this image Mount Meeker and Longs Peak reach skyward as the sun sets in the west. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
Devil's Gulch, Estes Valley, Colorado
On this April morning fog settled over the Estes Valley while gentle clouds drifted above. This type of weather rarely happens up here in our dry air. I had intended to head for the mountains for sunrise but I couldn't resist the potential provided by the fog. It took me quite a while to find a good spot to incorporate both the fog and Longs Peak with its fresh snow, but in the end I found a spot near Eagle Rock. The bird in this photo was a wonderful surprise. I had no idea he was in the photo until I saw the image later. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.
West Mountain Morning
Kawuneeche Valley, Rocky Mountain National Park
On this morning a storm was threatening and the lighting was quite dramatic. I was on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park and found this small pond to catch a reflection of Baker, Stratus and Nimbus mountains. Photo © copyright by Erik Stensland.