Amazing night skies
After all the excitement of a day the night comes and a true spectacle of color unfolds. Night time offers beautiful skies that I love to see live and in photos.

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Moonrise at the Maroon Bells

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The Maroon Bells can be one of the most crowded and crazy places to try to take photos in Colorado. I think it carries the distinction of being the most photographed mountain in all of North America.

If you decide to go for sunrise photos during peak fall colors, you are met with busloads of tourists snapping pictures from the lake. If peak colors fall on a weekend you need to get there an hour or more before sunrise just to get a position on the shore. Basically, it's not a fun experience. Fortunately there is another way, and you get even better photos out of the trip. Go to the Maroon Bells at night for moonrise.

You need to figure out the best time to go by looking at a moon calendar and go between the day after the full moon until the moon is at about 50 percent (about a week or so after a full moon). Download an app for your phone that tells you moonrise times and phases so you can show up at the correct time. Put your camera into manual, crank up the ISO to 1600-2000. Set the camera to expose for 25 seconds and the f-stop as low as it will go.

In all my years of photography up there I have never seen anyone while I was shooting photos at moonrise. Its a truly incredible view and something that should not be missed. You have the place to yourself.

This is from a location that is pretty hard to get to but the images in the link are all from the lake. The walk from the parking lot to the lake is only a few hundred yards on a smooth dirt path.

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