What a pleasure it is to be able to have spent some time working with Scott to complete this feature. He seems to be a very busy photographer so it was so generous of him to spend some time between his travels. The rest of the article is the commentary that Scott shared.
“My parents were both accomplished artists, so it’s only natural that I would gravitate toward visual expression. I also grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians, so it’s also natural that I would gravitate toward nature photography.
I moved to Arvada, Colorado (a Denver suburb) 30 years ago in part because of the abundant photography opportunities in the state, but work and other commitments keep me very busy.
I love landscapes and wildlife photography about equally. But because some of my favorite wildlife spots have been greatly diminished in recent years, I find myself doing more landscapes and scenic work. It’s a great blessing to live in Colorado with its amazing scenery, but also to have most of Wyoming and Utah within a day’s drive. I’ve recently been spending more time in Utah to get away from the crowds, and I’ve started backpacking again to get to more remote places.
Colorado has some of the best locations in the world for photographing elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, all within a two-hour drive.
To the best of my memory I came across Nikonians back in 2002 doing an Internet search for a lens I was considering buying. I joined almost immediately due to the wealth of information about equipment, places and techniques. Nikonians is my go-to source for lens and equipment reviews and advice about places to go. It’s a wonderful sharing community!
I heard a great tip from a Matt Kloskowski teaching video recently: ‘If you see the sun spot-light part of the landscape, shoot it!’ I was able to put that tip into practice just a week or two later with great results. (See attached photo of spot-lit trees.)
I’ve had so many memorable experiences while photographing but my most recent came when I was in the Smokies to shoot fall color and waterfalls. I didn’t know this until I arrived there, but the park had been in a long drought and the water levels and colors were both ways below normal. I particularly wanted to shoot Spruce Flats Falls, having seen some beautiful shots of it and having never been there before.
It rained a little one night, just enough to put a little water in the waterfalls. The next day I headed out to Spruce Flats Falls, arriving late in the afternoon with a light drizzle. I had about two hours until dark when I set out up the trail. As it turned out, the drizzle kept every other person off the trail and when I got to the falls I had it entirely to myself—no problems with people walking into the frame or wading in the stream and pool. And the little drizzle and the rain from the night before, combined with some very long exposures, gave me some gorgeous waterfall shots.”
Thank you, Scott, for the opportunity to see some of your haunts with the gorgeous landscapes and the incredible shots of wildlife quite at home in their environment.
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