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Mountainous regions of the western USA are known to be diverse and interesting. The San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado is one of those spectacular areas. The landscape typically displays open terrain at high elevation that can be viewed from great distances. The land was glaciated during the cooler periods of the Pleistocene, and this resulted in many impressive escarpments above lower mountain slopes.
The alpine surroundings contain a mixture of both deciduous and evergreen forests so autumn views are striking. There are significant contrasts in color, tree structure, and general tonality. These landscapes are often accessible during the fall when conditions are not extreme. The changeable conditions often provide interesting clouds owing to the orographic effect of airflow over the high terrain.
Southwestern Colorado is a large region in which one can find a diversity of different compositions. There is a good road system of both primary and secondary routes that provide easy access. This is a low population density area, but it draws visitors from urban centers a distance away. Interestingly, the location is near some other spectacular destinations in the adjacent state of Utah.
Photographic techniques include both wide and narrow field of views as one can concentrate on different subjects, and, as usual, your most striking views may be at about sunrise or sunset. Your routine would probably be reconnaissance during the day as you plan for the low light conditions later. I often try to find two closely spaced locations which may be utilized during the short interval of good lighting. You will probably want to plan on being in the area for several days in order to allow for weather changes.
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