Rifle Falls, Colorado, USA by David Townsend

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Picture Story

Rifle Falls State Park is one of those small hidden gems in central Colorado. It's a little off the beaten path, located in a sparsely travelled area - perfect for a photography itinerary stop. I was camping there in the middle of October when the fall colors were still peaking in that part of the state. There was also a full moon during those days, so one night I walked from camp up to the falls to photograph. I had an absolutely gorgeous night for weather, with clear skies and just a little breeze in the air. I spent an hour or so wandering around the falls alone. It was such a surreal experience with the moonlit landscape, gorgeous starry skies, and nothing but the roaring sounds of the triple waterfalls as the soundtrack.

This photo was my favorite of the night. As always when photographing at night with a full moon, it was a balance of not using too long of an exposure while still rendering the detail needed. In this case, 98 seconds was just about right for my taste, giving the scene a bright glow without making it have that "daylight" look. Also, that length of exposure turned out to be pretty spot on, creating the ideal surreal misty look in the water that captured the mood of the night.


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