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Essence of Colorado - by Brian D. Riebesell

NOTE: this exhibit appeared in November 2000. Click here to visit the current showcase.

All other exhibits: Click here to access

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Dallas Peak Reflections

This photo was taken about 200 yards from my tent one cool morning in Mt. Sneffels Wilderness. I was drawn in by the brilliant blue color that makes this image feel as cold as it actually was that morning.


Cathedral Rock Reflections

Since Garden of the Gods is virtually my backyard, it's easy to make this place my most photographed area. During the Spring of 98, we received a tremendous amount of rain, along with flooding. After a large pond of water developed in the park, I was up every morning to photograph sunrise reflections.


Silhouette Pinyon at Twilight

Sunsets in Western Colorado lend themselves to some really wonderful photographs. Just before cooking my dinner, I was able to capture this photo, after selecting a nice dead Pine tree, from the many that are in this Monument.


Paint Mines

This small unique erosion area, 40 miles East of Colorado Springs, provides some great opportunities for colorful photographs.


Moonset Reflections

On a very windy morning, I was able to create this moonset reflection on Pueblo Lake by keeping my shutter open for 30 seconds. I did not expect this photo to turn out with such a strong visual impact.


Fog Amidst Pine

Finding this image in Colorado is quite simple, with the vast amounts of high elevation forests and low level clouds. Morning is always the best time to find these.


Pikes Peak Sunrise Reflections

With Pikes Peak mountain being one of the most visited mountains in the U.S., it's sometimes difficult to find new perspectives and views of this mountain. I prefer these images of its North face. With snow and first light, this reflection shows the vast beauty of this popular mountain.


Fresh Snow in the Garden

Colorado is famous for its powder snow, which can make great photographs and interesting adventures. After hiking up a ridge in 25+ inches of new snow, I was rewarded with this beautiful Winter scene.


Waterfall on the North Fork

While photographing remote areas around Crested Butte, I was blessed with many beautiful waterfalls and water cascades. This small waterfall is just a hint of the hundreds of waterfalls this state has to offer.


Sunrise Glory

One of my favorite subjects is silhouettes against colored skies. They tend to generate more creativity in the viewer's mind. This type of photography is fun to do in Colorado, since there are so many wonderful subjects and elements that can create nice silhouettes, especially when reflected off standing water.


Maroon Bells above Maroon Lake

Maroon Bells is claimed as being the most photographed area in Colorado and I can see why. This area is breathtaking, especially during Autumn and after the first snow fall. Maroon Lake offers some great opportunities for nice reflections. Get there early, the tourist traffic can get crazy.


Turquoise on Blue Lake

During a solo backpack trip, on a partly cloudy day, I was able to find a view point that allowed me to capture the sun's spotlight on Blue Lake. It was fantastic to see how the sunlight brought out the turquoise color. These beautiful alpine tarns are easy to find in the high country of Colorado.


Marigold Dreams

One of my favorite subjects to photograph is flowers. I am fortunate to have Colorado's large collection of wildflowers. While working on my belly, in a large group of beautiful Marigold's, I was able to create this dreamy photograph.


Dune Ridge

One of the most unique and bizarre areas in Colorado is the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Having this in Colorado makes you realize just how creative our Creator is. Photographing these sand dunes is best done when the sun is low. This will give you nice shadows and a strong three dimensional feeling.


Young Yucca Webbing

Finding Yucca plants like this one is not difficult in Colorado. I stumbled across this young Yucca and was immediately drawn to the white web-like patterns. I was able to capture the strong patterns and contrast that this Yucca had to offer.


Aspen Grove

You can not visit Colorado mountains without experiencing the famous Aspen tree. Photographing Aspen stands generates a lot of creativity and offers some wonderful photographs, especially during Autumn. This back-lit photograph of an Aspen grove shows you what unique trunks these trees have.


Autumn Towers

And here's towering Aspen trees during Autumn. Along with the dense Scrub Oak, Aspen trees generate powerful Autumn color in Colorado. It is a pure joy to photograph these colorful trees against the brilliant blue skies.


Monument Vista

Near Grand Junction, the Colorado National Monument reminds you of some of the famous Utah landscapes. This monument is quite amazing and truly emphasizes the diversity of Colorado's landscape...from snow-capped mountain to these desert-like canyons. After visiting and photographing the famous Colorado Rocky Mountains, this monument is a MUST SEE.

Note: For best viewing, set your monitor to High Color or True Color (Thousands or Millions of Colors on MacOS) and 1024x768 pixels. These images have been carefully prepared with a Gamma of 2.2 using the BruceRGB color space. This should work well with high-quality Windows monitors. If you are a MacOS user, set your Adobe Gamma control panel to "Windows Default" or, at the last resort, choose the sRGB calibrated profile in the Color section of your Monitors control panel.

Please note: All images featured in the Essence of Colorado showcase are Copyright © Brian D. Riebesell, all rights reserved. These images are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and may not be used or reproduced without permission. For licensing and usage information, or to order prints, please contact Brian D. Riebesell at

About the Exhibit: Essence of Colorado

After growing up in the Midwest, with mile after mile of landscape looking the same and mostly private property, I was truly inspired by the what the beautiful state of Colorado had to offer.

For the outdoor enthusiast seeking exciting things to do, Colorado gives its residents and visitors endless choices of useful resources. With 54 mountains reaching over 14,000 ft. above see level, 2.6 million acres of Wilderness areas, 14.4 million acres of National Forest, 8 National Parks/Monuments and 160,000 acres of State Parks, you can imagine the options. In my opinion, of all the places I lived or visited, Colorado also offers one of the best climates. Being a landscape photographer and an outdoor enthusiast, I currently can not think of a better place to live that could give me the diversity, variety and amazing vistas/features within minutes to a few hours from my home.

The Essence of Colorado Showcase will give you a sneak preview of the diverse beauty with which Colorado has been blessed. Through my camera and creativity, you will understand why Colorado has artistically inspired me. I will never grow tired of Colorado, just tired of not being able to see more of it, more often.

To view more Colorado photographs, visit:
NaturExposed Photography
I would enjoy hearing your feedback:

Colorado Resources:

About the Photographer: Brian D. Riebesell

Brian specializes in natural color landscape and close-up photography, using 35mm cameras and exposed on professional transparency film. Brian strives to capture special moments in time and in beautiful places, that are not easily seen by others. His objective is to capture these moments by using the highest quality methods/techniques possible and to display to others what he witnessed or visualized. Brian desires to discover, enjoy, record, and share the wonderful beauty of our Earth.

Brian now lives in Colorado, but spent most his life growing up in the Midwestern states. Brian has been involved with the world of art since he was very young and after many years of searching for his artistic niche, he discovered photography. Photography has been the key to expressing his artistic and creative emotions. He has always had a passion for the natural beauty that surrounds us, which is so often missed or taken for granted. To present people with "The Earth's Beauty" as he sees it, Brian is self-taught by studying the work and teachings of several great photographers. He spends much time traveling, exploring, hiking, camping and backpacking wilderness areas to be in harmony with nature and to satisfy his artistic emotions.

Browse the NaturExposed Photography portfolio at:

Find photos of the Colorado Plateau in Land of the Canyons, the Photo Trip USA landscape photography guide book.

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