Colorado Trip and Mine Entrance Photo…

Mine Entrance, Sepia

I took this photo as I drove home from a long weekend away.  This mine entrance is located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, between Ouray and Silverton.  It’s an incredible road- 25 miles takes an hour to drive due to the twists and turns and views available.  It’s called the “Million Dollar Highway”, which is most probably because of the amount it cost per mile to build it long ago (or so I’ve heard), but the name has stuck due to the “million dollar” views.  Anyways, I’ve passed this shack many times… this day I turned in and wandered around.

I didn’t have the guts to walk in, there was another flattened shack near this one to remind passersby of how unstable the building is, but I love how you can actually see into the mine entrance through the doorway.  That is a gift of the HDR process, allowing the photo to better represent what the eye might have actually seen, light-wise.  I also LOVE how the wood texture came out in this image.  I could have kept the colors- a light green was gracing the trees, the building itself was a mellow golden brown, and the puddle/stream in front was bright green with slime.  But I like the sepia look, even if it is a bit trite for an “old-timey” image.

The photo, of course, is an HDR image.  I used all three of my photos for it, and then ended up mixing in parts of the lightest photo to add depth to the darkened mine itself.  After Photomatix came up with the basic HDR image, I brought it into Photoshop and spent quite a bit of time adjusting the saturation, contrast, the sharpness and noise reduction amounts (I used Noiseware Professional again for this), and Topaz Adjust to get the look right.  I did a few things new today- brought the lightest version of the image into photoshop on it’s own and used Topaz on it, then desaturated it, then used Noiseware… and THEN I mixed it with this image.  It helped, I think, to make sure all parts of the image had the same “look”.  I also was a bit more careful with this photo and searched the entire thing on high magnification, making sure there weren’t any over-sharpened spots.  I’m learning, perhaps slower than others, but I’m learning.  I will next print this out and see how it looks on paper.  The final test!

Enjoy my photo.  It is stored on my website at, and you will also hopefully see it soon on, as I will be sending it their way tonight.  Currently I’ve got 2 photos in the “featured” and “popular” pages on that site.  I’m rather proud of that fact!

More Colorado pics tomorrow, I had a blast and I’m looking forward to finishing some more of these.  If you ever get to drive between Delta and Glenwood Springs in Colorado, it is a gorgeous part of the state.  Lots of farm country and lots of mountains and hills, and not much else!


About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at View all posts by Kelley B.

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