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Behind the Lens: "Skin from Fowler"

Capturing winter adventure deep in the Colorado mountains.

By: Jason Hatfield + Save to a List

Why did you take this photo?

Capturing this image on a backcountry hut trip was a combination of luck and experience. While I didn't plan for this exact shot, as I've never seen a photograph of the location before, I knew the types of images I was looking for when I set out on the trip. On the skin up to the hut we were in blizzard conditions and this view wasn't possible, but on the way back down a couple days later, the storm had broke! Once I saw the clouds and fog breaking around the mountains I skinned off to the side and grabbed this shot.

How did you capture the scene?

Photographing the scene required some fitness and the right gear. Getting to the hut required breaking trail on a strenuous mountain route during a storm, with backpacks full of gear and food. Thankfully I left the hut with a lighter pack and better weather. To make it easy to access my camera on trips like these and protect it from snow/falls, I use an F-Stop Chest Pack attached to my Osprey Exos 58 Backpack. With the combination of being there and being able to access my gear, I was able to capture the incredible early morning light and mist while my friends broke the trail. 

What kind of processing did you do?

Editing this image was fairly simple. I processed the RAW image from my Sony a7R II in Lightroom where I performed adjustments to white balance, exposure, and color. I went for an airy and cool feel to the image to convey the lifting storm and frigid temps.

Photography Advice:

Making your camera easy to access and protected is the best way to ensure you'll get great photos on adventures. If my camera had been sitting in my pack there's noway my friends would have waited around in the 5˚F weather for me to dig it out.


Follow Jason's work at jasonjhatfield.com or on Instagram @jason_j_hatfield

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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