It was the spring of 1993 during the height of runoff when we camped the night before at Deer Lodge Park near the entrance of Dinosaur National Monument’s iconic canyon walls. As the night led to morning yapping howls of Coyote filled the desert air from a distant shore. Down along the banks of the Yampa River past the river rafter’s put-in the river bends hard left flowing north to west in less than 200 yards. In the high water running over deeply silted banks, normally left dry throughout the rest of the year, an old stag’s spider like branches breached the sky. Canada Geese flew the breeze way up the gut of the river honking and marking the sunrise with a strong punctuation. Ribbons of rain squalls were back lit by the sun piercing the ridges of Cross Mountain to the east. The stag’s branches silhouetted reflection broke the red sky sunrise at the river’s edge. As the water swirled in a quiet meditation, I adjusted the focus of my camera’s lens, settings locked in, cable release in place and I deliberately released the shutter. One exposure dead on; the next one stop over and the last, one stop under. This photo was one stop under exposed. A 35mm Nikon FE2 with 55mm Nikkor Lens with an F-Stop set at f32 and shutter speed at 1/2 of a second with Fuji Velvia Film (ISO50) was used to capture this deep rich high contrast sunrise, and stags reflection.

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