Waking up early to photograph this magnificent sandstone Arch, Brett captured Rare Light nearly an hour before sunrise. His camera, stabilized from wind and vibrations by a heavy tripod, spent over five minutes collecting the faint light refracted off our Earth’s atmosphere and falling upon the desert floor. Brett has mastered the difficult task of long-exposure photography and Rare Light is one of his greatest achievements. For years he has wanted to capture the rare purple hues of a desert morning and now he has.
Tucked away in the high country of central Colorado, this old mill was once part of a thriving city full of adventure and treasure. Now it is one of only a few structures remaining in what is now a ghost town. Accessible only by ATV, this icon of the Rocky Mountains captivated Brett while searching for old structures full of character. Using a rotating camera head, Brett slowly captured Gold Country as his optics swung left to right.
Quiet Storm is a breathtaking look into the heart of Mother Nature’s power and grace. The image, captured in springtime along the Gulf of Mexico, is the product of 10 months of hard work filming this rugged coastal shore. “I kept going back to this beach over and over again” recalls Brett reflecting on the challenge of capturing Quiet Storm. “I knew from the moment I found it that it had the potential to be an amazing shot. That night I traveled there during a calm afternoon and for some reason as the sun began to set two storms collided overhead and all hell broke loose!” Brett’s experience on that beach nearly turned disastrous. The secluded beach offered him little coverage to avoid the intense lighting that crashed around him only minutes after capturing Quiet Storm. He took refuge in nearby mangroves for 45 minutes before the storm moved on and he could hike down the coast back to safer ground. “I’ll never forget my experience filming Quiet Storm… it was definitely worth it.”
Patterns is a great example of the power of long exposure photography. Brett captured this massive image nearly half an hour before sunrise on the rugged slopes of the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado. Standing at over 750 feet high and traveling for over 30 miles this dynamic landscape is a testament to the ever-changing power and grace of Mother Nature. As the sun began to illuminate the atmosphere, faint but intricate patterns came into Brett’s view revealing the sculpted slopes of each dune that the midnight winds had carved. As he manuvered across ridge after ridge in the early dawn he came upon this image and carefully captured the moment with a single shot. Brett decided to make this print a one of a kind print for the collector who truly appreciates not only the beauty of the image… but the journey and the story that makes it so unique.
Rocky Shore is another masterpiece by Brett Donnelly that showcases his skills as a long exposure photographer. Captured on the Gulf of Mexico, Rocky Shore took years to perfect including waiting for the perfect atmospheric conditions to produce such beautiful colors in the sky, the rocks, the trees and the ocean. “I spent years going to this secret location along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico waiting for Mother Nature to give me the perfect light” recalls Brett on his journey to capture Rocky Shore. “One day I showed up and the weather was perfect and I was able to capture my vision on film using long exposure techniques on a sturdy tripod.”