The Maroon Bells are a pair of fourteeners in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, just southwest of Aspen. Photography fans know them as one of the most famous subjects of Ansel Adams.
I was fortunate to see an Ansel Adams exhibit in Greenwich last year, and pretty much lost my socks over the Maroon Bells print. They were selling poster versions of it in the gift shop, but a poster is to an original Adams print as an AM radio broadcast is to a front row seat at the symphony. Once you’ve had one experience, you can’t really appreciate the other.
So I carry that memory inside now (along with memories of all the other prints I lost my socks over — that was such a fabulous exhibit), and it makes my ears perk when I see references to familiar titles.
This photographer’s photo of Maroon Lake and the Bells in the distance doesn’t make the mistake so many others do, of trying to emulate the Adams shot. It can’t be done, so it’s best to do something different. The crystal clear water in the foreground, the ripples, the brilliant sunshine — this image buzzes with summertime in the high mountains, and it makes me want to wade in.
(Click the image to bellify.)