Congrats to Valerie Millett for winning the Fall Color 2014 Assignment!
"Long before I every became a photographer I'd seen a photo in a magazine of hundreds of photographers lined up in front of a spectacular scene. The article noting that the particular landscape was one of the most photographed in the U.S. I distinctly remember the image because it registered as odd to me – the crazy level of enthusiasm that seemed to overtake these photographers," describes Millett.
"This particular Autumn I found myself sleeping in the back of my SUV in freezing cold temps at Maroon Bells, CO, with an alarm malfunction that lead to almost missing the whole thing. Once I came to my senses, I hurriedly got up, bundled up and stood on the shores of a scene I couldn't see in the pitch of darkness but I knew I wasn't alone. In the complete darkness stood what seemed liked hundreds of other photographers all milling around and waiting for the sunrise. Those moments as the sun rose I stood there in disbelief at the amount of bodies, camera gear and electronic noise coming from such an incredibly spectacular landscape. Then it dawned on me that I was in THE exact place I'd seen all those years ago in that magazine. There I was, part of the many and struck by that same enthusiasm. It was an incredible bit of discovery so of course I had to take a photo of it."
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, polarizer, Induro Carbon tripod.