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Bierstadt was here

Webcam view, Rocky Mountain National Park

Webcam view, Rocky Mountain National Park

And you thought artist Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) made it all up.

Above is a webcam shot from Rocky Mountain National Park. But as soon as it filled my screen this afternoon, I thought immediately of Bierstadt’s paintings. This looks like his work. It is a wonderful example of the dramatic, glowing light he often depicted.

Below are two of Bierstadt’s paintings of the park. Whyte’s Lake has since been renamed Bierstadt Lake.

Bierstadt's "Estes Park, Colorado"

Bierstadt’s “Estes Park, Colorado”

Bierstadt's "Whyte's Lake, Colorado"

Bierstadt’s “Whyte’s Lake, Colorado”


  1. Living near the Texas Gulf Coast where when it rains we watch the water pile up because it doesn’t know which way is down makes it easy to fall in love with mountains. My first memories of mountains are from the images created by Ansel Adams and Albert Bierstadt. I’ve got an urge to get in the car and head Northwest.

    • I’ve had “mountain fever” all my life. Growing up in central Oklahoma gives one an extraordinary appreciation of vertical landscapes. And no one has captured their grandeur better than Adams and Bierstadt. If you’re interested in present-day RMNP photos, you might enjoy Erik Stensland’s work. He’s my current favorite, but I’m biased because I know so many of the places he photographs (and I failed so miserably when I tried to photograph them myself). There are interesting notes with each of Stensland’s photos about the location, circumstances, and camera used.

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