I love aspen trees -- the greenish-white color of their bark, the rustle of their leaves quaking at the suggestion of a breeze, the brilliance of their autumn gold, and the amazing fact that entire groves of the trees are connected through a common root system, essentially composing a single organism. This springtime shot near Ouray, Colorado shows aspen in a wide range of foliation, from buds to fresh, fully-formed leaves, according to their elevation on the mountain -- the higher the elevation, the cooler the climate, and the younger the leaves.

I mention this because I believe it is important for a landscape image to tell a story, and I feel that this image tells a story about aspen trees. It illustrates groves of the trees, it shows their mountainous context, and it captures their different appearance at various stages of foliation. This is where aspen thrive. And they don't thrive alone -- they often coexist peacefully with various coniferous trees. One of the most appealing characteristics of large-format photography is that the images contain so much detail that you can back off from the subject to show it in its context, yet the subject remains clearly defined, even under significant enlargement.