Abbott Church in Colorado
Time keeps on ticking, into the future. At least says the Steve Miller Band. But one visit to Abbott Church in Colorado will have you thinking otherwise.
This is truly a lost gem of a time long forgotten. A time when churchgoers spent half their Sunday riding a horse or carriage to the only place of worship within a hundred miles.
Fortunately for me, I have a gas powered truck, and while it still takes a few hours to visit Abbott church, it's certainly much more comfortable.
I had seen a few photos posted online and wondered where it might be located. Lack of mountains meant it was somewhere out east. Farmland hinted at a northern location within the State. And a comment in one Instagram post indicated a two hour drive from Denver.
My first visit was in 2019. Forest fires were burning all throughout California, Idaho and Utah, with a few in Colorado. The smoke was really bad, but one benefit of the smoke was the formation of sun rays. This combined with a church setting sounded like an ideal opportunity. So I set out looking for Abbott Church.
And as luck would have it, I found it. The sun rays were unbelievable! Definitely one of the rare outings where everything worked out perfect.
Nothing about the photo was edited in Photoshop. The sun was high in the sky beaming down through a break in the clouds, illuminating the land just behind the church.
A scurried around look for different angles. I also sat patiently waiting for the clouds to shape-shifted into different orientations.
Roughly 500 photos and 4 hours later, I decided it was time to head back home. I was incredibly anxious to see how the photos turned out.
In 2020, I made a second visit. This time, the National Weather Services was calling for severe storms all across the eastern half of Colorado. So once again, I loaded up the truck with food and camera gear and made the drive to Abbott Church.
As luck would have it, I again scored a perfect setting. The weather was incredibly compliant.
A beautiful storm front slowly rolled across the plains with Abbott Church in the foreground. Mother Nature was showing off her talents.
At one point, it looked like a tornado was going to drop down. That would have been so incredibly awesome had it happened, but unfortunately it did not. However, the sky was blue and green, the hallmark sign of a violent storm producing hail.
For about an hour, the storm just hovered in place, and ironically, barely a drop of rain fell while I was taking pictures. There was however a lot of lightning which made me nervous. Most of it was only about a mile away, too.
Nonetheless, I had plenty of time to do a little experimenting.
For this scene, I used a 10-stop neutral density filter so the clouds look smeared and smooth. By this time the storm had died down and there wasn't too much wind.
Below is almost the same scene with e slightly different position and without the 10-stop filter.
I'm not sure I'll go back again. I feel like I nailed it the last two times. I've thought about going back during a new moon in the summer to get a milky way scene. Time will tell.