Sunrise on St. Malo Catholic Chapel near Estes Park, Colorado.
February 25, 2013

A Romantic Weekend in Estes Park


My wife is amazing and patient! On Friday afternoon we headed up to Estes Park for a romantic weekend without our kids. This is the first time we have had more than one night away since our 4-year-old was born. What did I do? I woke up at 4 A.M. and headed out with my camera and a lot of warm clothes on.

Sunrise Saint Malo Chapel Near Estes Park, Colorado

I can’t help it photography isn’t just a job, it is a passion that has been with me since I was twelve and developed my first roll of black and white film. That is what made me leave the warm bed and condo to head out and look for coffee and a good spot for sunrise. After hitting the coffee shop my brain started working better and I decided to head for Saint Catherine of Siena’s Chapel also known as St. Malo Chapel.

I have driven by the little Chapel on the Rock hundreds of times on my way to climbing or shooting in and around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park but never have had a chance to shoot it in good light. I was a little concerned as I steered my car up Hwy. 7 past Lily Lake and Longs Peak. There were thin clouds on the eastern horizon and I was worried they would ruin the sunrise for me. Fortunately I had just a few minutes before the clouds got in the way. So I quickly shot the Catholic chapel from a few angles while I had the light.

Hight Dynamic Range photo of St. Malo Catholic Church

Once the light was gone I shot a few more shots using a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR). Not my favorite thing due to its reliance on Photoshop rather than good exposure and skill, but it never hurts to play with different effects and techniques. After all, you never know when they will come in handy. In this case the light just was not cooperating for the shot I wanted.

If you like the photos or have fond memories of the Chapel on the Rock please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with us for some prints. Or if you are considering getting married there PLEASE drop us a line. We really, really, want to shoot a wedding here!

P.S. My wife understands, after seven years of marriage and 13-years together, she knows this is the kind of thing I just have to do. I can’t help it.


Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.