The first park a friend and I visited on a recent trip to Utah was Capitol Reef National Park. While making images at Bryce National Park (as seen in my previous post) seemed easy, I cannot say the same was true here. But, the experienced photographer has learned to accept and work with the lighting and sky conditions given … especially when there is little time at a place. Such was the case on this trip with Mother Nature providing just a few short moments of photogenic opportunities during our less than day and a half stay. Adding to the challenge, many of the features at Capitol Reef require hiking or high-clearance 4WD vehicles and it takes time to get to them.

We had an adventure on the morning after our arrival as we ventured into the desert back-country to find the Temples of the Moon and Sun. Setting out in the dark, hours before sunrise we turned around at the first of two options when we were met with a river crossing. In the dark it seemed to be deep, swift moving and down a steep embankment. At the alternate route we were confronted with 3 bridges that consisted of narrow metal planks and no side rails to protect us from the dark abyss below. We were afraid but forged ahead … before realizing we were steered in the wrong direction by a misleading map! Now we had to go back over the bridges to get back on track! We got to the Temples just as a brief, bit of color appeared in the sky. And, by the time the sun came up over the ridge that was casting shadows on the temples the sky was a bald blue and the lighting was harsh.

We decided that first light on the Temples would be better in the spring when the sun is at an angle that is not obstructed by the ridge. The last two weeks of October would be a good time to visit other areas of the park, to take advantage of golden cottonwood foliage. Having never visited Capitol Reef before it was a fun visit to get acquainted, and one that we learned from.

‘The Castle, Capitol Reef National Park’ © Denise Bush
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‘Canyon Country Schoolhouse’ © Denise Bush

‘Canyon Country Barn’ © Denise Bush

‘Hickman Bridge At Capitol Reef’ © Denise Bush

‘Downstream From Capitol Dome’ © Denise Bush

‘Temple Of The Moon At Dawn’ © Denise Bush
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Bryce Canyon National Park

In November a fellow photographer friend and I took 4 days to visit two national parks in Utah … Capitol Reef & Bryce Canyon. “Everything is far apart out here in the West” someone once told me. They were right … the trip included 6-8 hours (more or less) to get from one place to the next, so a lot of our time was spent driving. We ended up with an evening plus a full day at Capitol Reef and an afternoon and morning at Bryce. Of course the quality of the light and cloud interest are always important ingredients for a landscape photographer so we could only hope to be lucky during our visit. Thankfully, on our last morning we were blessed with beautiful diffused light. This is when my favorite images were captured and all but 3 below were from those early hours. The canyon had the look of an enchanted fantasyland filled with castle walls, towers and passageways.

‘First Light, Bryce Canyon National Park’ © Denise Bush
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‘Castle Walls’ © Denise Bush
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‘Raven Of The Canyon’ © Denise Bush
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‘Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon National Park’ © Denise Bush

‘Bryce Layers’ © Denise Bush

‘Rocky Fortress’ © Denise Bush

‘Thor’s Hammer’ © Denise Bush
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‘Three Goblets’ © Denise Bush

‘Bryce Sunrise’ © Denise Bush

‘Canyon Layers With Fiery Sunrise’ © Denise Bush
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You are cordially invited to attend the virtual opening of my 2017 Gallery! In keeping with a 15 year tradition I’ve posted favorites from the past year on my website. This year my photos are from many special moments around home in Colorado. I continue to find new subjects to explore and I look forward to 2018. I would like to thank the followers of this blog. Your views, comments and friendship mean a lot. Just click the link to view them and happy New Year to all!

Tip: Using the ‘next photo’ button at the top of each web page will quickly guide you through the collection.


Warm Wishes

24Dec17

Thank you to all my followers and visitors … all my best in 2018! © Denise Bush


The Lost Files

08Dec17

In preparing for my annual tradition of posting favorites from the year on my website, I came upon some random landscape images that didn’t appear in this year’s blog posts. Feeling they too deserve a chance to be processed and seen before the year ends, here they are …

‘Bare Trees’ © Denise Bush

‘Basin Falls’ © Denise Bush

‘Lakeside Wildflowers’ © Denise Bush

‘Summer Aspens With Sunburst’ © Denise Bush

‘Southwest Silhouette’ © Denise Bush

‘Over The Cimarrons’ © Denise Bush
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‘Road To Sneffels’ © Denise Bush
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‘Ready For Winter’ © Denise Bush
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‘Ripples In Beaver Pond’ © Denise Bush

‘Lakeside Grazing’ © Denise Bush
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‘Autumn Colors’ © Denise Bush

‘Divide House’ © Denise Bush

‘Lakeside Glow’ © Denise Bush
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‘September Surprise’ © Denise Bush

‘Through the Willows’ © Denise Bush

‘Dead Ponderosa Pines In Winter’ © Denise Bush
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Proof Of Life

21Nov17

If you have been following my work you already know that photographing abandoned structures (and old things) is an obsession of mine! It’s been that way for a long time … since my photography beginnings. Today, many share the same interest whether photographing or exploring. One of the locations depicted here is the remains of an old mining town, high in the mountains. The ghost town, Animas Forks (near Silverton, Colorado) attracts a a steady flow of of tourists, jeeps and off-road vehicles during the summer months. People are curious about how the miners and their families lived and have fun exercising their imaginations. Efforts to support the buildings are underway in Animas Forks but elsewhere many are collapsing. Most of the buildings I find are not in a town at all but nestled among the trees, situated precariously on the slope of a mountain or fenced in on ranch land. Many structures were only used for a short time and often very simply built. The natural materials and harsh winters aid in returning them to the earth, hastening their demise. So here, before they’re gone, I present a collection of images to document and ponder.

‘The Neighbors’ © Denise Bush
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‘Once Upon A Time’ © Denise Bush

‘Broken Dreams’ © Denise Bush
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(Can you see Tinkerbell?)

‘Mountain Shelter’ © Denise Bush
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‘Cabin Close-up’ © Denise Bush

‘Cabin Beside Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Three Windows’ © Denise Bush
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‘Mining Days Relic’ © Denise Bush

‘Tilted’ © Denise Bush

‘Swayback Barn’ © Denise Bush

‘Flowers By The Door’ © Denise Bush
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‘Shack Among Aspens’ © Denise Bush

‘Through Yonder Window’ © Denise Bush
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As trees go, aspens seem to get all the attention here in the State of Colorado. I can understand why … they are beautiful and I am in love with them too. This year, however they were a little lacking in some areas … but through no fault of their own! In May after young leaves had already blossomed we had a significant snowfall. In the summer months there were a couple of hot, dry spells. So, in some groves the aspen leaves turned a yellowish brown instead of their usual brilliant hues of gold.

Perhaps that was why I noticed the cottonwoods. They seemed more vibrant than I remembered in my previous years of living here. I went out on three occasions looking for cottonwoods that displayed a nice shape. Their limbs seem to break easily so finding good subjects is a process. Unlike aspens, they’re big and bold and can stand on their own. At some distance and on fenced private property I often used my zoom lens to get in close to a tree I saw from the road. Choosing a vantage point that would show-off a nice background required parking and walking to find the perfect spot. What you don’t see are the power lines, buildings, vehicles and all the other stuff that’s highly visible in many of these areas. I really enjoyed shooting the cottonwoods for a change and I hope you enjoy this selection!

See other autumn posts by clicking on Denise Bush’s Photo Blog (top) & scrolling down!

‘Desert Gold’ © Denise Bush
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‘Billy Creek Beauty’ © Denise Bush

‘Out Standing In The Field’ © Denise Bush

‘Cottonwood Charisma’ © Denise Bush

‘Adobe Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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‘Glowing Cottonwoods’ © Denise Bush

‘Captivating Cottonwood’ © Denise Bush

‘Catching Last Rays’ © Denise Bush