I’ve enjoyed shooting flowers since the beginning of my photo journey. Living Back East, there were a lot of gardens nearby and I was a member of the renowned Longwood Gardens … an estate outside of Philadelphia, once owned by the DuPonts. I spent many hours photographing on the grounds as well as inside the conservatories. And on other days I might have enjoyed shooting the wildflowers of the South Jersey Pinelands. Then my usual lens of choice was a 100mm macro, to get up nice and close, making the flower and its bokeh background the subject. Now, living in Colorado and being so in love with the landscape I am much more interested in combining the flowers with the grand landscape, or at least part of the environment, for more intimate scenes. I’ve been using my 16-35mm, wide angle lens which allows me to focus close and achieve a greater depth of field. Finding accessible and worthy subjects with interesting backgrounds is challenging for me. And wouldn’t you know it … the best wildflowers often grow on the steepest slopes! Sturdy hiking boots and slow, careful foot placement is needed to avoid falling and damaging myself, my camera or the flowers. Forcing my tripod and myself into a steady position is a challenge as well … one that my muscles might feel the following day! Because it is often windy I compensate by adjusting my settings to quicken my shutter speed. Many of the wildflowers grow high in the alpine basins, requiring driving on narrow jeep roads. Encounters with those coming the opposite way are often sketchy! I am thankful to Brent for driving on roads I do not have the confidence to travel on by myself. I hope you enjoy what I have been able to do this year!

Fireweed grows beautifully on the steep slopes of a mountain lake in Colorado.

‘Lakeside Beauties’ © Denise Bush
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A meadow of Elephant Head wildflowers was too beautiful not to stop and photograph.

‘Elephant Head Meadow’ © Denise Bush

A beautiful cluster King’s Crown grows among other wildflowers in a high, alpine meadow near Silverton, Colorado.

‘King’s Crown Cluster’ © Denise Bush
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Sunny yellow flowers pose before a rock wall in the mountains.

‘Rock Wall Pretties’ © Denise Bush

Wildflowers often grow on rocky slopes which can put the photographer on unsteady ground.

‘On Rocky Ground’ © Denise Bush

Queen’s Crown, a relative of the more common King’s Crown grows in a pretty cluster showing varying blossom stages.

‘Queen’s Crown Cluster’ © Denise Bush

A daisy field below Red Mountain is a happy summer sight.

‘Daisies Below Red Mountain’ © Denise Bush


When venturing out on a shoot I usually have a particular destination in mind, wanting to add to an ongoing collection, or perhaps find something new. Whatever I’m after I stay tuned in to scenes and subjects along the way. I like to be open to everything Mother Nature presents to me! When it comes to inspiration and what is right with the world, she excels. Being with her brings a sense of awe, peace and hope … especially welcome during these trying times.

A vibrant rainbow apprears over the San Juan Mountains featuring Whitehouse Mountain and Teakettle Mountain.

‘San Juan Rainbow’ © Denise Bush

The sun breaks out through a hole in the clouds to illuminate this scene on a mesa near Telluride, Colorado.

‘God Beams On The Mesa’  © Denise Bush

Two Gambel Oaks create an arch and frame for the setting sun.

‘Sunburst Arch’ © Denise Bush
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Rain clouds light up pink at sunset over a golden field.

‘Alpenglow & Storm Clouds’ © Denise Bush

A rainbow surprise was waiting around the corner as a spring storm clears and the sun peeks out of the clouds.

‘Over The Rainbow’ © Denise Bush


The North End

20Jul20

This post pays tribute to the less photographed, north end of Cimarron Ridge. I’ve shown images of the more mountainous south end including, Chimney Rock, Courthouse, Coxcomb, Precipice and Redcliff in a number of previous posts. I can see and often photograph the Cimarron’s from our property as well as when I’m out and about. The forms are silhouetted at sunrise looking east and we enjoy tracking the sun as it changes position along the ridgeline from season to season. In late day and at sunset the Cimarron’s surprise us each evening by lighting up in unpredictable ways. The ridge and mountain faces can light up a bright gray to deep red and in between, often turning alpenglow pink in unison with the clouds. An added bonus is moonrise … often viewed from the comfort of our upstairs living area, when not obscured by clouds. We enjoy our Cimarron view and I hope you enjoy these views of the north end.

In this view we see the north end of Cimarron Ridge at sunset.

‘North Ridge View’ © Denise Bush

Bright green aspens are just one of the many beautiful sights of spring in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Aspen Accents, Cimarron Bluff’ © Denise Bush

Approaching shadows signal night's arrival as we witness last light of day on Cimarron Ridge.

‘Cimarron Ridge Finale’ © Denise Bush

Distant rain clouds releasse some ‘pink rain’ at sunset.

‘Pink Rain’ © Denise Bush

Light on the north end of Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway, The outcropping is known as the Castle Rock.

‘Ridge & Castle Rock’ © Denise Bush

The moon looks large the night before a full, supermoon as seen here on April 6, 2020.

‘Supermoon Prelude’ © Denise Bush

A supermoon rises over a portion of Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway Colorado on April 7, 2020.

‘Rising Over Ridge’ © Denise Bush


Friends and followers of this blog know I can’t go too long without posting images of old structures … shacks, cabins, barns and other mining and agriculture buildings. I just can’t resist these weathered characters! They seem to fit in with the land much more appropriately than new buildings while stirring the imagination of days gone by. Little details and often a sense of place adds to their stories. Just when I begin thinking I’ve found and photographed all the local characters, another finds and calls to me, and my camera!

An old barn looks on the brink of collapse under a spring sunset sky.

‘Old Ranch Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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A small hunting cabin appears even smaller in a wide, open landscape.

‘Hunting Cabin’ © Denise Bush

A tiny log cabin survives among some rusty ranch equipment in a canyon in Colorado.

‘Rustic & Rusty’ © Denise Bush

A lttle red shack, leaning and far beyond repair, has lost all hope.

‘Little Leaner’ © Denise Bush

An old miner’s cabin includes a front porch built on a rocky foundation.

‘Rocky Foundation’ © Denise Bush

An old cabin, missing a roof is a weathered reminder of those who lived below the mountain years ago.

‘Mountain Cabin Relic’ © Denise Bush
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There’s a saying … “If you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains, you’re lucky enough.” And it seems that most folks living here do feel that way, including myself. I am grateful to have all of this wonderful scenery that inspires me each time I venture out with my camera. I love exploring to find scenes that call to me, creating compositions from my own perspective. Different seasons, lighting and skies, as well as a choice of vantage points and angles provide a wealth of opportunities for me as a landscape photographer. Friends and visitors here have commented that they love seeing the mountain scenery too, so without further adieu, I present the following … for your mountain viewing pleasure!

Dead cedar trees create a foreground for this Colorado Mountain scene.

‘Boggy Reflections’ © Denise Bush
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This mountain view showcases the bright green aspens of spring.

‘A River Flows Through It’ © Denise Bush

A colorful gradient sky signals the end of day over the mountains near Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Gradient Cimarron Sky’ © Denise Bush

Irises grow wild in springtime, in the mountains of Colorado.

‘Wild Iris View’ © Denise Bush

Clouds cast dark shadows on mountain slopes while other areas are highlighted by warm, golden hour light. Note the timy moon on the rise above the upper cloud.

‘Highlights and Shadows’ © Denise Bush


Creative Identity … what is it and what does it mean to you? 

I consider everything I do with photography and how I do it, all added together to be my Creative Identity. I’ve been working on it seriously as my fine art medium since 2000 and the darkroom. Early years were spent experimenting to come full-circle narrowing subjects down to only what I love. My Creative Identity includes the equipment I use, how I use it, and my processing techniques … to my fine art framed pieces, exhibit history and presence on the web. Exploration, what inspires me and how I capture what I discover are all part of the process. My website, online store and blog reveal who I am as a photographer too. And thinking about it I believe this blog says the most about my Creative Identity. The way I put images together in mini collections, use of clever titles, and my style of writing expose my passion, methods, and personal viewpoints. I believe it is something we develop naturally with time, introspection and work. I have been thinking a lot about Creative Identity lately and I am interested in hearing your thoughts!

Boundaries

And because I’ve also been thinking about how boundaries relate to Creative Identity I’ve decided to pair this post accordingly. Here is a small collection of images that includes fences. Fences can be an obstacle to vantage points but there are some great old weathered ones here in Colorado. I am often looking for ways to include them in my compositions.

A fence adds a little foreground to the distant mountains bathed in pre-sunset light.

‘Mountain Boundary’ © Denise Bush

Low clouds and late day light combine to create a peacefull winter scene.

‘Clouds On A Hill’ © Denise Bush

A fence, buried in the snow acts as a nice accent to this winter scene.

‘Fenced Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Two days before the full moon, this almost full moon rises much earlier, well before sunset.

‘Lunar Prelude’ © Denise Bush

Fog rises from the valley near some hot springs after an overnight snow storm.

‘Above The Fog’ © Denise Bush

A fence with San Juan Mountain character makes a great background for Mears Peak near Ridgway.

‘Ranch Boundary’ © Denise Bush
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Spring Rush

22May20

In the mountains nothing calls out ‘spring’ quite so exuberantly as the streams, rivers and waterfalls! Swollen rivers rush melted snow downstream to get to where it is needed. Always careful of my footing it’s exhilarating to stand beside a roaring river, to witness its power, through sight and sound. And waterfalls are in their glory too … each expressing their own voice while traveling over cliffs and boulders. Some falls only make an appearance this time of year, to do their job then again wait, until next spring’s melt. I have made a recent effort to find and enjoy this wonderful sign of spring, close to home. Here are some early results!

The San Miguel River, near Telluride Colorado is moving swiftly as it turns one of many bends.

‘River Bend In Spring’ © Denise Bush

Falling through tiers, this waterfall disappears in the trees then emerges below.

‘Long Falls’ © Denise Bush

A river flows swiftly along in Spring as if on a mission to reach destinations below.

‘Spring Mission’ © Denise Bush

Water cascades over rocks in spring after making its way through an underground tunnel.

‘Tunnel Cascade’ © Denise Bush

A detail shot of a ribbon-like waterfall making a little ‘splash’ on the way down.

‘Making A Splash’ © Denise Bush

The San Miguel River, near Telluride Colorado rushes through the forest in spring

‘Rushing By’ © Denise Bush

A stream meanders down a mountain in spring, feeding into a larger river below.

‘Springtime Meander’ © Denise Bush


It’s been awhile since I’ve dedicated a post to the ‘Adobes’ … although I have included scenes now and then, in collections with a different aim. The Adobe Hills or Adobe Badlands are a vast area of more than 10,000 acres in Montrose & Delta Counties, north of my Ouray County home. It is more arid in these counties, they get less snow and it melts quickly allowing spring to appear sooner. It is a playground for hiking, ATV & dirt bike enthusiasts, jeeping and this photographer! I find the area a bit ‘otherworldly’ and at times, being there has made me feel like I’ve landed on the Mars! I remember thinking the landscape looked like piles of dirt from a gravel pit when I first saw them. Now I think the Adobes are beautiful and I enjoy shooting there from time to time for a change of scenery. I find the contours and shapes very attractive, especially when complemented with an interesting sky and light. Well, because a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let these images from different seasons take it from here!

A tall hill in the Adobe Badlands near Montrose resembles a pyramid.

‘My Private Pyramid’ © Denise Bush
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A winter sunset adds some pretty pink on top of the tallest hill.

‘Sunset Over Adobe Layers’ © Denise Bush

A canal winds through Montrose Colorado ranch land with the Adobe Hills in the background.

‘Autumn Canal’ © Denise Bush

Yellow wildflowers grace the sides of the road in the high desert near Montrose Colorado.

‘High Desert Bloom’ © Denise Bush

The Adobe Badlands in Montrose County, Colorado are offer interesting, arid scenery.

‘Adobe Badlands Pyramid’ © Denise Bush

Twilight falls on the snow-covered adobe hills near Montroce, Colorado.

‘Adobe Twilight Zone’ © Denise Bush


I’m used to always being out there, trying to out-do my best work while adding to my portfolio. I’m picky and don’t always come away with something I like enough to show, but that’s OK. It’s all good … being out in the fresh mountain air and taking in the scenery never gets old. In recent weeks I’ve stayed at home except for a couple of cabin fever drives and stops with no one else around. I’ve been shooting from our property at sunset which gets me out of the house and enjoying that special time of day. I wait, watch and hope that something wonderful happens with the light and sky … like the last image here, shot from our property. The other scenes are from some of my usual stops on days when I got lucky. I hope you enjoy seeing these magnificent peaks … they are expecting a fresh coat of spring snow tomorrow, Easter Sunday!

The San Juan Mountains of Colorado light up to feature Hayden Peak and the North Pole

‘Amber Glow At Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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Teakettle Mountain reveals its peak as clouds lift after a winter storm.

‘Teakettle In The Clouds’ © Denise Bush

A wintry scene in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado featuring Hayden Peak and North Pole Peak.

‘Winter Light On Hayden’ © Denise Bush

Looking west from Ridgway we see the end of the Sneffels Range On the left and West Baldy on the right with Pleasant Valley in between!

‘Western Winter Panorama’ © Denise Bush
(Hard to see at this small size but felt it belonged in this group!)

Hayden Peak and the North Pole are featured in this San Juan Mountain, winter scene.

‘Painted Sky Over North Pole’ © Denise Bush

A knobby peak reveals itself as a winter storm clears in the mountains of Ouray County, Colorado.

‘Knobby Reveal’ © Denise Bush

Warm light bathes the mountains as clouds lift after depositing a fresh coat of snow.

‘Warm Light Over Cold Peaks’ © Denise Bush


Although I’ve dabbled over the years, I don’t consider myself a wildlife photographer by any means. I do however like to take advantage when an opportunity presents itself, and always enjoy observing animals in their environment. I have great respect for those who shoot wildlife well! It takes a lot of patience, skill and the right equipment. My equipment is geared for landscape shooting but I do have a long lens (a Sigma 150-600mm) and it is plenty sharp. On my full-frame camera, the animals are very often, still too far away. Unlike behavior you might see in places where the animals are used to visitors, here they are wild and scare easily. I’m often not quick enough, especially when my camera is set for landscapes and all wrong for fleeing subjects. Following are some of the critters I’ve had the good fortune to observe, out in the landscape.

A red-tailed hawk is captured at take-off with spruce needles and feathers flying!

‘Red-tail Take-off’ © Denise Bush
(Note the spruce needles in the air)

A red-tailed hawk perches in a spring tree against an aspen forest background.

‘Ready & Waiting’ © Denise Bush
(The background looks like I converted it to sepia but, not the case.)

A mule deer buck shows off his rack against a wintry background.

‘Hello Big Boy’ © Denise Bush

A mule deer doe Is coated in snow, blending in with the brush.

‘Hidden In Winter’ © Denise Bush

Some horses perk up and ask, "are you going to feed us"?

‘Horses In Fog & Snow’ © Denise Bush
(Are you here to feed us?)

A bear wakes up from a long winter’s nap to find some dandelions as a tasty little snack.

‘The Scent Of Dandelions’ © Denise Bush
(A tasty little snack after sleeping all winter.)

A 10 point bull elk turns to bugle to his herd.

‘Bull Elk Bugling’ © Denise Bush

Today is the day an elk calf learns to jump fences as mama coaxes.

‘You Can Do It!’ © Denise Bush
(Today Mama teaches Baby to jump a fence!)

A porcupine peeks from behind a branch it’s been nibbling high up in a tree.

‘Porcupine In Tree’ © Denise Bush

A young big horn sheep is at home on the rocks near Gunnison, Colorado in March.

‘At Home On The Rocks’ © Denise Bush

Three young bighorn sheep observe with caution.

‘Three Young Amigos’ © Denise Bush

A bull moose is spotted in a wet area near Silverton, Colorado.

‘Bull Moose In Wetland’ © Denise Bush

A bull moss is in his habitat among some red autumn willows in a wet area.

‘Landscape With Bull Moose’ © Denise Bush
(A bull moose seems to complete this autumn scene.)




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