Night Time Fun


I’ve been brushing up on my night photography the last couple of months and have included a few favorites in this post. It’s not just the Milky Way and stars that interest me but moonlit and cloudy night skies too. Working with different settings and locations, it’s a work in progress … with several attempts ending up in the trash can! For me one of the biggest challenges is finding a spot with something more than just the sky … an interesting silhouette or foreground. Using a wide angle lens I need to be very close to the mountains for them to be large enough in the scene. Another challenge is of course seeing and focusing in the dark. Testing my lens in daylight to confirm infinity focus and depth of field turned out to be worthwhile. And I use an astronomers red LED light to help my eyes adapt more quickly to night vision. Yes, it can be quite dark out there! When I’m not with a friend I like to make some noise by playing my itunes … so as not to surprise any nearby bears, mountain lions or coyotes!

‘Milky Way Ranch’ © Denise Bush

‘Red Lights Under Moonlit Sky’ © Denise Bush

“Teepee Under Night Sky’ © Denise Bush

‘Shooting Star Over Rocky Outcrop’ © Denise Bush


Another opportunity came up to photograph at a history museum and I grabbed it! This time the shoot was at the Pioneer Museum in Gunnison, Colorado which houses a massive collection of artifacts … from trains to dolls, and everything in-between. I enjoy photographing these everyday, obsolete subjects … they have an interesting history and story to tell about the people who used them. There was so much to see in fact, it was a bit overwhelming searching for the right objects, and finding angles that would work. Here the items were mostly displayed as collections, neatly lined up, one next to another. Like all museums a hands-off policy as well as signs and tags on many items made it difficult to find subjects that I could isolate in an artistic way. The overhead, fluorescent lighting left a bit to be desired but the ability to use a tripod was a big plus. I started with my macro lens in an area full of typewriters and captured a few close-ups to add to my collection. Old dusty mason jars and milk bottles caught a little bit of light in the barn loft and my eye too. It took some time to pick out favorites from the day and I had fun processing them in black and white, adding in a dash of drama. I hope you enjoy looking at them. Feel free to let me know what you think by clicking the comments link at the end of the post!

‘Milk Bottles Geometric’ © Denise Bush

‘Good Luck Atlas’ © Denise Bush

‘Sewing Machine With Cobwebs’ © Denise Bush

‘Faulty Diction’ © Denise Bush

‘Tricycle In B&W’ © Denise Bush

‘Portrait Of Dolly’ © Denise Bush

‘Royal Keys’ © Denise Bush
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‘Old-fashioned Letters’ © Denise Bush
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‘Train Car Lantern’ © Denise Bush

‘Suspicious Baggage’ © Denise Bush
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Comments at a recent art show referring to the ‘rule of thirds’ have me thinking a lot about composition. In my humble opinion the ‘rule of thirds’ is simply one ‘formula’, not deserving of so much attention or strict adherence. After all, there are many other formulas for composition such as the golden ratio, the golden spiral, the triangle and yes … centered. Centered, symmetric compositions can invoke a peaceful, balanced feeling and are sometimes the best solution. A centered subject with an off-centered element often works for me. I like to consider all of the elements in a composition … how are they juxtaposed? Some of my favorite images break the bounds of traditional composition rules. In landscape photography I’m drawn to images with a very low or very high horizon. And I don’t believe we need a foreground element every time. If I don’t find an interesting enough foreground element or think it clutters the scene I won’t include one. Sometimes open ground serves as my foreground. I read an article not too long ago that talked about doing ‘what feels right’ when it comes to composition and I agree. When I’m out in the field I am not thinking about composition formulas but tapping into my artistic sensibilities to frame ‘what feels right’. I am going stick to my belief, that there are ‘no rules in art’! Here are some recent landscapes that may or may not follow composition rules … they just felt right.

‘Adobe Rainbow’ © Denise Bush
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‘Chimney Rock & Stream’ © Denise Bush

‘Fence Post Highlights’ © Denise Bush

‘Lupine Road’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Pond Reflection’ © Denise Bush

‘Indian Paintbrush In The San Juans’ © Denise Bush

‘Favorite View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Evening Gratitude’ © Denise Bush
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The following images feature old buildings that called to me along the way during the past few months. I like including the landscape along with the buildings to provide a sense of place (when it works). Other times, a closer look is needed … like the detail of an oven some miners left behind or the way cabins line up in a neat little row. I’ve passed by and photographed the first location numerous times but this evening the lupine and low light made the scene altogether different. Mining or ranch, near or far, I am always revisiting and searching for these subjects to add to my ever-growing ‘Remnants & Remains‘ collection.

‘Lupine In The Field’ © Denise Bush
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‘Miner’s View With Setting Moon’ © Denise Bush
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‘Miner’s Oven’ © Denise Bush

‘Cabins & Spring Trees’ © Denise Bush

‘Cowboy Quarters’ © Denise Bush

‘Cabin With A Red Pump’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Shack At Day’s End’ © Denise Bush

Museums are great places to take your camera, if they let you … not all museums do. So when an exclusive opportunity arose for a photo club trip to the local, ‘Museum of the Mountain West’ I was in. Because it was in the middle of a bright, sunny day I decided ahead of time that I would concentrate on details inside, starting out with my 100mm macro lens. Having arranged tours to a farmstead museum Back East I was familiar with this kind of shooting. The shear number of artifacts can be overwhelming, the lighting can be difficult and you must isolate yet reserve the urge to move anything! Here are a few detail shots from the fun outing.

‘On A Shoestring’ © Denise Bush
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‘Corona Keys’ © Denise Bush
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‘You’ve Got Mail’ © Denise Bush

‘Latched & Locked’ © Denise Bush

‘Doctor’s Glasses’ © Denise Bush

‘She Spoke To Me’ © Denise Bush

‘Up On A Shelf’ © Denise Bush

‘Old-fashioned Radiator’ © Denise Bush

Water’s Draw


It was always my dream to live on a mountain lake but as it turns out I am perfectly happy to have some nearby. “I’d rather live on a mountain lake than along the ocean,” I’d say. For me lakes are more relaxing than the sometimes harsh and exposed conditions of the seashore. I do miss being able to visit the shores and bays of the East Coast and fill the void by actively seeking out opportunities to photograph beside the water. Here in Colorado my choices include reservoirs, lakes and ponds … rivers, streams and waterfalls too. One of the five elements, water has a lot of symbolic meaning; life, motion, renewal, reflection, purification, clarity and transformation to name a few. I’ve been attracted to photographing bodies of water since the beginning and if I were an astrology believer I’d say it’s because I was born under a water sign! Here are a few images from nearby lakes and reservoirs.

‘Moon At First Light’ © Denise Bush

‘Peaceful Lake In Morning’ © Denise Bush

‘Storm Clouds Over The Reservoir’ © Denise Bush

‘Reflection Among Logs’ © Denise Bush

‘Resting Vessels’ © Denise Bush
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After a long and snowy winter I went searching for some spring green and below is some of what I found. There’s a short window when the foliage and grasses have that beautiful and bright, yellow-green color and I wanted to capture it. This year, late snow left a nice fresh coat of white on the mountains adding to the scenery. The following are images made during outings in May that show-off that vibrant green against the snow-capped mountains. But now, with summer solstice right around the corner I am sad to see the bright greens fading to darker summer shades. Mother Nature seems determined to move things along but promises to provide new opportunities for my camera.

‘Light & Darkness’ © Denise Bush
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‘Let There Be Light’ © Denise Bush

‘Cottonwood Below Sneffels’ © Denise Bush
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‘Road To The Divide’ © Denise Bush

‘Smoke Signals’ © Denise Bush

‘Shadows In The Valley’ © Denise Bush

‘Aspen Triplets’ © Denise Bush