This post includes images from Grand Mesa which is a 2 hour drive north from our home. Arriving mid-morning this was more of a scouting trip since the time of day was not in my favor for very long. I was in awe of the fantastic views from the top of the mesa and hope you too can understand the sense of that wonder from these images. After photographing from the overlooks we took a walk down a dirt road lined with aspen trees. I love the way the leaves sound in the wind… a delicate tinkling. And with some back-light the already bright, yellow aspen foliage becomes even brighter. Finally I couldn’t resist an isolated reflection, so brilliant, abstract and fun to capture!

Grand Mesa is the largest flat-topped mountain in the entire world… it has an area of about 500 square miles and stretches for about 40 miles between the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers. The Mesa rises about 6,000 feet above the surrounding river valleys with a maximum elevation of 11,333 feet at the tallest peak. Situated in a semi-arid area just outside of Grand Junction the Mesa offers a contrasting alpine environment with 300 lakes and a ski resort reporting an average snowfall of 250 inches.

'Pond & Mesa' © Denise Bush

‘Pond & Mesa’ © Denise Bush

'Grand Mesa View' © Denise Bush

‘Grand Mesa View’ © Denise Bush

'Forest Pattern' © Denise Bush

‘Forest Pattern’ © Denise Bush

'Aspen Road' © Denise Bush

‘Aspen Road’ © Denise Bush

'Backlit Gold' © Denise Bush

‘Backlit Gold’ © Denise Bush

'Striking Gold' © Denise Bush

‘Striking Gold’ © Denise Bush

Fall is upon the Western Slopes of Colorado and this is my first time experiencing it, even though I have been here several times in other seasons. A foliage lover since I can remember, I’ve been blessed to be able to photograph many beautiful fall landscapes all along the east coast; New England, New York, West Virginia, just to name a few. Here in Colorado the dramatic mountains along with the bright aspens create some of the most breathtaking scenery I have seen. I was pleased to learn that the aspens are sometimes orange and even red. Some areas have oak brush that turns orange-red and the cottonwoods that line the rivers and streams turn yellow. The foliage has not peaked yet in most nearby areas except around Red Mountain Pass and Silverton which is what I am showing here. In the meantime I am watching, waiting and exploring… and hoping for some snow on those mountain peaks (if it’s not asking too much)!

My next post will take us up to Grand Mesa, the largest mesa in the world with an elevation of over 10,000 feet!

'First Light at Crystal Lake' © Denise Bush

‘First Light at Crystal Lake’ © Denise Bush

'Red Mountain Pass View' © Denise Bush

‘Red Mountain Pass View’ © Denise Bush

'Million Dollar Highway' © Denise Bush

‘Million Dollar Highway’ © Denise Bush

'Autumn Mountains Close-up' © Denise Bush

‘Autumn Mountains Close-up’ © Denise Bush

'Firey Aspen' © Denise Bush

‘Fiery Aspen’ © Denise Bush

While exploring some high-elevation jeep roads this spring we came upon a grove of trees that called to me. Huddled together on a hill and without leaves they seemed to be there for some purpose. The threatening sky added interest and I had fun composing images before the thunder and lightning started.

Trees are a popular and mature photographic subject, much like flowers, mountains or bodies of water. For me what sets a worthy main subject apart is something/anything visually different from the ordinary. The ‘extra something’ I respond to might be the quality of light, shape, color, pattern, grouping, balance, setting or relation to other subjects… just to name a few.

'Gathering Under the Clouds' © Denise Bush

‘Gathering Under the Clouds’ © Denise Bush

'Under Parted Sky' © Denise Bush

‘Under Parted Sky’ © Denise Bush

'Entwined' © Denise Bush

‘Entwined’ © Denise Bush

'Silhouettes in B&W' © Denise Bush

‘Silhouettes in B&W’ © Denise Bush

'Road Among the Trees' © Denise Bush

‘Road Among the Trees’ © Denise Bush


Moving from Southern New Jersey to the Western Slopes of Colorado has been exciting to say the least… and a lot of work. Emptying our house of 27 years was a huge task in itself and even with a dumpster and sale, we managed to move more than 10,000 pounds of stuff… twice. Once from New Jersey to a Colorado storage facility and then from storage into our new house on August 15. During the process I took my camera out a few times while exploring my beautiful, new surroundings. It was difficult for me to really get ‘into the zone’ with getting settled the priority. Now unpacked, feeling at home and with Fall upon us I am excited about all the photo ventures that await! Here is a random selection of some local scenes I have explored so far.

‘Pleasant Valley’ © Denise Bush
This is the view of Ridgway from Loghill Mesa
where our house is located. The mountains of Ouray
are in the distance about 12 miles away.

'Loghill Mesa' © Denise Bush This is the mesa that we live on. It is quite large and extends beyond the frame.

‘Loghill Mesa’ © Denise Bush
This is the mesa that we live on.
It is quite large and extends beyond the frame.

'Mountain Crossroads' © Denise Bush

‘Mountain Crossroads’ © Denise Bush

'Basin Cascades' © Denise Bush

‘Basin Cascades’ © Denise Bush

'Basin Falls I' © Denise Bush

‘Basin Falls I’ © Denise Bush

'Horizontal & Vertical' © Denise Bush

‘Horizontal & Vertical’ © Denise Bush

'Sneffels Range Pano' © Denise Bush

‘Sneffels Range Pano’ © Denise Bush

'Little Cabin in the Mountains' © Denise Bush

‘Little Cabin in the Mountains’ © Denise Bush

'Courthouse Mountain' © Denise Bush

‘Courthouse Mountain’ © Denise Bush

'Alpine Glow at Chimney Rock' © Denise Bush

‘Alpine Glow at Chimney Rock’ © Denise Bush

Remnants from the old mining days can be found throughout the San Juan Mountains in places like Telluride, Ouray and Silverton. On a recent trip to nearby Ouray I explored a ghost town that was made up of several falling down cabin structures, an old church, what looked like a schoolhouse and another building that could have been the general store or saloon. My favorites include Red Mountain in the scene to help convey the story of this once thriving place, called Ironton. A bit further down the road stood another abandoned camp with a less distant past. The mountain backdrop and cloudy sky called to me and helped to complete the scene. From a nearby vantage point I photographed the head frame of the mining operation which sat below Red Mountain and added scale to its impressive height. I look forward to exploring more of these remnants in my new home… the San Juans of Colorado.

Cabin In The Mountains

‘Cabin In The Mountains’ © Denise Bush

Ghost Town Schoolhouse

‘Ghost Town Schoolhouse’ © Denise Bush

Miner's Camp

‘Miner’s Camp’ © Denise Bush

Red Mountain Mine

‘Red Mountain Mine’ © Denise Bush

Sacred Ruins


Old Sheldon Church
Located outside of Charleston lies ruins from what was originally named Prince William’s Parish Church but known as Sheldon. The first structure was built in the Greek Revival style between 1745 and 1753. The structure was burned by the British Army in 1779, then after being rebuilt in 1826 was burned again by the Federal Army in 1865.

As I walked the church grounds I felt a serene connection that encouraged me to slow down in finding compositions that called to me. A few surviving gravestones were scattered in the yard reminding me of those that were here before. Twisted oaks and spanish moss combined with the decaying pillars and arches, creating a unique and beautiful place to spend some time.

'Old Sheldon Church Ruins'  © Denise Bush

‘Old Sheldon Church Ruins’ © Denise Bush

'Brick Ruins'  © Denise Bush

‘Brick Ruins’ © Denise Bush

'Pillars From The Past'  © Denise Bush

‘Pillars From The Past’ © Denise Bush

'Arch Triptych'  © Denise Bush

‘Arch Triptych’ © Denise Bush

'Twisted Root'  © Denise Bush

‘Twisted Root’ © Denise Bush

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge, spanning the Cooper River, connecting Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, SC. In 1995 inspections revealed that the bridge in use at the time scored very low for safety. Retired US Congressman, Arthur Ravenel Jr. re-entered politics as a SC senator with the goal of raising funds and creating partnerships that helped to realize the building of the bridge. It opened in 2005 and is the third largest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
Being one of Charleston’s most attractive features it only made sense that my friend and I put this bridge on our list of places to visit. We went to a park underneath the bridge to scout and found the vantage point was rather extreme. On our way to nearby Patriot’s Point we noticed a parking area that offered a good view looking west and decided to come back before sunset. When we arrived we were surprised that others knew about our discovery as well. By the the time sunset arrived there must have been 16 or more people including a workshop group. There was plenty of room for everyone and the sunset cooperated with our goal!
'Charleston This Way'  © Denise Bush (click for larger image)

‘Charleston This Way’ © Denise Bush
(click image to view larger)

'Arthur Ravenel Bridge at Twilight'  © Denise Bush

‘Arthur Ravenel Bridge at Twilight’ © Denise Bush


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,163 other followers