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

Circa 1885


According to Wikipedia this house is the oldest known house associated with the black community on Edisto Island, SC after the Civil War. It was the home of Henry Hutchinson, who built and operated the first cotton gin owned by a black person on the island from about 1900 to 1920. Henry built this house in 1885 at the time of his marriage to Rosa Swinton and resided here until his death about 1940. 

The red tin roof and three dormer windows are what attracted my attention most and I pre-visualized the triptych they would create by shooting each window separately. Over-grown wisteria and broken shutters are a plus that I feel adds character and interest to this nostalgic subject.

'Circa 1885'  © Denise Bush

‘Circa 1885’ © Denise Bush

Piers are fun photography subjects and this one at Folly Beach, South Carolina was no exception. The clouds that spit out a few raindrops just to tease early in the morning turned out to provide us with the gift of a dramatic sky instead. It was one of those mornings that the clouds and color just kept coming. I used a 6-stop ND filter to smooth out the water and moved around to get as many angles and compositions as I could. I have selected a few to display here.

'Before Sunrise At Folly Beach Pier'  © Denise Bush

‘Before Sunrise At Folly Beach Pier’ © Denise Bush

'Here Comes The Sun'  © Denise Bush

‘Here Comes The Sun’ © Denise Bush

'Under The Pier'  © Denise Bush

‘Under The Pier’ © Denise Bush

There’s something about tree-lined country roads that I’ve always loved and I suppose I am not alone. They draw us in and this is especially so when the trees create a tunnel affect. The first image provides this affect, offering a white glow in the distance. Created by smoke from an area control burn this was lucky timing on our part. We scouted for other tree-lined roads and found one that offered some charm all its own.

Live Oak Tunnel

‘Live Oak Tunnel’ © Denise Bush

Low Country Road

‘Low Country Road’ © Denise Bush

A major objective on a recent photo adventure to South Carolina was to photograph the trees in the ocean at Edisto Island. I had been admiring photographs from this location for years. When we arrived we learned that the road leading to them was washed out and closed. Dismayed, we surveyed the area on Google Earth to see if we could find an alternate route but were unsuccessful. Each day we checked the road to see if it had been repaired, and then finally, the day before we were to leave we learned it would open the next morning. Hurray… we were thrilled and the first ones at the gate which opened at 6 am! In the dark, we hiked a half mile to the beach and there they were, trees in the water and along the beach. I quickly set my sights on a tree that I found to have the most pleasing shape and got to work. Finding a vantage point along the cluttered beach that was away from the surf was important so that my camera did not move during the exposure. Pre-visualizing the look of a long exposure to smooth out the breakers my first exposure was long enough to achieve what I was after, because it was still quite dark. As the sky began to lighten I used a 6-stop and then a 10-stop ND filter. Being there was a wonderful experience and I feel so fortunate that we were able to photograph at this location before ending our awesome adventure.

Tree At Dawn

‘Tree At Dawn’ © Denise Bush
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Sunrise Dream

‘Sunrise Dream’ © Denise Bush

Sunrise Silhouette

‘Sunrise Silhouette’ © Denise Bush
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‘Awakening’ © Denise Bush
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