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 Some Rays’ © Denise Bush

 


Fall Favorites

28Oct17

This collection of images is all about the Colorado landscape in Fall. We were lucky to have some early snow on the mountain peaks adding to the splendor of the season. Clouds, mountains and colorful trees are all important elements in this set. Often waiting for the clouds to be balanced or break I took my time at many locations soaking in the beauty and fresh mountain air. Being in these moments was even more special than photographing them. Shot from early to late autumn, I have posted some favorites here.

See previous fall posts including ‘Autumn Roads’ and ‘All About Aspens’ by scrolling down. Return home at any time by clicking ‘Denise Bush’s Photo Blog’ at the top. Feel free to leave a comment at the end of any post … I love hearing from you!

‘Fall On The Mesa’ © Denise Bush
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‘Kendall & Aspens’ © Denise Bush

‘Cimarron Ridge Gold’ © Denise Bush

‘Cimarron September’ © Denise Bush

‘Far Off View’ © Denise Bush

‘Last Light Of Day’ © Denise Bush

‘Fenced Mountain’ © Denise Bush

‘A Break In The Clouds’ © Denise Bush
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‘Awesome Autumn View’ © Denise Bush
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‘A Change of Seasons’ © Denise Bush
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Autumn Roads

22Oct17

Most of roads in my area are dirt and I traveled on a lot of them this fall looking for photos. The roads themselves became a subject of interest and I worked on forming a collection. Using a road or path can be an effective way to lead viewers into a landscape. The curves and colors in these scenes made them all the more inviting to me and I hope to you too! Here are some of my favorite photographs featuring autumn roads.

‘Road With Leaning Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Into The Mountains’ © Denise Bush

‘Into The Shadows’ © Denise Bush

‘Road To Autumn’ © Denise Bush

‘Autumn Tunnel’ © Denise Bush

‘Backcountry Road’ © Denise Bush

‘Road To Mears Peak’ © Denise Bush
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With autumn being both beautiful and fleeting I made it my job to get out there with my camera … an enjoyable job. Chasing the color here and there I covered a lot of ground. It was the time to shoot … I knew I could process later. Now, being a bit overwhelmed with the number of new images I decided to break it down. Upcoming posts will include mountain scenes, country roads and more but this post is ‘all about autumn aspens’.

Aspen trees (Populus Tremuloides) are native to cooler areas in North America and are commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, Quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, white poplar, popple, and even more. They propagate through root sprouts, and extensive colonies are common. All trees in the clone have identical characteristics and share a root structure. They are sometimes considered the world’s largest organism by mass.

‘Autumn Line-up’ © Denise Bush
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‘On A Hill’ © Denise Bush
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‘Happy Aspen Grove’ © Denise Bush
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‘Swaying Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Aspens In Gold, Orange & Green’ © Denise Bush

‘Backlit Aspen Group’ © Denise Bush

‘Forest Through The Trees’ © Denise Bush

‘Aspen Pattern’ © Denise Bush
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The Durango to Silverton Train Ride is about 45 miles each way … at an average speed of 18mph, that’s an all-day round trip. A friend and I signed up for the Fall Photographer’s Train Special months in advance and had been looking forward to this day. With only photographer’s aboard (and a few patient spouses) the train made some stops so we could get out to capture the historic locomotive chugging by in the San Juan Mountains scenery. There was one photo stop on the way to Silverton and four on the way back to Durango. It was a lot of riding and looking at the beautiful mountain views along the Animas River. An open car and windows allowed some access to shooting from the moving train and drinks, donuts and lunch were included. But wouldn’t you know that on this late September day Mother Nature was at it again, and much of the day was rainy. On the good side, the weather made the autumn colors saturated, and harsh mid-day lighting was not a problem. On the bad side, it was difficult to keep my lens dry even though I was equipped with a rain sleeve for my camera. Another obstacle was the 80 some other photographers vying for a good place in the line-up behind the orange tape. Once you had a spot there was no room to move around and it was difficult to stay out of each others’ way. Those with longer limbs seemed to fare better! In the end it was a fun experience, I’m glad I did it and I got a few shots I like … in spite of the challenges.

‘Full Steam Ahead’ © Denise Bush

‘Bridge Crossing’ © Denise Bush
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‘Coming Through’ © Denise Bush

‘Number 473’ © Denise Bush
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‘The Last Bend’ © Denise Bush
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‘Stream Crossing’ © Denise Bush

‘Caboose No. 0540’ © Denise Bush


Staying overnight in an area not too far from home recently I enjoyed some geological studies … with my camera. A prominent rocky outcropping created an interesting subject to study from different angles and at different times of the day. Here are the results of my studies. Feel free to leave a comment … and let me know if you have a favorite!

‘Rocky Outcrop At Dawn’ © Denise Bush
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‘Clouds Over Rocky Outcrop’ © Denise Bush

‘Rock Reflection’ © Denise Bush
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‘Pastoral View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Rock Silhouette At Sunset’ © Denise Bush

‘Starry Night Colorado’ © Denise Bush


Nighttime Fun

20Sep17

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
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‘Red Lights Under Moonlit Sky’ © Denise Bush

“Teepee Under Night Sky’ © Denise Bush

‘Shooting Star Over Rocky Outcrop’ © Denise Bush