Needing to get out with my camera I went for a drive one cloudy day last week. I meandered the back roads and came upon an area that had an assortment of old looking shacks and cabins. It was a fun day of scouting and for me, the cloudy weather suited the subject matter. No one seemed to know or care I was there, except for a few cattle keeping their eyes on me. I love the weathered textures in these old buildings as well as the stories they tell. Here are a few favorites from the shoot.

'Old Cabin Window' © Denise Bush

‘Old Cabin Window’ © Denise Bush

'No One Home' © Denise Bush

‘No One Home’ © Denise Bush

'Long Gone' © Denise Bush

‘Long Gone’ © Denise Bush

'Make Yourself At Home' © Denise Bush

‘Make Yourself At Home’ © Denise Bush

'Neighbors' © Denise Bush

‘Neighbors’ © Denise Bush

'Hay Rake'  © Denise Bush

‘Hay Rake’ © Denise Bush

'Between The Cracks' © Denise Bush

‘Between The Cracks’ © Denise Bush

Last week I woke up early to drive about 35 minutes to a spot I have been wanting to get to for first light. The most photographed mountain in the area, Mount Sneffels is our local ‘Fourteener’ at 14,157 feet. It’s peak can be seen from many vantage points and seasonal light changes make spring one of the best times to capture both early morning and late day light on its craggy and impressive peak. A big puddle added a reflection and that ‘something extra’ to the scene. A tree set off by itself got my attention as it provided a nice foreground element for what was happening in the distance. With fair weather and feeling pretty good about the morning I decided to go out again in the afternoon. I drove about 45 minutes to Montrose and an area the locals refer to as the ‘Adobes’ or ‘Dobies’ (short for Adobe Hills, Adobe Badlands or Dobie Badlands). Within the Gunnison Gorge Recreation Area, this is a popular spot for ATV and dirt bike riders with plentiful roads and trails. Attracted to the hills and formations I enjoyed the contrast between this area and my morning location. The day emphasized the diversity of terrain my home has to offer, for which I am most grateful. I am looking forward to revisiting both of these close-by locations in the near future.

'Sneffels Reflected' © Denise Bush

‘Sneffels Reflected’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

'Morning Moon' © Denise Bush

‘Morning Moon’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

'Gunnison Gorge Afternoon' © Denise Bush

‘Gunnison Gorge Afternoon’ © Denise Bush

'Near and Far' © Denise Bush

‘Near and Far’ © Denise Bush

A recent field trip to the local scrapyard was more fun than it may sound! About 14 members of our camera club met at the gate, then quickly dispersed among the piles of reclaimed metals, all neatly organized by subject. We had about an hour and a half after closing to enjoy the last light of day. Immediately inspired by the rust and with my macro lens all set, I got right to work. In fact, I was enjoying the close-up work so much that the other lenses I was lugging around in my backpack never came out. Shooting this very different subject matter certainly was a great exercise and fun change of pace!

'Branded Triptych' © Denise Bush

‘Pop Art Triptych’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

'Filed Away' © Denise Bush

‘Filed Away’ © Denise Bush

'Scrapyard Tunnel' © Denise Bush

‘Scrapyard Tunnel’ © Denise Bush

'Guard Rail Mosaic' © Denise Bush

‘Guard Rail Mosaic’ © Denise Bush

'Muti-colored Wire Panorama' © Denise Bush

‘Muti-colored Wire Panorama’ © Denise Bush

'Scrapyard Circles' © Denise Bush

‘Scrapyard Circles’ © Denise Bush

'Kinky Rebar' © Denise Bush

‘Kinky Rebar’ © Denise Bush

'Rusty Pipes' © Denise Bush

‘Rusty Pipes’ © Denise Bush

'Wired Triptych' © Denise Bush click here to view larger or order a print

‘Wired Triptych’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

Let’s set something straight… when I said goodbye to winter a couple of posts ago, I didn’t promise I wouldn’t show anymore snow pictures! I figured there would probably be more snow and here it is. This snow is different however… it’s spring snow… wet and fast melting! I spotted this multi-colored truck a month or so ago, when there was just a few patches of snow on the ground. Seeing some potential I planned to go back when (and if) it snowed again. And it did… so I went back and shot several compositions, choosing three to make this small collection.

'Weathering The Storm I' © Denise Bush

‘Weathering The Storm I’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

'Weathering The Storm II' © Denise Bush

‘Weathering The Storm II’ © Denise Bush

'Weathering The Storm III' © Denise Bush

‘Weathering The Storm III’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

No explanation necessary… the picture tells the story of how the canyon got its name! On this evening a nice cloud pattern was forming so I decided to go down to the Sunset Point pull-off and try my luck. I do think canyons can be very tricky to photograph. The lighting often has a high dynamic range, very dark at the bottom and very bright at the top and in the sky. In some situations our cameras just can’t capture the complete range of light that our are eyes are able to see and this is one of those situations! I first tried HDR software but even with my natural-looking technique, I was not satisfied. I decided to go to plan B and combine the bracketed shots manually, using layers and masks and several blending steps. For the finishing touches I used luminosity masks to select specific tonal areas for adjustment. I hope you have a good resolution monitor to see that I was able to create a natural-looking image, with color in the sky and detail in the very ‘Black Canyon’.

'After Sunset, Black Canyon'  © Denise Bush

‘After Sunset, Black Canyon’ © Denise Bush

Here is a small assortment of abandoned houses and shacks I have discovered in recent months. This subject matter is quite different here in Western Colorado compared to some of the larger abandoned structures I was used to Back East. People who lived here one hundred years or so ago were for the most part cowboys (and girls), hunters and miners. They built their shelters quite simply and out of readily available natural materials. Often times old log structures are just a pile of logs now, easily finding their way back into the earth. But no matter their style and size, I think these abandoned abodes tell a history-rich story all their own!

'Shepherd's Shack' © Denise Bush

‘Shepherd’s Shack’ © Denise Bush

'Footprints In The Snow' © Denise Bush

‘Footprints In The Snow’ © Denise Bush

'Home On The Range' © Denise Bush

‘Home On The Range’ © Denise Bush

'Drigg's Mansion' © Denise Bush

‘Drigg’s Mansion’ © Denise Bush

It has become a yearly tradition for me to bid a formal farewell to winter each March in a post with this same title. Don’t get me wrong… I do love winter and I especially love photographing in the snow. With average daytime temps in the 50’s spring is well upon us here on the Western Slopes of Colorado, even though the peaks will remain snow covered for several more weeks. I’m a little sad to see winter go since there were still a few more snowy scenes I wanted to capture. Perhaps Mother Nature will surprise me with a spring snow, or maybe I’ll just have to wait until next year. I’ll play along with whatever she decides… she is the boss! I thought the image below was fitting for this post as it transitions from cool shadow to warm light. Hello to spring!

‘Aspens in Shadow & Light’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,398 other followers