Spring Melt


In spring rivers everywhere wake up to meet their annual challenge. And the Uncompaghre River here in Ouray County, Colorado is awake! With plenty of snow still in the high peaks it hurries to deliver spring melt to the places waiting below. Finding a good access point I slowed down my shutter speed to capture the water’s motion … tumbling and dancing over river rocks along the way.

‘Earth & Water’ © Denise Bush
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‘Rock Steady’ © Denise Bush
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‘Rooted By The River’ © Denise Bush

‘Along The Uncompaghre’ © Denise Bush
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‘Uncompaghre In Spring’ © Denise Bush

‘On The River Bank’ © Denise Bush

‘River Below’ © Denise Bush
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‘Uncompaghre Currents’ © Denise Bush
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58 Responses to “Spring Melt”

  1. 1 Brent Bush

    Awesome Nise !

  2. Outstanding photography, thanks for sharing these

  3. Dramatic collection of spring waters. The black and white are nicely detailed but I love the feel of Uncompaghre Currents. Wish I was there.

  4. Good eye. I like the monochrome best.

  5. I love the chalky, blue-mineral color of spring melt. Lovely photos, Denise… it looks like spring has finally reached CO. 🙂

    • Yes … it’s spring but we’ve had a little snow the last 2 nights. The hummingbird feeder was covered yesterday and a poor little guy was trying to get to it. I dusted them off and am waiting for him to come back. Thanks for your nice comment!

  6. 11 Vicki DeVico

    I love all these, Denise. The water color is striking and you slowed the flow of the water beautifully!

    • So nice to hear from you Vicki. I’m glad you like the images. I like it slow but not so slow that I lose detail. Since I was in the shade I did not need a neutral density filter.

  7. Superb, silky, scenes! Sweet! 🙂

    • Thanks! i’ve been looking for a good access point since moving here … one where I could see the river curving and without logjams. I was happy to find this spot quite close to home.

  8. 15 jopat700

    I especially love the color of the water! It says “Spring Melt” to me. It’s such an exciting time of the year. As always,your images are a beautiful representation of time and place.

    • Hello old friend … so nice to hear from you! This shoot was a lot of fun! The river is so alive and determined this time of the year … it didn’t even notice me standing along the bank.

  9. These are gorgeous!

  10. So beautiful!

  11. 21 Kathleen Lapergola

    Love the slow motion Denise.

  12. Long time. Yet another set of beautiful photography. I would be pleased to know about what time of the day the shot was taken and duration of the exposure. Really impressive work. Always inspiring. Keep making awesomeness!!!

    • Thanks very much. These kind of captures are best in overcast light or shade. The low light helps lengthen the exposure. And water just doesn’t look good with glare and harsh light. These were all shot in late afternoon in the shade. The first photo was shot at ISO 100 (sometimes I slow it down by using ISO 50), f/14 and 0.3 of a second. It depends on how fast the water is moving too. I usually start at f/16. In this case I wanted a little more detail so switched to f/14. If I need to lengthen the exposure I use a solid neutral density filter although that was not needed here. If using a polarizer to slow down the exposure use it half strength … some of the glare helps to create the striations.

  13. Beautiful images! I have to say, I’m partial to the color ones because that blue-green is so captivating, and it harmonizes so well with everything around it. I like the introduction, too, and the closer view of the rock and water. Now it’s only going to get better, as Spring progresses. right?

    • Thanks Lynn! I’ve always thought of spring as a bit of a tease. It is hailing here right now, for instance and we had some snow earlier this week. I am looking forward to getting out more and widening my radius too.

  14. Love your lede, lady. I also love the rushing waters, especially in color. Rooted by the River made me think of flowing milkshake. Yum.

  15. Outstanding compositions, I can feel the full force of the river!

  16. 34 Deb

    Beautiful Denise! There is just something about water that calls to me! The motion blur is just perfect in these! ❤

    • Thank you Deb! It’s a little harder to find water here … no ocean or bay. I have to get my inspiration from the rivers, waterfalls, ponds and reservoirs.

  17. Outstanding captures, Denise, such beauty!

  18. Absolutely stunning! Beautifully captured the river water.

  19. Wonderful! What a year it’s been in the west. This post reminds me that I need to schedule a local road trip!

    • The weather sure has been unpredictable … had all the windows open last week and snow and hail this week. Spring can be like that as you know. Thanks for looking and commenting. 🙂

  20. 42 Angela Moyer

    Beautiful work, Denise! Love them!


  21. Beautiful cottony water scenes! Also I love those mountain cloud photos. Inspires me to work on those pics we took together…

  22. What a beautiful spot! The water sure looks like it’s moving fast, and powerfully down the mountains to meet the sea. Love the color of the water, and your use of filters to slow it down. There are some lovely patterns in the water’s milkiness.

    • Thank you Deborah! I actually did not need to use an ND filter with these because I was in the shade and the water was moving so fast. I like the motion blur but not so much you lose detail. I only used a UV filter (as usual).

  23. You can’t go wrong when this subject is handled correctly. The water looks great and your compositions give that water a true sense of place. These are a beautiful set of images.

    • So glad you like them. I was happy to have finally found a place along the river that was easily accessible and had a nice curve to it. Often the banks are very steep or the river has log jams or snags.

      • I know what you mean about accessibility. I’ve learned not to risk my life for another flowing water shot, but it’s hard to find something without log jams, especially around here in the post Hurricane Sandy world we live in.

  24. Wow! Beautiful pictures! 😀

  25. 54 kenneth

    The water looks great and your compositions give that water a true sense of place.

  26. The water sure looks like it’s moving fast, and powerfully down the mountains to meet the sea.

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