Mesa Meanderings


A few of my favorite photo spots are on top of mesas, including the one I live on … but this post is about other nearby places. Mesas are flat top mountains … often with great land for living, ranching, sight-seeing or photography! The mesa roads are slow and quiet and except for a passerby now and then, I am the only human in sight. Cattle, elk, and mule deer are frequent companions and at twilight I hear nearby coyotes sing. I like to pick a vantage point (sometimes the middle of the road) and soak in details from all directions. With camera ready I observe as the clouds and light affect the sweeping landscape. When the elements come together it’s time to work the scene. Often fleeting I need to think and act quickly to choose camera positions, settings and compositions. I try to capture the vastness, atmosphere, and feeling of being there. I hope you enjoy these meanderings and if you have a favorite, I’d love to know!

‘Distant Lightning Storm’ © Denise Bush

‘Peaceful San Juan View’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

‘Cabin Below Wilson’ © Denise Bush

‘Brewing Storm Clouds’ © Denise Bush

‘Smoky Mountain View’ © Denise Bush

‘Ranch Silhouette’ © Denise Bush

57 Responses to “Mesa Meanderings”

  1. Powerful scenes. Love the paint brush clouds in Peaceful San Juan View, the paint thinning on the left, and the turbulence (I would) of Brewing Storm Clouds.

  2. 4 Angela Moyer

    All beautiful! I am drawn to the “Smoky Mountain View” the lighting is spot on! Excellent!

    • When the wind is blowing right the smoke can produce some unusual effects. I like the solid pastel mountain shapes in that image.

  3. Thank you for sharing your images, Denise, these are truly beautiful.

  4. Layers of beauty on every single image.

  5. 1st favorite is the Cabin with the rich, natural colors and certainly the eye is immediately drawn to the wee cabin. 2nd favorite is Smokey. The longer I look at it the more relaxed I become.

  6. Fantastic images, Denise. Such a beautiful landscape.

  7. 14 Karen

    They are all so very beautiful Denise.

  8. I think you are living in “photography heaven” and you do an excellent job capturing them!

    • Thank you very much! It is beautiful here for sure. Being at the right place at the right time is the greatest challenge … it’s quite rugged and destinations often require quite a bit of driving.

  9. 18 Ken Curtis

    All are wonderful, Denise. You do such good work that it is difficult to pick a favorite. I like “Smoky Mountain View” because of the lighting on the land, the colors everywhere and that you did not zoom in on the land, but instead chose to show the sky as a large portion of the environment where the land is.

    • Thanks Ken! The fires have produced some interesting effects … I like the way the distant mountains were subdued by the smoky haze in that image.

  10. They’re all lovely. If I had to choose though it would be the two featuring stormy skies.

    • Thank you Belinda! I love working with the stormy skies and hope to do more with them. We are in a drought but waiting for our monsoon season to kick in … when we have a chance for storms most afternoons.

  11. All are fantastic but my 2 faves are Mesa Hills and Mountains and Smoky Mountain View. I love the dramatic flourish of Mesa Hills and the sensual pastel colours in Smoky.

  12. Dramatic landscapes of great beauty. Spectacular scenery but the art is in bringing harmony to the image. Superb.

  13. The last sunset mesa is my favorite. All beautiful captures!

  14. 29 bcplimpton

    I’m definitely a fan of active clouds. Just beautiful.

  15. Oh, gosh, I love them all! Superb, Denise!

  16. What a wonderful collection of big vistas. I love “Brewing Storm Clouds.” The low horizon allows us to gaze at the entire sky, filled with angry roilling clouds, captured here with a great sense of drama and foreboding. Good shot!

  17. Can’t choose a favorite! I love and appreciate them all! So peaceful.

    • Thanks Victoria. Thought of you on Wednesday when I was in Crested Butte shooting flowers around town. I explored some of the back roads and found some pretty scenes I wish were a little closer to home. Put over 300 miles on the odometer!

      • That’s so nice! I would have loved to run into you! I look forward to seeing your captures. You clocked some miles during your adventure! So great!

  18. Lovely collection! You do have a way with composition and eye, Denise! 🙂

  19. Magnificent light, especially the first two, but also on Gathering Storm.

  20. Lovely landscape. Light and shades are so beautiful.

  21. This is a beautiful set of images. I love the pastel palette on the first few and the beautiful storm light of “Brewing Storm Clouds”

  22. Oh the one with the lightening is awesome, as are the ones with soft sunset colors, and that wonderful vivid one with the ranch in silhouette.

    I’ve been hoping to capture lightening on film for several years, but here we rarely have lightening and when we do it’s cloud to cloud not ground to sky. Sigh. Makes me appreciate your image all the more.

    • We get afternoon monsoon storms this time of year … they come and go quick which makes for lightning and nice clouds. I just kept shooting when I saw lightning in that direction and finally got one when the shutter was open. It looks better big but I just don’t like putting a lot of big images on the internet … the verticals are a good size in this template though. Do you think most people are looking on their phone anyway … I wonder?

      • Interesting question. I’m on my PC. I don’t really like viewing and reading blogs on my phone; images are too small, and the font is way too small for my eyes anymore.

      • I also look on a larger screen but I do think many viewers are looking at FB and blogs on their phones. I always urge photographers to print and show their images so they can be seen large.

  23. 50 Vickie Bush

    They are all magical! Favorite is smokey mountain view! Lighting is beautiful!

    • Thanks Vic! I love being out in the wide open space late in the day or sunrise or sunset and twilight too! That was the favorite among some other friends … think I will put it on my store site.

  24. Oh wow
    These are like glimpses of heaven.
    I love clicking pictures too. I will be so glad if you visit my Photo Blog and leave your valuable feedback there. Thanking you in advance.

  25. Hard to pic! Distant Lighting Storm and Brewing Storm Clouds. The later has the drama of intense storm clouds with fleeting sun the foreground- wonderful. Your appreciation of nature, great eye for composition and quiet, listening mind all contribute to a unique visual experience.

  26. You always put a lot of effort in to capture a landscapes most beautiful light. These landscapes here are breathtaking. Open spaces and a vast sky above. Gorgeous, Denise.

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