Autumn Assignment


When wildflower season ended late this year I took a short shooting break before the fall colors were upon us. I had worked the season so rigorously in previous years I thought … what can I possibly do, that I haven’t done before? The colors were late but just as beautiful as always. However there were other conditions that did not favor the photographer this year. With high winds many days it meant boosting up the ISO to obtain a faster shutter speed, without sacrificing depth of field. In addition, the wind created bare branches before their time. And to top it off, bald blue, uninteresting skies, day after day, during the peak foliage display were dominant. This had me looking for compositions that did not include the sky, as shown in this post. So, in this way the conditions forced me to create some more intimate and perhaps different results. A cold snap put an early end to peak foliage but even so, there will still be more autumn images to show in upcoming posts.

Fall reflects its bright colors in a small pond in the mountains.

‘On Golden Puddle’ © Denise Bush
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Aspen foliage lights up with the suns backlight for a striking look at nature.

‘Backlit Beauty’ © Denise Bush

The beginning of autumn along a mountain road displays gold with the promise of more to come.

‘Path Of Brilliance’ © Denise Bush

Looking down upon some aspens provides a different pespective for tree lovers!

‘Aspens Below’ © Denise Bush

Colorful foliage flanks the banks along a river reflecting the sky above.

‘Autumn Banks’ © Denise Bush

Aspens arrange themselves in a natural and beautiful display on the side of a mountain in Colorado.

‘Aspen Arrangement’ © Denise Bush

Standing at the top of the falls while enjoying the view is a thrill especially so, surrounded by colorful foliage.

‘Waterfall & Fall’ © Denise Bush

An old fence and aspen foliage attract the photographer’s eye in this autumn scene.

‘Old Fence & Aspens’ © Denise Bush

An old homestead near the Dallas Divide and the borders between Ouray and San Miguel Counties, Colorado display both winter and fall.

‘Winter In Autumn’ © Denise Bush

An October snowfall combines beauty from two seasons … autumn and winter.

‘Fall Snowfall’ © Denise Bush

The first snow comes to the San Juan Mountains in October in a Autumn/Winter display.

‘Season Combo’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or purchase a print

47 Responses to “Autumn Assignment”

  1. Well… here’s to more weather, wind and ISO challenges! Bravo!

  2. 3 Deb

    Lovely Denise!!
    “Old fences and Aspens”,”On golden puddle” & “Aspens below” are my favorites!

  3. The clear blue sky works well as a reflection in the first photograph, adding a color quite different from the rest of the scene.

  4. Beautiful autumn colours.

  5. Wow! these are so beautiful. Autumn here in the east coast so far does not seem to be vibrant as these.

  6. Well I’ll tell you what… if this season forced you… then it forced you in the right direction. I find these intimate comps very pleasing.
    Love the fence and Aspens Below. So refreshing seeing bright foliage…. Jersey still has that subtle sneaky colors…. lol!!!

  7. 14 EA Jackson

    Good morning, Perfect morning coffee viewing. The layers that sweep through the “Aspen Arrangement” are so beautiful. Really love the “Old Fence and Aspens” However, I do want to open up that cabin and move right in. Think they might sell? ( :

    • Thanks very much. I like the old fence too for the little bit of gold in all the grays. That cabin is a mystery to me because it still looks so sturdy. There hasn’t been anyone using it since I’ve been here. They just improved a big corral beside it for cattle round-ups. You could put a bunch of horses and mules in there!

  8. I love your compositions, Denise. You have a great eye and took advantage of what was before you.

  9. Looking at these images, I wouldn’t be able to tell it was an ‘off’ year for you, Denise. These are wonderful, per usual. My favorites are ‘Old Fence and Aspens’ (love the pop of yellow leaves) and ‘Snow Falling on Autumn’ (vibrant zigzag of color).

  10. What a magnificent set, Denise. I love how hard we photographers are on our own work- you have managed the difficult conditions you describe with fabulous results. All beautiful…”Golden Puddle, Aspens Below, Old Fence” caught my eye especially. You’re lucky to see such lush autumn colors.

    • Thanks very much Jane. I am lucky to experience some beautiful fall color. As I told MikeP … people come from all over to sight see and shoot our fall colors. We get quite a few tourists from CA. 🙂

      • Of course! Given the fires here, it would be a good escape. 😦

      • Oh, well we have fires too. One started last week that I could see from my front window. I got some shots and it will be the subject of an upcoming post.

  11. I love so much the infinite, and here it is present too in such intense way. Thank you, Denise : )

    • Thanks Francis! By infinite do you mean seeing into the distance? (Or did you mean intimate?)

      • The illusion of the trees extending unlimited through the landscape in the frame. And the idea that the pattern of the forest is mirrored like a fractal into the branches, and into the branches into the leaves. The latter is an illusion that only photography and illustration can accomplish I think.

      • Very interesting thoughts and insights … I like them! Thank you for explaining!!!

  12. It was certainly a short fall season! Beautiful images, my favorite is On Golden Puddle…great title too!🙂

  13. It’s interesting to read about the challenges and the thoughts that go with them. In spite of everything you have some wonderful images here – for me, the flatness of Aspens Below makes a beautiful photograph. I like the way my eyes travel through the waterfall photograph, and maybe you’d guess that my favorite is Old Fence and Aspens for that great balance between foreground/manmade and background/nature-made. 🙂

  14. Thanks for this post. Autumn has just flown by. I’ve been hunkered down over my computer too much, so your post provided a little fall fix. You made lemonade out of a sour fall that tried to conspire against you. The images are lovely. I especially like Aspens Below.

    • Well, it’s now winter … about 6 inches last night. I am not ready for winter … it’s so long here! Thanks so much for your continued visits and comments!

      • Yes, I heard about what’s headed your way! Actually there was snow just 40 miles south of us, too, but we didn’t get any YET. I kept seeing cars with snow on them and wondered where they’d come from. It was cold enough here to not melt the snow. Could be we’re in for a doozy of winter, which is fine by me, since I’m a skier. 😉

  15. It’s patchy here too, and in some places, the leaves all fell off when we had our first cold snap followed by wind.

    You found some beautiful places and made wonderful and beautiful compositions, Denise. My favorites in this group are the golden puddle and Winter in Autumn.

  16. Well done. Who says “been there, done that” stops you from extracting more beauty from a scene? And it’s not like visiting those sites is exactly onerous. 😉

    • Thanks Dave! I am always open to going back to the same locations and do! The conditions, time of year, sky and light change the look and I can usually find a new composition … hopefully better than before.

  17. As this post shows, there are never such a thing as a subject not fitted for photography. Sometimes lesser conditions force us out of the box so that we have to approach the shooting with a different mindset. Which I think is always rewarding. Surely, you captured some astonishing images. My favourite is “Old Fence & Aspens”.

  18. Beautiful colors. I’m not a fan of winter, so snow makes me shudder. LOL I do like the barn with fall colors and snow, though.

    • Where are you located Ruth? I don’t mind the snow and winter and love winter landscapes. We have a lot of sunny days in winter and the cold is drier than in other parts of the country making it a little easier to take. Winter is long though. We got our first snow in October. Thanks for your comment!

  19. Each capture is absolutely stunning Denise ❤

  20. Your response to the environmental constraints is quite inspiring! Hard to pick a fav, I’ll go with Fall Snowfall. Cheers!

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