Winter Wonders II


Winter landscape photography has its challenges and I’ve mentioned them, more than once in previous posts through the years. Today I was thinking that we are at the mercy of the conditions in winter, more so than any other season here. With many roads closed there are just more options in spring, summer and fall. When it’s snowing the mountains are not visible and we sometimes have to wait until the plows come through. To capture optimal conditions we might only have a short window, after the clouds lift enough to reveal the fresh snow. The strong sun can quickly melt the snow off the trees and a bald, blue (boring) sky can appear much too soon. Then after a few days the snow gets old and tracked up from deer, elk, cattle and other miscellaneous critters … as well as humans with snowmobiles and skis. Yes, it’s challenging but it’s exhilarating too and I love it! With the cold air in my face and surrounded by winter’s beautiful, dynamic scenery I feel alive and grateful for each experience.

Coutrhouse Mountain catches bright light against a dark, brooding sky.

‘Brilliant Courthouse’ © Denise Bush

A little tree is all alone in the valley after a snow storm.

‘Little Loner’ © Denise Bush

A trail used by snow mobiles only leads to ‘off the grid’ living.

‘Off The Grid Trail’ © Denise Bush

Last light of day strikes an exposed peak in the San Juan Mountains, San Miguel County, Colorado.

‘San Miguel Moment’ © Denise Bush

A snowy ridge and lifting clouds light up with the last light of day.

‘Spotlight Along The Ridge’ © Denise Bush

New fallen snow and pink clouds are about as close to heaven as one can imagine.

‘Mountain Peeking Out Of Clouds’ © Denise Bush

A gentle slope catches the last light of day under prretty pink clouds.

‘Gentle Light Catcher’ © Denise Bush

65 Responses to “Winter Wonders II”

  1. These are all wonderful, but the Courthouse image is so beautifully lit with those wonderful mountains.

    • Thank you Steve. I was able to capture ‘Brilliant Courthouse’ and ‘Spotlight Along The Ridge’ on the same evening from the end of my driveway. I have the Sigma 150-600 and love it for that sort of thing. It’s amazing how sharp it is when photographing mountains so far away.

      • End of your driveway, huh? Sounds like paradise. I’ve shot a few things from mine but shouldn’t really mention them in a discussion about these. Which copy of the 150-600 do you have?

      • I purchased the Sigma new in Dec. 2016 and keep it on my older 5D Mark II. My other camera is a Mark III and I am hoping the price of the IV comes down soon. What do you shoot with?

      • There are two models of that lens…contemporary and sports. The sports is much heavier and I think a bit faster.
        I am still using the 5D Mark II. I am happy with its files and will probably not upgrade until there is a significant improvement in Dynamic Range, noise, and possibly in camera focus stacking. For distant shots I am using the Tokina 100-400. My other lenses are Canon 16-35, 24-70, 70-200 f/2.8, macro 180, Laowa 15mm wide angle macro and 24mm 2.5x-5x macro. I also have a Zeiss 50 which produces great starbursts. I’m getting a little too old for all that but can still climb hills with a bit of puffing. 🙂

      • I got the Contemporary since I don’t do much wildlife and didn’t need anything faster or more rugged. It’s heavy but I won’t be hiking with that along with a tripod which is needed for something that large. I have the Canon … 16-35 f4, 24-105 f4, 70-200 f2.8, 100 macro f2.8, and the Irix firefly 15 f2.4 (mostly for night photography). I have looked at some of the other Canon bodies like the 5DS & SR but I don’t need 50mp … the 30mp the Mark IV has is plenty. PS … I did not get the dock for the 150-600 … figured I have never needed a dock in the past and haven’t needed it in the 3+ years since owning the lens.

  2. Excellent series of landscape photography.

  3. Beautiful, Denise! My favorite is San Miguel Moment. All are gorgeous though!

  4. 11 Ken Curtis

    All wonderful images, but my favorites are the Courthouse and Ridge. (Sorry, can not remember exact titles because I am responding on phone.) Glad you are getting out despite the obstacles.

    • Thanks Ken. Like I told Steve (above), I shot both of those on the same night from the end of my driveway! I didn’t have to brave the elements too much … just the cold.

  5. Beautiful scenes, Denise, but it does look cold and desolate. I’d be scurrying for shelter before too long! 😉

    • Oh yeah … the temps drop quickly in the evening. I often wait in my car until the clouds and colors look nice. Thanks for your visit and comment Eliza!

  6. What a great play of light on the mountain in that first view. You got me from the beginning and it remained my favorite of the group.

  7. Problem: Today I was that thinking that…

  8. These are stunning, Denise!

  9. 21 Elizabeth Jackson

    Simply beautiful. One after another.

    • 22 Elizabeth Jackson

      First I thought, I like this one the best. Then I said nope it’s this one. I figured out each one of these photos have such intimate detail. They are all really wonderful images.

  10. Very beautiful pictures. I think (at least to me) going out at the right time in winter is much more difficult than other season of the year. I can appreciate getting winter scenes. When it is cold outside, I don’t even want to step out 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for showing us winter’s beautiful, dynamic scenery via your lens! Truly beautiful!!

  12. Hello.

    Very beautiful winter photos. White snow gives everything a magical touch.

    Have a good day!

  13. A beautiful set of photos. Winter poses its own challenges but it looks like you tackled the challenge without any problem. There are some stunning light highlights here.

  14. Stunning, Denise, you have an awesome eye for beauty!

  15. A great set of wonderful images of Colorado landscape.
    Have a good week.

  16. Beautiful, as always. Especially the Spotlight along the ridge.

  17. They’re all so beautiful, but Spotlight along the Ridge is magical! Beautiful light and radiance.

    It was worth the effort, wait, and chill for these beautiful images, Denise.

  18. Hi Denise, What a magnificent series! You really capture the light so well. I love Loner for its composition, palette and the path cutting through. Courthouse is stunning and your final image so peaceful. Love seeing the snowy landscapes through your eyes. 🙂

  19. Really great post Denise on two fronts….what you have to go through physically to get to the places to take the incredible photos you take in the winter and the second front is what incredible shots you capture…..really incredible and being a former Coloradoan, I get it!! Beautiful captures!!!

  20. Nothing like dramatic light. You know the ones…

  21. Winter sure makes us feel alive. And like you, I love it. Once again, defying the challenges you write about, you have captured some gorgeous winter landscapes. Just beautiful.

  22. I came back to this post for a fix….your captures are so stunning….nature’s beauty at it’s finest……

    • Oh you are too kind! There should be more like you! 😃 It snowed last night but has been socked in and melting all day.

      • We loved our years in Colorado….though we weren’t living in the mountains (Denver)….got up into them as often as we could. Nothing beats the beauty of them up and down the state!

  23. I love the colors in “Peeking through”!

  24. Ack. Posted in wrong place (but I still liked it LOL). My favorite here is “Brilliant Courthouse”/ Beautiful red rocks with the dark sky above and scattered sunlight below/

  25. Your terrific narrative, the first photograph and ‘Spotight alnog the Ridge’ all really got me attention, Denise – so wonderful. Sorry I’m so late commenting.

    • Please don’t ever feel obligated to make a quick response! I have a hard time keeping up myself. It takes time to read all our blogging friend’s posts. Thanks very much for checking in sooner or just as well, later!

      • 🙂 Thanks. These days it’s really good to have this community, I just hope everyone doesn’t start posting daily. 😉

  26. Stunning photos Denise!

  27. Hi Denise! Your patience, discipline and talent results in quite spectacular compositions! You’ve captured gorgeous landscapes many will never have a chance to experience in person.

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