Weathered Characters


Friends and followers of this blog know I can’t go too long without posting images of old structures … shacks, cabins, barns and other mining and agriculture buildings. I just can’t resist these weathered characters! They seem to fit in with the land much more appropriately than new buildings while stirring the imagination of days gone by. Little details and often a sense of place adds to their stories. Just when I begin thinking I’ve found and photographed all the local characters, another finds and calls to me, and my camera!

An old barn looks on the brink of collapse under a spring sunset sky.

‘Old Ranch Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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A small hunting cabin appears even smaller in a wide, open landscape.

‘Hunting Cabin’ © Denise Bush

A tiny log cabin survives among some rusty ranch equipment in a canyon in Colorado.

‘Rustic & Rusty’ © Denise Bush

A lttle red shack, leaning and far beyond repair, has lost all hope.

‘Little Leaner’ © Denise Bush

An old miner’s cabin includes a front porch built on a rocky foundation.

‘Rocky Foundation’ © Denise Bush

An old cabin, missing a roof is a weathered reminder of those who lived below the mountain years ago.

‘Mountain Cabin Relic’ © Denise Bush
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41 Responses to “Weathered Characters”

  1. Yes, you are right. These old buildings fit the land better than new buildings. They appear to have interesting stories behind them too. Fascinating!

  2. I like the play on words in the title “Rustic and Rusty.” Reddish cliffs in the background are a pictorial plus.

    Maybe I’m extrapolating from too little evidence, but I get the impression that many landscape photographers are drawn to old buildings and ruins. When I was getting serious about photography in 1971 in upstate New York, dilapidated rural buildings exerted their pull on me. Obviously you’re susceptible to that same pull. Did you also do pictures inside any of these buildings?

    • There was a lot of rusty ranch equipment outside of that rustic cabin situated in an arid canyon. Last time I posted old buildings you asked me if I went inside. I did go in a couple but was not thrilled with the subjects … very barren and broken down. Unless the window or door frames a scene they don’t cut it for me. I have done quite a bit of that kind of thing though and you can see some here in my ‘Windows & Doors’ collection:
      And other ‘Remnants & Remains’ with some interiors here:

      • I remember asking about interiors the last time. Thanks for your links to window and door shots, and even more so to old buildings in general. It’s good that so many are around in your area and the places you’ve visited. One interior view that particularly got my attention was

        Has the site worked well for you? I have a presence there, too, but haven’t promoted the site and only rarely have sold a picture.

      • ‘Seating Available’ is a prison cell from Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. I shot there often when I lived in South Jersey. I won a few awards in juried shows before retiring that shot. And the cell was rearranged shortly after I shot it so it is not a common composition like some others from ESP. I sell a handful of prints from pixels each year. You do have to promote it in some way as it’s rare someone will just stumble upon and buy.

  3. 7 eajackson

    Rocky Foundation is really cool. Did you go in? Love this collection. Stay well and keep snapping so I can drool over your images. XOXO

    • Hi! Yes I went in that one … very wobbly and some tin cans and a table and surprisingly remnants of wallpaper. The old buildings here just don’t have much interesting stuff like we had fun shooting in the Water Gap area.

  4. Rugged and rustic! I always wonder about the stories of those who built these and tried to make a living there. If only the walls could talk!

    • Thanks for looking Eliza. Many of the old cabins here are leftovers from the mining boom. We have wonderful jeeping and hiking trails up high because of the miners. It is mind boggling how they did it all in such high and rugged terrain.

  5. 11 Minna

    Little hideaway is my favorite, even all of photos are fantastic. Thank you for sharing!

  6. As always these are great. I feel like I’ve had a lovely little trip out of town. (I really need one of those soooon!) I like the Old Ranch Sunset best.

    • Hi Linda! I know the feeling of needing to get out and it looks like we will have to cope awhile longer. I often wait all day to see how the sky developes for late day shooting. Today it is quite smoky here. Thanks for visiting … that’s my favorite too!

      • Ugh. You’ve got fires already. Or is it coming up from Arizona? Ugh. We’re nice and clear here still. I shouldn’t say that. I’ll jinx us.

      • There are/were a couple of fires near Durango south of us. We also get smoke from Arizona and other states, even CA. There is a fire ban here. We had a couple of good downpours yesterday … thank goodness!

  7. Wonderful finds, wonderfully photographed.

  8. ‘Rocky Foundation’ made me smile – I love that one. I think you must know where every abandoned cabin is within 100 miles by now! This selection really shows your appreciation of the subject. Have a great summer, Denise!

  9. Wonderful shots.

  10. I wish we had some of the old buildings here like you have there. There are old farms but most have received updating…solar panels, etc.
    “Rocky Foundation” looks like a good gully washer might send the whole thing sliding. But it appears to have been there a long time. “Mountain Cabin Relic” seems hanging on by a few rusty nails.

    • These old cabins are so simple and return to the earth quickly. I’ve always done a lot of exploring looking for them. The finds are so different than abandoned places Back East. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  11. 27 Deb

    Hi Denise,

    These certainly do stir the imagination! The Rocky foundation looks like it was a cute little cabin, why build it then abandon it?
    Love the Old Ranch Sunset, the beautiful sky and I love old windmills! Fantastic job!

    • Hi! Most of the cabins up high were built for and by miners and there is often other signs of mining nearby. There is still some mining going on but I’m not sure why there isn’t as much. Surely they couldn’t have found all the gold and silver. There was a newborn elk calf hidden in the grass on the other side of the barn in ‘Old Ranch Sunset’. It’s mama was watching me so I moved to this other side which ended up being a much better shot!

  12. Definitely something about worn down human structures that attracts the photographer’s eye. Even for urban photographers ruins and abandoned buildings are a draw. Age and decay have stories to tell that new things haven’t collected yet. 😊 Wishing you well.

  13. 31 Vickie R Bush

    Love these Denise. I love all your stuff with structures. I was just looking at some you did a long time ago.

  14. Lovely captures, Denise, “Rocky Foundation” is my favorite! Is it such that you can capture a wider view with it as the focal point with what’s surrounding it? 🙂

    • Thanks Donna. As you can see I included more of the surroundings in some of the others that were in a nice setting. This one was in the forest and I took my time to frame it including what I thought worked best. The forest around there had a lot of beetle damage and was kind of chaotic, detracting rather than adding to the image. I thought the unique cabin deserved the attention here. 🙂

  15. Love these pics. Weathered Characters call out to me also….great post!!

  16. 38 Amy

    These are beautifully captured, Denise. Old buildings tell stories.

  17. Lots of lost stories and history there, great finds and wonderful images!

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