Wonderful Weathered Woodgrain


On a recent visit to nearby Silverton I decided to explore the train yard and back alleys with my camera. Among the mountain recreation opportunities like hiking, jeeping and camping, Silverton is known for its rich railroad and mining history. The quaint town is a midway point along the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray to the north, and Durango to the south. Many tourists come for a day trip back in time, to ride the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train through the scenic San Juan Mountains. On this visit I started in the train yard, walking along the tracks to photograph some of the stationary relics laid here to rest. Afterwards I explored the back alleys where shacks leftover from mining days still stand and are now used for storage. For this set I limited my selections to one of my ongoing themes … windows and doors. Combined with the wonderful textures of rusting metal and weathered wood I found some subjects I thought were interesting, and hope you think so too!

An old rail car with a window creates an image full of texture and nostalgia.

‘Number 04965’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A number of bent over nails assure a sturdy connection.

‘Bent Nails’ © Denise Bush

A rusty hinge accents weathered wood in this close-up of an abandoned building.

‘Hinged’ © Denise Bush

The side of an old rail car creates an image rich in texture and nostalgia.

‘Railroad Relic’ © Denise Bush

A weathered and contrasting in white shutter provides an image rich in geometry, texture and history.

‘Shuttered Portal’ © Denise Bush

To see more images in my growing ‘Windows & Doors’ collection, CLICK HERE!

48 Responses to “Wonderful Weathered Woodgrain”

  1. A fun collection of images, Denise. So different from your landscape photos.

    • Thanks so much Otto. Tired of winter landscapes (for this year) it was a good change of pace. It was a fun shoot for sure!

  2. 3 Albert D Horner

    Love the woodgrain shots. Something I have often thought of. Hope all is well and you are fully vaxed. I am looking to get involved with a reproduction and shipping firm like you have for your images. Can you provide their URL so I can check into them. I have looked at several but not happy with what they offer. Your company seems to have it down pretty well. I priced out a couple of your images and what they can do at $275 retail I would charge $450. What type of margins are you making and do you have luck marketing this way? Can you monitor their quality. What prevents them from selling without notifying you. Any do’s and don’ts you can offer? Things much the same here.  Terrible spring for shooting. Honestly, I am running out of areas that hold my interest. Had a super fall but have done nothing this spring so far that is even worth publishing. Al

    • Thanks for looking at my blog! It was nice to talk with you today about my online store. If you have any more questions I am just a phone call or email away!

  3. These images are wonderful. There is something about old weathered wood that draws you in. You must have really enjoyed your time there. I know I would have. My favorite image is the first one, “04965”. The first thing my eyes notice were the letters and then as I looked around I noticed and loved the details in and around the window. The bluish paint is a bonus as it adds a little something special to the image. Great work.

    • Thanks so much Ken. I wasn’t sure how well this set would be received and your opinion and observations mean a lot to me!

  4. A wonderful place to explore. Your photos have given us a nice taste of what’s on offer!

  5. Neat series, Denise. Weathered wood and the patina of age can be so beautiful!

  6. Do you know what all those bent nails were about?

  7. I like these Denise. What is it about old, weathered wooden structures that draws you in ? Certainly hung around old sheds and fences when I was small. Maybe that’s it. Or is it that so much today is ready made and new that we are drawn to the time worn look? Anyway, nice photos.

    • Thanks Mick. I think we are drawn to old structures for the reasons you mention as well as our curiosity about the past … who used them, what was life like, etc. Natural materials are always more appealing. I don’t think anyone will find much to photograph when our vinyl siding buildings age.

      • True. Maybe there will be museums full of old shacks!

      • There are already lots of museums and historic villages where they have relocated buildings from days gone by. Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts is one that is more well-known. We have a Pioneer Village nearby. I used to work in one in early-American costume when I lived in South Jersey but it is no longer there.

      • That seems a shame.

  8. Good Morning, Viewing this blog was a great start to my morning. My memories of Silverton are fading but I do remember there were so many things to photograph. These images are really great. Each piece of wood seems to have its own unique texture and identity. Be well!

  9. I’ve been in, through and around Silverton a number of times, but it never occurred to me to look for the subjects that you captured there with these images. Thanks for opening my mind to this subject matter. I’m sure there must be other similar photographic subjects in many old towns.

    • Hi Ken. What makes us all unique as photographers is what calls to us personally and what we choose to photograph … our vision. I have been shooting this kind of thing for a long time. More examples are in my ‘Windows & Doors’ and ‘Remnants & Remains’ gallery collections which can be found here: https://1-denise-bush.pixels.com/galleries.html

      • And you have wonderful photos in your ‘Remnants & Remains’ gallery. I enjoy photographing old buildings and antique items, too. I occasionally stop at abandoned houses that I see, when I’m in route to a planned destination, if my schedule is not too tight. Unfortunately, this means that I’m often photographing when the light and season is not always the best for getting fine images, such as yours and sometimes, I only shoot with my iPhone, thinking I might pass by at a better time, but that seldom happens.

  10. We road the Durango Silverton train many years ago one September. We didn’t have to get tickets in advance because the vacation season was over and we only had to deal with the silver haired tourists (which I am now one of LOL). I remember the scenery was spectacular.

    • I rode it too. It was a ‘photographers’ special’ … they stopped and let us out to photograph the train run by. No tourists hanging out the windows! I got some good shots and a best seller. Yes the scenery is beautiful. I am happy to hear you got to experience it!

  11. Wonderful images of doors, windows and textures. The pictures just combine them so well !

    • Thanks so much. Afterwards I didn’t think I got much but ended up being pleasantly surprised. I got some other ones to process.

  12. Weathered wood reminds me of my weathered hands. Both have endured and enjoyed many seasons of life. Well done, as always !

    • One of my friends who lives there said, there’s no shortage of weathered shacks or people in Silverton! My hands look ‘weathered’ too. Thanks Michael!

  13. Railroad Relic is my favorite. Beautiful textures and colors!

    • Oh good … glad you like it. I thought there were some cool details with that iron framed sliding door and hardware. Thanks!

  14. Awesome additions to your windows and doors collection, Denise! Really torn between the first two as my favorite, the weathered blue is so pretty adding to the lovely composition, and I love the browns in the second with that rusty scalloped roof. Really really love that roof! 😁

    • Thanks Donna! Those might be my 2 favorites too. I had to tone down the roof but was very glad I included it in the shot. It’s like a little frill at the top … a rusty frill!

  15. Very Nice Series of images! Enjoyed seeing them!

  16. I’ve been looking at some of our old barns, especially the one that is collapsing, and wondering about making some abstracts. This certainly encourages more action. “Bent Nails” looks like an intentional art installation. 🙂

    • I have a few more from that shoot that didn’t fit into the ‘Windows & Doors’ theme. I think of them as close-ups and not abstracts since it is clear what they are. I was pleased to work with these subjects as a winter/spring in between. Thanks for looking … I’m glad they may have inspired some action.

  17. Wonderful collection, Denise. I envy you this day. I’ve been to Silverton…and places like it. There is so much character there, especially off the main drags. My favorites are Hinged and Bent Nails. I kept looking at that one, trying to figure out what in the heck it was about. Not a boarded up window, exactly, but…well, definitely something to ponder for a while.:-)

    • Hi Linda. I’m thinking the shutter was reclaimed from floor boards or a roof maybe. If they are to secure something on the inside they sure used a lot of nails. They used some cool heavy-duty hardware back in the day … like that hinge. Thanks for stopping by … I will catch up with your blog soon!

      • Maybe some kid was practicing his hammering skills. lol Makes for an intriguing image.

  18. Nice textures. There’s something about old woodgrains that says character. You almost expect Sam Elliott to walk up wearing a dusty ten-gallon Stetson and chewing on a length of straw.

    • The late Dennis Weaver is from these parts. (Chester, McCloud) His ‘earthship’ home is at the bottom of our mesa. It has new owners who are fixing it up and it is really something. And I should mention the original ‘True Grit’ movie with John Wayne was filmed here. There are several landmarks in the movie. We watched it again shortly after moving here.

  19. Love your approach. I have been to Silverton numerous times over the years and can picture where you started your photo shoot. I love the captures….perfect theme considering the history of the area. Love the way you framed these shots and caught lighting that highlighted the aged wood grain. Great captures!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Kirt. I half expected to see Boxcar Willy down there along the tracks but he was nowhere in sight. My friend in Silverton said, ‘Silverton has no shortage of weathered shacks or people!’ 😀

  20. I love doors, windows, and trains! The old weathered wood is lovely as are the hardware and printed bits that make them even more interesting.

  21. The first image gets my vote for the strangeness of those letters and numbers. But I like them all – old wood gets plenty of weathering where you are and it’s irresistible, isn’t it?

    • Yes … the first was the one that I chose to add to my online store … so my favorite too! It is the side of a train car. Durango & Ridgway line and the number of the car. Glad you like … thank you!

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