Spring In Motion


I’ve been a bit slow adding to this blog lately but I can explain! My usual pattern is; shooting mode, processing mode and then blogging. With spring finally here I have been getting out and shooting more often. Like any other season it has its rewards and being outside in the warm sun feels so good! Adding to several different themes at the same time I hardly know where to start. So, I’ll begin with one of my favorite signs of spring … water in motion! Rivers, cascades and waterfalls I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with, are the theme for this post. Relax, breathe deeply, and imagine the sound of the rushing spring melt as it travels down from the mountains!

The San Miguel River merrily rushes along the spring green banks near Telluride.

‘Merrily Rushing Along’ © Denise Bush

A spring stream flows from the mountains near Silverton, Colorado. Kendall Mountain is featured in the distance.

‘Flowing To The Animas’ © Denise Bush

The greens are saturated and vibrant on a rainy spring day.

‘Rainy Day River’ © Denise Bush

A fast moving stream rushes water from the mountains near Silverton, Colorado to meet up with a river below.

‘Flowing Through A Forest’ © Denise Bush

Spring melt travels down the mountainside with tremendous volume.

‘From The Top’ © Denise Bush

A mountain waterfall flows in the spring, fed from snow melt above.

‘Springtime Plunge’ © Denise Bush

A brave little evergreen hangs on to the rugged cliff for dear life!

‘Waterfall Companion’ © Denise Bush

Rushing along in spring, a mountain river is a wonderful sound and sight of nature!

‘Raging River & Rocks’ © Denise Bush

A river rushes along due to the volume of water melting in the spring mountains.

‘In A Rush’ © Denise Bush

58 Responses to “Spring In Motion”

  1. Raging river and rocks has been worth waiting for Denise. Nice one!

    • Thanks! The shade from the trees added to the color in that scene.

      • It’s great. Did the shade help get the softness in the water or did you have to use a filter?

      • When there is low light I can often get away without a filter by slowing down the shutter speed using ISO 50, f/16-20. ‘Raging River & Rocks’ was shot late in the day, on top of it being shaded so I didn’t need one. For some of these I used a polarizer to slow it down a little or a 6-stop solid ND filter to slow it down more. Every situation is different and I just need to see what works each time.

      • Well it certainly worked! I think I shall get an ND filter.

  2. I may have said this before to you, Denise, but I’m not a big fan of water shots that make it look like some kind of ethereal unreality. For that reason, my 2 faves are Rainy Day River and Flowing to the Animus, where the water actually looks like how I would see it if I went there. And I like In a Rush where I can feel the power of the water, even if it doesn’t really look like that. I know most of the photographic world thinks long exposures of running water are the way to go. Just not my cup of tea.

    But your composition is as always, stellar!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I respect your opinion and know others who feel the same way. I like to have these types of images not so blurred that there is no detail. I guess the reason people like the long-exposures is that there is a feeling of motion that we get by being there.

  3. Beautiful wet landscapes, soft rivers against hard rocks and a lonely tree, wow!

  4. Your “Waterfall Companion” works nicely, with all those shades of dark grey getting cut by the diagonal waterfall. Like your first commenter, I appreciate the overall green tint of the water in “Raging River & Rocks,” which you say is due to the shaded foliage. Like your second commenter, I generally prefer moving water depicted at a high shutter speed, though I’ve done my share of long exposures, too. I usually take at least some pictures of each kind when I’m at a waterfall, and that way I may end up with the best of both worlds. What I’ve learned to avoid is medium shutter speeds, like 1/50 or 1/125 or 1/320, which aren’t extreme enough in either direction to produce results I find attractive.

    • I’m glad you think ‘Waterfall Companion’ works. I wasn’t sure about it at first and worked to brighten the tree. I think I remember you saying you prefer stop-action waterfalls in one of your blog posts. I don’t like the extreme really. I try to retain enough detail while still conveying motion. In extreme cases they are often overly smooth or blown-out for me.

  5. I would like to comment on each photograph, but that would be a long comment. So, I simply state these are stunning images. I, too, love running water and cascading mountain rivers and falls. Should I come to your neck of the woods, I would request you as my guide!

  6. Beautiful photos as always! I never tire of images from SW Colorado.

  7. 17 bcplimpton

    What a beautiful set. Thank God for the snowmelt.

  8. Ooh, the best part of spring – snowmelt! 🙂 I esp. love the aqua colors in ‘Raging River & Rocks’ – beautiful series, Denise!

    • Thanks Eliza! There’s something about the water, trees and light that has that color in this location. And thanks also for letting me know snowmelt is one word! 😉

  9. Beautiful series, Denise! My favorite is “Waterfall Companion”. 🙂

  10. Such dynamic, beautiful images, Denise. Love Rainy Day River and In A Rush especially.

    • Thanks very much Jane. Those haven’t gotten as many ‘favorite’ comments so I’m glad you like them! It feels good when different friends have different choices. It validates those that are not the most popular! 🙂

  11. Water in motion is always good to see. I think it sort of drawing your mind in similar way. It can also give a sense of coolness. Lovely pictures you have!

  12. Water, mountains and all the green in between. So fun for me to look at each image and see the beauty you have captured. “Waterfall Companion” grabbed my attention. I would find myself sitting for hours listening to the water. I almost can hear it when I look at these.

    • Hey Beth! I captured ‘Waterfall Companion’ with the Sigma and probably around 600mm from the Million Dollar Highway. I found a place to pull over without going over!!! Being near these scenes was a lot of fun for me. Thanks for looking and letting me know you were here … it means a lot! XO

  13. 29 Deb

    Gorgeous! My favorites- “Flowing to the Animas” and “Raging River Rocks”! Such a beautiful place and captured so beautifully!

    • Thanks Deb! XO The mountain in your first pick is Silverton’s signature, Kendall Mountain. Thanks for looking and letting me know your favorites!

  14. 31 BOnnie

    Beautiful as always! Flowing to the Animas is my favorite! Just stunning. Amazing scenery!

  15. Just browsing through all the other comments, it seems that most of us favor the same two photos, “Waterfall Companion” and “Raging River and Rocks”. I’ve also noted the comments regarding fast shutter speed to freeze the motion and slow shutter speed to smooth the flowing water. Even if it is not the way our eyes see it, I prefer the silky smooth effect of longer exposures times. The bottom line is photography is never really the way our eyes see an image, since the camera sensor, lenses and filters all alter the scene to some extent and modern digital sensors detect so much that our human eyes can’t see. So why not take advantage of that and create a beautiful photograph, even if it modifies what we perceive with our eyes? (Nothing too garish, of course, but even that depends upon what one wants to create).

    Keep on shooting, processing, and sharing, Denise.

    • Thanks for your favorites and thoughts Ken! I don’t think the commenters were saying one way is wrong or right. To each their own … right! I don’t usually care for freeze action water flow and it doesn’t really look like that either. We don’t see water drops suspended in air! The longer speeds convey the motion much better for me and the majority seem to prefer the silky look.

  16. Painterly brushes in the landscape, quite soothing, Denise. I like how I can almost feel the cool water caressing my feet, and the breeze and sound of it without thundering but cooling the heat.

  17. 37 Ken Curtis

    I can smell the fresh air and running water! Wonderful images, Denise.

  18. What a gorgeous series, and scenery! I can almost hear the river rushing through the valley and down the mountains.

    • Thanks so much Deborah! I have been enjoying getting out lately. Hope you are too! The lupine have been peaking here at the base of the mountains.

  19. Thank you for this little journey. I feel better now. I like Waterfall Companion and Raging River & Rocks. I like the pattern of the individual waterfalls in Raging. I think I enjoy the contrast in Companion.

    It’s also fun to read the comments on this post. Capturing water seems to be a rather controversial subject. I like both stop action and ethereal flow. It seems to depend on the feeling onsite, which way to go.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed! 🙂 There have been times I’ve preferred stop action but few compared to ethereal. I hope you are having a good spring filled with nature’s gifts.

  20. I have serious waterfall envy here, Denise! I couldn’t possibly pick one over the other as your compositions are all spot on and same goes for the exposures. Many of our brooks are running extremely low now even with a few recent storms. I always enjoy and marvel at the trees that gain purchase and thrive on a cliff or rocky surface such as the one in “Waterfall Companion.” “Springtime Plunge” appears to be the closer look at the bottom of “From the Top”?
    I also envy your open spaces with these water images. Most if not all of the brooks and waterfalls I visit here are woodland scenes and dark requiring long exposures. And they also require an early visit as the light coming through the trees makes even exposure almost impossible. I like the look of them with a silky flow but it would be nice to have some openness as you do here.

    • Oh … the grass always looks greener! 😀 And I envy your forest scenes. Yes, Springtime Plunge is closer to the bottom than the shot before. This was way up on a jeep road in a mountain basin … to avoid driving dangerous roads in the dark it’s very difficult to be there at the right time unless you camp. Thanks so much for your kind comment … means a lot from the ‘Cascade King’! Especially glad you like the exposures … the right amount of blur is key.

      • Well, thank you for the kind compliment and moniker. Sadly no cascades to photograph currently as there is not much of a current currently. I agree on blur being desirable. Some folks like the motion frozen but in most cases showing some movement adds a more pleasing feel to the image. Yes, the grass is greener as one gets used to our local scenery.

  21. Spring and roaring water is two sides of the same thing in my book. Well not always roaring, but definitely running. I love running water, and you have captured everything I love about it in these images, except for the sound (which is too much to expect…). Great images, Denise.

  22. Knowing that Steve G is a waterfall lover, I enjoyed reading your exchange with him and thinking about the separate challenges you both face. I’m fond of Rainy Day River for the way the river goes in and out of the trees. From the Top takes me aback – wow, that one is cool! You get a sense of the scale of the wilderness. I love that tree in Waterfall COmpanion, too. I hope you’re having a good spring, Denise!

    • Thanks Lynn! Appreciate the visit and learning your favorites. I will return the visit soon. I use the comments received as a checklist to return the visit. Sometimes I lose track.

  23. Mountains and rivers – two of my favorite things. They go together like chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. But which do you like better? 😉

  24. Brought such a peaceful vibe into me after this. Wonderful work.

  25. “Rainy Day River” is my favorite. I like the color interplay.

    • Thanks Ruth … the rain always creates saturated colors and we can see the details more clearly without competing light & shadow.

  26. You have an eye for presenting mother nature at her best!! Love all of these shots!!

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