Looking In Different Directions


Sunset and the golden hour are undoubtedly the most popular time to be out shooting … but not just because it’s a beautiful time of day! It’s just a wonderful experience to be there, and in the moment. It can feel absolutely magical when the elements come together, creating pure visual splendor. I like to go out in the late afternoon to scout for a good spot, and often one that is looking in a direction other than west. After all, there’s more to sunset than watching that big fiery ball sink below the horizon. I look for the last light hitting the tallest peaks while day’s end shadows creep upward from below. Changing seasons create new opportunities as the sun’s position alters its path over peaks and ridges, striking the landscape differently. Alpenglow is another wonderful sight, often offering beautiful gradient skies that cool as twilight approaches. And when I’m lucky a scene can display both, last light and alpenglow. Two of the scenes below are similar compositions shot just minutes apart. I included them both to show how the color of the light changes in a short time. I hope you enjoy seeing these late day captures, shot in different directions.

Last light on a peak across the lake is reflected in the icy water.

‘Icy Reflection’ © Denise Bush
– EAST –

Last Light highlights the top of a ridge near Telluride, Colorado.

‘Light Along Winter Ridge’ © Denise Bush
– EAST –

Beautiful light falls on the mountains at sunset.

‘Southeast Surprise’ © Denise Bush

Chimney Rock, The Turrets and a snowcapped mountain beyond all light up with the last light of day.

‘The Chimney & Beyond’ © Denise Bush
– EAST –

The last bit of light illuminates the end of Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Last Light Over The Ridge’ © Denise Bush

Just after the sun sets the sky turns a lovely alpenglow pink over a snow covered mountain ridge.

‘Pink Sky Over Winter Ridge’ © Denise Bush
– EAST –

After sundown a beautiful gradient sky can sometimes appear in the east. Here the affect is beautiful against the fresh snow.

‘Gradient Sky Over Winter Layers’ © Denise Bush

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40 Responses to “Looking In Different Directions”

  1. 1 bcplimpton

    Thanks for the reminder to look around especially behind us and such a beautiful set of examples showing us that it applies to more than wildlife.

  2. Your “Icy Reflection” is a good mind-bender: I had trouble distinguishing right side up from upside down. And what’s not to like in those shades of pink and peach on the horizon and on mountains? When I’ve visited places that lend themselves to attractive sunsets like New Mexico and Colorado, I’ve noticed, as you pointed out, that looking opposite where the sun is going down sometimes reveals equally good sights.

  3. 6 Deb

    Beautiful! Love that pink glow!

  4. You have made me realize that sun is light source to give light to beautiful objects behind you. It is a hard habit to break from following softer sun during the golden hours.

    Love the dimmer light and cooler tone but crisp feel your pictures. They are beautiful.

  5. 10 Ken Curtis

    Seeing the sky change colors is a wonderful experience that many non-photographers often do not notice. The sky turning shades of violet is always magical to me. All your shots are wonderful.

  6. “Icy Reflection” is amazing! It took me a moment to figure out what I was looking at. What a unique photo.

    • Thanks Diana. Ice shots are difficult to find here because they get covered up with snow right away. This was early in the season when there was still some clear ice.

  7. 14 fiddledee2

    All extremely beautiful!!

  8. Lovely as always, Denise! ‘Icy Reflection’ gave me pause as my mind tried to make sense of what I was seeing, 🙂 and I love the layers of light in ‘The Chimney & Beyond.’

    • Thanks Eliza! I looked for more compositions like ‘Icy Reflection’ but that was the only one that aligned with last light nicely. Chimney Rock is a distinguishing feature here in Ridgway. This was shot with a long lens from my driveway.

  9. Fantastic!… as always. As a photographer, it’s amazing how often I don’t look around! 🙂

    • Hi Carlos! Thank you. Usually early to a location I am always looking around to see what is happening in the sky. I like places where I can see in different directions.

  10. Wonderful, as always! Your words of introduction as delicious as the images that follow. And you started me off with a real mind-bender. Like others, it took me a good long while to get my bearings and figure out what I was seeing. Stunning.

    • Hi Linda. I’m glad you like these and my intro. I am ready to move on from wintry scenes but it snowed here today! March has been good and snowy.

      • I know you need the snow. I think it was late in coming to Colorado?

      • They say March is typically the snowiest month in Colorado. We didn’t get the usual numbers in Jan-Feb and then got a little more in March to make up for it, somewhat I guess.

      • Every little bit helps. We got off to a great start in December, early January but since then we’ve struggled with almost no new snow. At least it has remained cold to preserve what we have. However that’s supposed to change this week with temps reaching the 70s. Our world is changing. I don’t like the direction it is going.

  11. Denise, I had the same thing happen to me as Eliza said, the reflection shot is surreal, wow amazing! My favorite would be ‘Pink Sky Over Winter Ridge’. All are stunning!!

    • I’m glad you said you liked that one … it is a simpler composition that I like for that reason. Did you notice the second image from top is the same ridge with last light. I thought it was neat how the top of the ridge lit up right to left. Thanks so much for your visits. I will stop by soon!

      • Yes, I did! I was leaning to that one, the overall composition with that last light was very nice too! They are all super!

  12. All the views are gorgeous! I love the soft pink sky with alpine glow ones.

    • Hi Deborah! Thanks very much for visiting. We’ve had a lot of snow in March, including some today. It is still pretty and we need it but I’m ready for spring!

      • Spring is just beginning here. A few fruit trees I’ve seen in bloom and the grass is slowly waking up. It won’t be long for you now!
        Thank you so much for the lovely comment! 😀

  13. The optical illusion in “Icy Reflection” is brilliant, Denise. All are lovely images and great illustration for checking out all directions but that is quite an attention grabber. And, of course, the pastels of The Belt of Venus and Earth’s Shadow make for a winning combination, especially with your wonderful mountains.

  14. I see the two photos made minutes apart – cool. It really is a wonderful experience, especially when there are mountains to play with and they’re basking in the last rays, like ‘Southeast Surprise’ – nice!

  15. Each picture is so brilliant….and you’re so right, sunset and sunrise makes for best photo ops 💖💖🌄🌇

  16. Beautiful captures…all of them. Love the changes to lighting. I spotted the two too just minutes apart and the change in lighting. Great post!!

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