A Popular Subject


Someone once told me that ‘water’ was the most photographed subject. When I thought about water in all its forms and features, it was easy to believe. There’s oceans, seas, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, streams, creeks, waterfalls, cascades, fountains, watering holes and even puddles … and then there’s snow and ice too! Regarded as the ‘source of life’, water is interesting symbolically as well. Upon investigating the claim, the internet tells me there are other contenders for ‘most photographed’, so let’s just say water is a ‘popular subject’!

Water subjects have a special allure. My favorite time to photograph beside the water is in the spring and early summer, while it is still flowing from the mountains. Ponds and reservoirs are full before they shrink, sometimes drying up altogether later in summer. I don’t think I’ve concentrated on water subjects as much as some previous spring/early summer seasons, but still have the following to share.

Pretty clouds are twice as nice when reflected in this watering hole on the range.

‘Cloudy Watering Hole’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger of order a print

A beaver dam and lodge illustrate the beaver's master building techniques.

‘Built With Skill’ © Denise Bush

The Uncompahgre River leaves the town of Ouray; and travels north toward Ridgway swiftly in spring.

‘Leaving Ouray’ © Denise Bush

Water rushes down a river in a big hurry to reach its destination.

‘Rushing Over Rocks’ © Denise Bush
(Yes, the rocks are really this orange!)

A summer waterfall branches out taking different paths of vertical descent.

‘Vertical Divergence’ © Denise Bush

A close-up of a spring cascade captures the flowing motion.

‘Flowing Motion’ © Denise Bush

Water rushes downstream through a rocky river in Colorado.

‘Mountain Currents’ © Denise Bush

Spring melt rushes down a mountainside and plunges through a rocky grotto flowing to a river.

‘Waterfall Grotto’ © Denise Bush

A long waterfall plunges from high above the cliff to disappear behind a rocky ledge.

‘Spring Plunge’ © Denise Bush

See more water subjects in my ‘Colorful Colorado’ collections HERE!

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37 Responses to “A Popular Subject”

  1. Built with skill and Grotto push all the right buttons for me! And “Cloudy” is very peaceful and serene.

    • Hi Rich! Thanks for letting me know your favorites. It is often impossible to get close to some of these … as in Waterfall Grotto. I would need some strong rope! 😀

  2. Flowing streams and waterfalls are favorites of mine. It seems there are endless ways of photographing each of these. I really like Spring Plunge.

  3. Water is definitely one of my favorite subjects… in all forms! All are lovely images, Denise, I can’t pick a favorite. 🙂

    • Thanks Eliza. The flow is starting to slow down but we have been getting some afternoon monsoon storms. We are all feeling a bit relieved that we don’t have to worry about fire as much.

  4. 7 Ken Curtis

    Very nice images, Denise. As you can guess my favorite is the top one, which I believe you posted on Facebook. Some of these scenes remind me of trips we have been on together such as West Virginia, Iceland and the Catskills.

    • Thanks Ken! I often put my favorite first … that one is a little different from my usual. I can see how these would remind you of some of our trips … we’ve shot a lot of waterfall scenes together!

  5. I second what another person wrote and my favorite is ‘Built With Skill’. I like the leading lines and the mountain in the background. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Lawrence. I shot in that location earlier in the season before the willows leafed out. Not only do beavers live in this area but moose do too. They like to eat the willows.

  6. “Cloudy Watering Hole” is such a beautiful view! Well captured the scene, it gives you the feel of nearly being there with such expansive composition.

    • Thank you Yellow Cable! I was happy when I found that scene. I did have to step over a barbed wire fence to capture it but nobody saw me!

  7. Your opening sweep with clouds reflected in water is a good way to begin. You follow your aqueous theme with lots of variation in scope, color, and degree of abstraction.

  8. They are all brilliant, of course, but Mountain Currents is an absolute favorite. Just love the blues in that image. Bravo!

  9. 17 Bonnie Rovere

    All are beautiful but the close up of the slow motion of the water are always my favs. The movement always fascinates me!

  10. I guess not traveling is my own fault but I just don’t get to see wide open waterscapes like yours so am quite envious, Denise. I did go to Yosemite once…40+ years ago. 🙂 Your two cascade closeup are about my speed. All are fine images. If I had to pick one it would be “Built with Skill” …but I’m not picking one. Like ’em all. You left out water in one form though…dew. 😀

  11. Gorgeous landscapes with water, Denise. Must be that water is so soothing, which is how I felt viewing them. Love your opening cloud reflection and Rushing over the Rocks is excitingly beautiful. The slow shutters are well shot and I especially like the meandering white foam line that leads my eye from the rock – excellent composition. And the waterfalls, well, what’s not to like? 😍

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Jane! I often try a few different slow shutter speeds and then decide what I like best when I get home. I was pleased with the amount of blur and detail in ‘Rushing’ so I’m glad you like it!

  12. Lovely. I think Flowing Motion is my fav. You make a good point about the preponderance of water in our lives. But it made me think of how Eskimos categorize or talk about snow. I think they have 100 words to describe it? And I realize, I just made a politically incorrect faux pas by referring to Eskimos that way. I should have looked up the proper way they prefer to be recognized. But it is late on a hot, summer, day and I’ve been imbibing. 🙄

    • Thanks Linda … I like it when everyone likes something different! Inuit would be the proper term I think! I had to look up imbibing!

  13. Yes, I believe Inuit would be correct. Or at least a lot better.

  14. Love these. I seem to capture images of water often — in its many forms — as well. (Don’t forget to add clouds to your list. 😊😉)

    • Thank you! Yes I guess technically speaking clouds are formed from water but for me clouds are a whole other fascinating subject. I’m sure there are others I didn’t mention but I was really just trying to make a point! 🙂

  15. Years ago I read a quote, I think it was from Tom Robbins, suggesting water invented humans as a form of transportation. Clearly, it invented a lot of other forms as well. It’s also one of the few things that will entice me to lug around a tripod.

    As for the shots, I like ’em all. Water and mountains are a match made in heaven.

    • Thanks Dave! I am really only interested in water as it relates to landscape photography. Thinking about everything that has water in it would add to the list considerably!

  16. All of those are gorgeous. It’s hard to beat water and mountain scapes.

    • Thanks Deborah. The flow is starting to slow down. We have been getting some afternoon monsoons so everyone is a little less worried about wildfires now.

      • That’s such a relief! The fires are starting in California again and we’re getting the smoke. I wish we had some monsoons!

  17. Yes, water is an amazing subject, with so many variations. The first photo here is infinitely calming. Then the fast-moving water in the next 3 photos livens things up – and it’s fun seeing that beaver dam! The blues in “Mountain Currents” pulled me right in. The last two are the most exciting for me and I think “Waterfall Grotto” is my favorite today. 😉 It’s just the kind of ideal image one wants to encounter in the mountains.

    • Thanks for your insights! There is not way to get close to either of those last waterfalls. It is just too steep and rugged. We were stopped on a high narrow jeep road to take the grotto image. The aspen trees were still their bright spring green. I hadn’t noticed how I arranged the first from still to picking up speed with each frame!

  18. What’s not to love with this post!! Such a unique variety of water flow in many forms including a still pond/lake. I like the B&W water motion mixed in the middle of all of the unique colors of natural water flow through such diverse and colorful landscapes. Excellent work!

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