Beginnings & Endings


Here’s a selection of recent captures I’ve been collecting for this post. It is said that sunrise and sunset imagery is cliché. I ask you … how can anything as beautiful as sunrise and sunset be considered so? If they are cliché they remain enjoyable by many nevertheless. Each day is unique, offering a chance for spectacular light and color. Full disclosure however, is that I have at least as many failures as successes. It’s part of the process … partly because Mother Nature is unpredictable! Other times I am just in the wrong place at the right time! No matter the outcome, it’s worth the effort for those magical moments. I savor being out in the landscape, feeling enveloped by the light and colors, at the beginning or end of a day.

A cloudless sky displays beautiful gradient colors at sunrise.

‘Gradient At Sunrise’ © Denise Bush

A wintry mountain Cimarron Ridge and a beautiful sunrise create a tranquil scene in Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Winter Ridge At Sunrise’ © Denise Bush

The sun is almost gone in this winter scene featuring a gentle mountain.

‘Almost Gone’ © Denise Bush

Sunrise and some distant mountains make a beautiful layered scene.

‘Just The Beginning’ © Denise Bush

Mountains that surround the town of Ouray can be seen from quite a distance. Mount Abram is on the right.

‘Above Ouray’ © Denise Bush

Mountains of the West Elks are visible from far away. The last light of day illuminates them with golden light.

‘Far Off Land’ © Denise Bush

Faraway peaks create a silhouette against a sunset sky.

‘Distant Peaks At Sunset’ © Denise Bush

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48 Responses to “Beginnings & Endings”

  1. Folks who live along coasts particularly often go to watch the sun rise or set on a daily basis… it never gets old. Same with your beautiful photos, always a delight to see. My favorites today are ‘Gradient At Sunrise’ and ‘Far Off Land.’ The clouds do look like mountains off in the distance!

    • Thank Eliza! I used to like photographing the ocean at sunrise. At Cape May, at the bottom of NJ, it was possible to photograph both sunrise and sunset skies.

  2. 3 Ken Curtis

    My favorite is Far Off Land because of the contrast between the lighter mountain peaks and lighter clouds against the darker mountains at the bottom and darker clouds. The blue sky adds a nice visual element at the top. Distant Peaks at Sunset is my next favorite because of the layers of silhouetted trees, mountains, orange clouds, dark clouds and lighter sky. Excellent seeing and captures.

  3. thumbs up, as always, Denise!!

  4. I feel much the same as you about sunsets and sunrises. I was a bit shocked, when I first discovered that photographers considered photographing sunrise and sunsets as cliche’. I guess that is because these are so commonplace, happening each day.

    I’ve seen some spectacular sunrises and sunsets and I never tire of watching the light changing, when there are sufficient clouds in the sky to register the changing of the colors.

    I do not photograph sunset and sunrise as often as I used to, but I still enjoy seeing them and photos of spectacular ones.

  5. In your opening picture, I like the “sandwich” of dark layers across the top and bottom enclosing the warm light of the sun. And you’ve got even more of those appealing layers in most of your other shots. Well done.

    Your mention of “those magical moments” reminds me of this song from the 1960s.

  6. Beautiful!!!

  7. LOVE these!

  8. 16 Deb

    Beautiful as always. It’s not called the magic hour for nothing! Never gets old!

  9. Beautiful! I too never tire of seeing sunrises and sunsets (or photographing them). Even if they might be similar at times, no two are ever exactly the same.

  10. 20 Bonnie Rovere

    Beautiful skies!! I could look at them forever.

    • Thanks Bonnie. I was thinking … ‘what if the skies looked liked this all the time?’ I guess we wouldn’t appreciate them so much. The moments of peak color can be so fleeting!

  11. 23 bcplimpton

    WOW! Faro Off Land just jumped off the screen to me. LOVE IT!!

    • Thanks Barry! I put that one on FB too. It was the early favorite here and my favorite too. I’m glad I kept driving down the road that evening. I almost turned around a couple of times!

  12. Beautiful shots. Love all of them probably like “Distant Peaks” the most. Just stunning.

  13. I never tire of these moments and your collection is wonderful, Denise. Far Off Land is a big hit…I’m drawn also to the pastels in Above Ouray and the layering in Distant Peaks. 🙂

  14. Half the fun of sunrises/sets is seeing what develops. Some days, it’s pins and needles, others, don’t bother. I’m always amazed at crowds that gather at sites, especially on the coast, that leave once the sun goes past the horizon. Sometimes they miss the best light.

    I like Gradient the best.

    • I agree Dave! I am rarely looking to capture the big ball and here we get colorful skies in all directions. ‘Gradient At Sunrise’ was shot from my driveway! I’m glad you like it. Thanks.

  15. Thanks to all my blogging friends for visiting and leaving a comment! I always appreciate it and use the list to visit your blogs and do the same!

  16. I rather hate that word, cliché. Yes, I do understand it. But I resent the condescension that bolsters that cheap judgement. It can be carried too far. Certain artists seem to judge aesthetic beauty as cliché. That just bothers me. I love sunrises and sunsets. No two are the same and to capture them well takes not only a great deal of energy and dedication, but also skill.

    I particularly enjoy Gradient and I like the softness of Winter Ridge. Far Off Land, oh lala! I love that one. It makes me think a bit of the Himalayas for some reason.

    • Thanks so much Linda. Those ‘far off land’ mountains are over by Crested Butte. They often light up at the end of the day. Yes, I agree about the word cliche’ … there are so many possibilities! I am making my rounds and you are on my list. Hope your warrior spirit is staying strong!

  17. Thank you for sharing your images, these are truly beautiful.

    • Thank YOU Isabel for visiting and leaving a comment. Photos like these will keep coming … I love what Morher Nature does to celebrate the beginning and ending of a day!

  18. Oh, they’re all so pretty! I love the soft pink light ones they just felt so peaceful and beautiful.

  19. I think that a lot of photographers make a case for sunrises/sets as cliché to make what they do appear more creative or artistic. One, whose photography and writing I greatly admire, when mentioning straight scenic photography says that it’s okay but not art. I was always under the impression that the definition of art is a moving target. 🙂
    Anyway, these are all beautiful, not a cliché among them. With all the cell phone grabs found on the internet these days, carefully composed and processed images are very much art. “Above Ouray” is my favorite but as I’ve said before, favorite isn’t an easy choice amongst your images. 🙂

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment Steve! Choosing a favorite is not required … just a nice to know. Glad you like ‘Above Ouray’ with its less dramatic pastel sky.

  20. You captured such beauty!! Awesome work, but I do get the failure rate framing/lighting, etc….etc. Having said this I know we are on the same page….whenever it all falls into place for that “perfect capture”…it’s all worth it!! Thanks for sharing your gift of stunning captures!

  21. Beautiful selection! There’s so much serenity there.

    • Thank you! There are many places to experience peace and serenity here … especially when it is not tourist season! I appreciate your visit and comment!

  22. Fabulous photos. Like you say, sunrises and sunsets are amazing spectacles. And they are free of charge!

  23. I like your description – the last sentence especially – and I agree that sunsets and sunrises are wonderful to experience and often make really nice photographs. Your first photo here really makes me imagine standing there and watching that glow increase, little by little, Very nice. I like the subtlety in “Just the Beginning.” The way the cloud banks streak horizontally across the sky over the mountains in the last two photos is very cool.

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