Compositions From Above

I love working my camera along the Loghill Mesa escarpment where I live. The wide, mountainous views are beautiful to behold. But when the sky wasn’t cooperating recently, I turned my long lens downward to capture some scenes in the valley below. I love examining the contours of the land from this high vantage point. The fences, streams, hills and snow create their own designs and become somewhat abstract when reduced to B&W. It’s difficult to see some of the detail at this blog’s small image size but I wanted to post them all the same. Of course viewing them on a phone the detail will be even smaller. See if you can find the elk herd in two of the images!

Bare trees and willows take on a warm glow as the Dallas Creek leads the winding way.
‘Dallas Creek From Above’ © Denise Bush
A view below focuses on a corral and contours of the snow covered land.
‘Corral From Above’ © Denise Bush
Long Shadows develop at the end of the day shining a spotlight on an elk herd below.
‘Elk From Above’ © Denise Bush
A herd of elk graze in the snow covered valley below.
‘From Above In B&W III’ © Denise Bush
A composition of the valley below creates an abstract design of texture and line in B&W.
‘From Above In B&W II’ © Denise Bush
A composition of the valley below creates an abstract design of texture and line in B&W.
‘From Above In B&W I’ © Denise Bush

The Badlands … not so bad!

A recent 10-day trip took a friend and I to South Dakota, Wyoming, and back to Colorado again. Our first stop was The Badlands National Park. We were glad to see it wasn’t too crowded … as National Parks often are. The scenery is beautiful but also challenged me. I was reminded of how it is when you take a photography trip in unfamiliar territory. The landscape is large and foregrounds are often barren. We were lucky to have spring green grass leading up to the formations. I found interesting skies important in my approach and got lucky enough on a few occasions.

Last light falls upon the Badlands looking to the east.
‘Badlands Twilight’ © Denise Bush
The South Dakota sun rises over a Badlands landscape in spring.
‘Badlands Sunrise’ © Denise Bush
A beautiful spring morning in The Badlands National Park depicts how green it can be in the spring
‘Badlands Morning’ © Denise Bush
‘Green Valley’ © Denise Bush
A close-up of one of the yellow mounds in Badlands National Park.
‘Yellow Mounds Close-up’  © Denise Bush
The sun strikes a formation in the Badlands accentuating its jagged contours.
‘Badlands Sidelight’ © Denise Bush
Formations in The Badlands National Park can be smooth and display a variety of colors as seen in this view including some of the ‘Yellow Mounds’.
‘Undulations’ © Denise Bush
The spring green vegetation contrasts with the rough and barren Badlands of South Dakota
‘Spring Contrasts’ © Denise Bush
Grass in the foreground matches the warm colors of a Badlands formation.
‘Solo Peak’ © Denise Bush
Sunset lights up the sky before The Badlands retire for the night.
‘Goodnight Badlands’ © Denise Bush
A closer look at a colorful sunset in The Badlands shows the texture of the rugged rocks against a warm sky.
‘Sunset Close-up’ © Denise Bush

Goodbye To Winter …

Until We Meet Again!

Here is my yearly ‘goodbye to winter’ post … a little later here in Colorado than other places. Bidding goodbye doesn’t mean I won’t post more images with snow! It could still happen. Last year we got a foot of snow in the middle of May. The snow will remain on the peaks for a little while but probably not as long as last year since we didn’t get as much. Following are a few leftover wintry scenes from some of the places I visited. Next to fall, winter is my favorite season to shoot the landscape so I will certainly welcome its return.

‘Winter Mesa Scene’ © Denise Bush
‘Cimarron Finale’ © Denise Bush
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‘Sneffels On Ice’ © Denise Bush
‘Silent Snow In Aspen Forest’  © Denise Bush
‘Last Light Near Hayden’ © Denise Bush
‘Sun Lighting Willows’ © Denise Bush
‘Minimal View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Distant Winter Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Greetings From Moab!

Just three hours away, a trip to Moab, Utah was a nice change of scenery from the snow-covered alpine scenes around home. When traveling with my husband I need to restrain my usual enthusiasm and limit my photo stops (somewhat). He is a good sport, carries my tripod, points out interesting subjects and on this trip, even got up for sunrise! (The night photography I want to do there might have been pushing it!) He is patient but that patience has understandable limits as significant-others of photographers everywhere surely understand. Most of our time was spent familiarizing ourselves with Arches National Park where we went on a few short hikes. Outside of the park we traveled on Rt. 128 alongside the scenic Colorado River with photogenic cliffs, mesas and rock formations on both sides. We went to Dead Horse Point State Park and reminisced about our being there the year we graduated from college. Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is a well-known spot among photographers for sunrise. Visiting in the winter has the advantage of less crowds and securing a good vantage point. This morning worked out well and I was pleased with my first-time results. We purchased a year pass and I will surely be back… there is just so much there to see and photograph!

'Another Sunrise at Mesa Arch' © Denise Bush
‘Another Sunrise at Mesa Arch’ © Denise Bush
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'Mesa Arch Detail' © Denise Bush
‘Mesa Arch Detail’ © Denise Bush
'Awakening at Mesa Arch' © Denise Bush
‘Awakening at Mesa Arch’ © Denise Bush
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'The Candlesticks II' © Denise Bush
‘The Candlesticks II’ © Denise Bush
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'The Candlesticks I' © Denise Bush
‘The Candlesticks I’ © Denise Bush
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'Moon Through Landscape Arch' © Denise Bush
‘Moon Through Landscape Arch’ © Denise Bush
'Lunar Landscape' © Denise Bush
‘Lunar Landscape’ © Denise Bush
'Sunburst At Dead Horse Point' © Denise Bush
‘Sunburst At Dead Horse Point’ © Denise Bush
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Something/Anything Different

While exploring some high-elevation jeep roads this spring we came upon a grove of trees that called to me. Huddled together on a hill and without leaves they seemed to be there for some purpose. The threatening sky added interest and I had fun composing images before the thunder and lightning started.

Trees are a popular and mature photographic subject, much like flowers, mountains or bodies of water. For me what sets a worthy main subject apart is something/anything visually different from the ordinary. The ‘extra something’ I respond to might be the quality of light, shape, color, pattern, grouping, balance, setting or relation to other subjects… just to name a few.

'Gathering Under the Clouds' © Denise Bush
‘Gathering Under the Clouds’ © Denise Bush
'Under Parted Sky' © Denise Bush
‘Under Parted Sky’ © Denise Bush
'Entwined' © Denise Bush
‘Entwined’ © Denise Bush
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'Silhouettes in B&W' © Denise Bush
‘Silhouettes in B&W’ © Denise Bush
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'Road Among the Trees' © Denise Bush
‘Road Among the Trees’ © Denise Bush


Tree Tunnel Attraction

There’s something about tree-lined country roads that I’ve always loved and I suppose I am not alone. They draw us in and this is especially so when the trees create a tunnel affect. The first image provides this affect, offering a white glow in the distance. Created by smoke from an area control burn this was lucky timing on our part. We scouted for other tree-lined roads and found one that offered some charm all its own.

Live Oak Tunnel
‘Live Oak Tunnel’ © Denise Bush
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Low Country Road
‘Low Country Road’ © Denise Bush

Peaceful Pines

When it started snowing one morning a few weeks ago I headed out with my camera … to remedy my cabin fever if nothing else! I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going and traveled quite a few miles looking for something to call out to me. I checked out several of my usual spots for something special happening in the gray and snowy, winter lighting. Finally I found myself at a spot where some white pine trees grow. The trees, planted neat and orderly are something one doesn’t see often in the Pinelands where I live and being a bit of a ‘neat freak’ they spoke to me. Not wanting the fun to end I went to a second location not too far from the first and photographed there as well. Providing some shelter from the snow and wind, it was very quiet and being among the pine trees gave me a feeling of peace. I have often said that I find my spiritual inspiration in nature and this was an experience that certainly supported my belief. These studies, about pattern, texture and repetition are just the beginning. I hope to return in different light conditions to explore more photographic possibilities among these peaceful pines.

'Snow Falling On Pines'  © Denise Bush
‘Snow Falling On Pines’ © Denise Bush
'Peaceful Pines'  © Denise Bush
‘Peaceful Pines’ © Denise Bush
'All In A Row'  © Denise Bush
‘All In A Row’ © Denise Bush
'Forest Pattern'  © Denise Bush
‘Forest Pattern’ © Denise Bush
'Winter's Trail'  © Denise Bush
‘Winter’s Trail’ © Denise Bush


Shades Of Green

You just have to love the brilliant greens of spring … too bad they are so short-lived. Going north to the Catskills in the spring helps to extend the bright colors for me. There, spring is usually 2 weeks behind the warming and progression at home. Everything seemed especially green this year … maybe it was all the rain or maybe we hit it just right. And yes, it really was that green!

Spring Greens
‘Spring Greens’ © Denise Bush
Artist's View
‘Artist’s View’ © Denise Bush
Dandelion Portrait
‘Dandelion Portrait’ © Denise Bush
Orchard Below
‘Orchard Below’ © Denise Bush
Clouds Over The Clove
‘Clouds Over The Clove’ © Denise Bush
Trees In A Field
‘Trees In A Field’ © Denise Bush

Wonderful Waterfalls

Spring waterfalls are surely one of Mother Nature’s beautiful gifts. Leading photo weekends in the Catskills of New York State, I’ve spent a lot of time shooting them. The first waterfall in this series however, was shot in the Delaware Water Gap area of Pennsylvania, in early spring. I had been there before but bright sun made getting a good image impossible. This time the sky was overcast so I headed straight to this spot when we arrived and the lighting worked out much better. The remaining images, from the Catskills display this year’s abundant spring rain. I had never seen these falls carry such a huge amount of water before and can still hear the roar when I look at the photos. Waterfalls are ever-changing wonders and it’s fun to see how different they can look with each visit!

Deer Leap Falls
‘Deer Leap Falls’ © Denise Bush
Roaring Kill in Spring
‘Roaring Kill in Spring’ © Denise Bush
Top Of The Falls
‘Top Of The Falls’ © Denise Bush
Spring At Bastion Falls
‘Spring At Bastion Falls’ © Denise Bush

My 200th Post – Sunset Dream

I suppose it is just another number but this post is my 200th and I felt I should make note of it! I started blogging in January 2009 as a way to display my photographs and express my thoughts about photography. Acting as a photo journal; I can scroll through and see where I’ve been, what I’ve done and where I’m headed. But the best part has been the ability to share what I am doing with others. Posts have often opened up welcome and interesting discussion in the comments area and I have made new friends through blogging. So, in celebration of my 200th post, I’d like to thank you if you are reading this! Special thanks to my followers and those who have taken the time to leave encouraging words. That encouragement has meant a lot to me over the years.

Now, feeling a bit retrospective I’d like to share the image below and how I was feeling when I made it. One of the bigger challenges of late has been in achieving a landscape image I could get excited about … something as good as, or better than favorites that have come before. I have been out with my camera numerous times lately; sunrise, sunset, scouting, looking, and trying without the level of success I was looking for. The weather, the light, the sky, my timing, just wasn’t coming together and with the added challenges of photographing New Jersey’s Pine ‘Barrens’ I was getting discouraged. Than this … finally, the moment I had been hoping for. My discouragement vanished completely as the sunset reached its peak color and I heard someone across the lake yell … ‘thank you God’! It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. No contrails and no Photoshop necessary. Yes, ‘thank you God’. It was just the gift I needed to lift my spirits and help me celebrate this personal photographic milestone!

Sunset Dream I
‘Sunset Dream I’ © Denise Bush
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