Time to get 2021 started with my first post of the year. I’ve been out shooting when the conditions seem promising and my mood cooperates. Sometimes one shot will spark an idea for a self-assignment that gives me something to work on. And while out I’m always keeping my eyes open for subjects that fit any number of the new, or recurring themes on my list. Mini collections that I post here often add to past examples with the same subject, creating larger collections of what interests me most. This post includes rather random landscapes but the common threads are winter, snow, and black and white conversions. What I’ve learned over the years is that not all captures work as monochromes. I like to use DXO’s (f.k.a. Nik) Silver Efex Pro and experiment with favorite settings to discover an image’s potential. Exploring the color filters within Silver Efex or other conversion tools offers variations to compare results, and decide upon the best solution. I don’t venture far with filters because my style is to keep my photographs looking like photographs. Here are some images I feel worked well as monochromes … I hope you like them!

A road and rustic fence leads us toward Hayden Mountain of Colorado's San Juans. The road is closed up ahead in the winter.

‘Closed Ahead’ © Denise Bush

A beautifull constructed and snow covered corral creates interest in this wintry scene., cattle ranch

‘OK Corral’ © Denise Bush

A small tree growing along a ditch line invites a winter composition of black and white.

‘Little Tree In Pasture’ © Denise Bush

Lifting clouds create dramatic winter scenes in the mountains of Colorado.

‘Sneffels Peak Peeking In B&W’ © Denise Bush

Wind whips through a stand of evergreens, kicking up snow for a quick wintry show.

‘Winter Wind Among Evergreens’ © Denise Bush

Corbett peeks above lifting clouds in this Colorado winter scene.

‘Corbett Clearing’ © Denise Bush

2020 Favorites


With staying at home so much I got a head start on my yearly Favorites Gallery. This is an 18 year tradition and how my website galleries are organized. With no photo trips in 2020, this year’s selections are scenes close to home. Looking back I am always surprised by the number of photographs I feel are successful. I started with several more and edited the collection down to 60. Below is a sampling that includes some of my personal favorites. Click the thumbnail page below to check out all my 2020 Favorites, and find links to other years, and my store too!

Beautiful winter lighting accentuates some weathered aspen trees in the snow.

‘2020 Line-up’ © Denise Bush

Clouds from a recent snowfall lift, giving way to a rugged mountain view.

‘In The Clearing’ © Denise Bush

A mountain lake reflection will soon be completely frozen and covered in snow.

‘Icy Beginnings’ © Denise Bush

Fireweed grows beautifully on the steep slopes of a mountain lake in Colorado.

‘Lakeside Beauties’ © Denise Bush

As seen from above on Loghill Mesa, Dallas Creek winds through Cottonwood Trees and Willows.

‘Dallas Creek Curves’ © Denise Bush

An autumn road invites a investigation to look at the beautiful, colorful foliage.

‘Along An Autumn Road’  © Denise Bush

A picture perfect barn and autumn colors make a wonderful rural scene.

‘Picturesque Barn In Fall’ © Denise Bush

An old miner’s cabin includes a front porch built on a rocky foundation.

‘Rocky Foundation’ © Denise Bush

An old-fashioned fence adds interest to this beautiful autumn scene along a country road.

‘Fence Along Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush

A fence with San Juan Mountain character makes a great background for Mears Peak near Ridgway.

‘Ranch Boundary’ © Denise Bush

Two Gambel Oaks create an arch and frame for the setting sun.

‘Sunburst Arch’ © Denise Bush

A long lens picks up the beautiful warm light on a distant slope of aspens in deep orange and gold.

‘Warm Light On Distant Aspens’ © Denise Bush

Mighty Mount Sneffels is one of the 14ers in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Mighty Mount Sneffels’ © Denise Bush

An open field and distant hill anchor a surreal sky in winter.

‘Minimal Landscape In Winter’ © Denise Bush

All of these images, and more are available on my STORE site as well as being featured in my this year’s gallery. As always, let me know if you have any questions about my work. And all the best to you in 2021!

Season’s Greetings to all my friends, followers and visitors near and far! Best Wishes for a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and better year ahead!

A wintry scene in the mountains is a beautiful sight when tree branches are covered with snow.

‘Winter Magic’  © Denise Bush

I am always sad to see autumn pass. It’s my favorite season and it comes and goes way too fast! Although it already feels like winter here, fall is not officially over until the Winter Solstice on December 21st. With that I thought I’d squeeze in one more post to include a few stragglers I wanted to document. I’m grateful for the gifts Mother Nature bestows upon me and now, with short days, cold temps and snow on the ground, I am ready for winter’s beauty and its challenges too. So in this post I say, “farewell to autumn … until we meet again”!

A view looking down on Pleasant Valley fromthe edge of Loghill Mesa near Ridgway, shows the ribbon of cottonwoods along Dallas Creek.

‘Fall In The Valley’ © Denise Bush

A mid-size cottonwood tree is a bright spot in the Adobe Badlands near Montrose, Colorado.

‘Bright Cottonwood In Adobe Hills’ © Denise Bush

Back-lighting illuminates autumn grass along the banks of a small bog in Colorado.

‘Autumn In The Bog’ © Denise Bush

A border of aspens, dry grasses and rocky mountain belong to the same autumn palette under a blue sky.

‘Autumn Gold’ © Denise Bush

An autumn path leads us through a stunning aspen forest in autumn.

‘Inviting Aspen Path’ © Denise Bush

Savory Sunsets


Some may think sunsets are cliché but I for one never get tired of them. And, from what I hear and see, I am not alone! Whether enjoying them from the comfort of my living room, or out in the landscape with my camera, a sunset surprise is always inspiring. With years of photographing and looking at sunsets, my selection process for what to show is particular. The sky alone is not enough. For me, the clouds need to have a nice balance and work with a thoughtful and interesting composition. Captures don’t make the cut if they lack these qualities. Mother Nature deserves most of the credit but it is also about being ready and at the right place. After months of mostly blank and often smoky skies, it’s been wonderful to see some beautiful sunset skies return. I hope you enjoy these recent selections!

A little tree sits on top a hill for a great view of Mount Abram, 20 miles away.

‘Little Tree With Mountain View’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A beautiful sunset lights up the sky above the north end of the Cimarrons, near Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Cimarron Brush Strokes’ © Denise Bush

Twilight in the mountains can be striking to the east, especially when alpenglow appears.

‘Twilight Pink Over Rocky Ridge’ © Denise Bush

A pretty pink sunset sky settles over Loghill Mesa outside of Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Loghill Sunset’ © Denise Bush
(This is the mesa we live on top of!)

A beautiful sunset sky is anchored by the  silhouetted horizon.

‘Sunset Silhouette With Fence’ © Denise Bush

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While out photographing the landscape the last few months the moon was my frequent and welcome companion. I love including it in my landscapes, no matter what phase, from crescent to full. And, the moon was especially helpful this autumn when skies were sometimes hazy with smoke and, at other times lacking in clouds and interest. As a ‘moon child’ I am a big fan of the moon and with a good view looking east I like to follow its cycle. Here in the San Juans I need to account for the mountains when timing the moon’s appearance. It depends upon the height of the ridge or mountain it is hiding behind. There could be up to a 30 minute difference … appearing later or disappearing sooner. The anticipation of moon rise and, also catching it as it sets, is a wondrous experience I am grateful for!

A lot is written about ‘moon children ‘ and here is some I can identify with and approve … A moon child is someone born under the astrological sign of Cancer. Moon children have strong intuition and should always pay attention to their hunches. Most of them have a very retentive memory recalling even small events from the past in great detail. They are very idealistic and always do the best job they can. The Cancerian imagination can bring them success in artistic work, writing, or anything creative.

A single aspen tree brightens the foreground of this autumn scene near Red Mountain Pass, Ouray, Colorado.

‘Half-Moon Over Autumn’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A waxing half moon rises over a peak and forest in the San Juan Mountains.

‘Waxing Moon Over Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Last light and tthe appearance of the moon create a beautiful mountain scene.

‘Lunar Appearance’ © Denise Bush

A crescent moon rising above a mountain top makes a fun silhouette image

‘Crescent Moon Setting’ © Denise Bush

The moon is a welcome accent to the sky over Kendall Mountain, near Silverton Colorado.

‘Moon Over Kendall’ © Denise Bush

A full moon is setting in smoky skies as a result of wildfires in The West.

‘Full Moon Over Smoky Landscape’ © Denise Bush

A setting moon makes an nice accent to the beautiful fall colors.

‘Moon Over Colorful Aspens’ © Denise Bush


Most of the buildings in this post are familiar to me with only one being a new find. I’ve posted photos of some of them before and I’ve shot others, but perhaps not to my satisfaction. And, I have never shot some of them in the fall … all the more reason to go back and work with these subjects again. Whatever the case, these are new versions, shot with different angles or framed for fresh compositions. In most cases, my interest is in showing the scenery with the buildings to add a human story to the landscapes. 

WordPress Reader Users: please click ‘visit site’ for best viewing experience. If you love fall foliage and landscapes, click Denise Bush’s Photo Blog at the top, then scroll down to see other recent collections! 

A picture perfect barn and autumn colors make a wonderful rural scene.

‘Picturesque Barn In Fall’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A rustic barn sits on a mesa below Mount Wilson, near Telluride Colorado.

‘Barn Below Wilson’ © Denise Bush

A tiny old cabin hides out in the autumn forest among the aspen and spruce trees.

‘Hidden Among Aspens’. © Denise Bush

A tiny cabin creates a quaint scene nestled in a forest of aspen and spruce trees.

‘Autumn Hideout’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

An old log building serves as storage with a workshop attached.

‘Log Shed With Tin Roof’ © Denise Bush

A weathered shack sits along a country road with a brillian autumn backdrop.

‘Shack At Crossroads’ © Denise Bush

The old blacksmith building of the Neosho Mine jokingly displays an Antiques sign and laundry left by hikers.  A 2.2 mile hike is the only way to get there.

‘Antiques On A Cliff’ © Denise Bush

An old barn, barely standing survives to lean another day!

‘Old Barn In Morning Sun’ © Denise Bush

In this post I decided to combine two of the image sets I was collecting. Instead of having a separate post for what I was calling ‘Autumn Abstracts & Patterns’ I am combining them here with autumn landscapes for this third ‘Sampler’. I have always been drawn to pattern and repetition in art. When I worked as an illustrator and graphic designer using pattern and repetition was part of my style. And looking back through my photographic portfolio I think the work often reveals my interest in order, repetition & pattern. If interested, a collection of ‘Nature Abstracts & Patterns’ can be viewed HERE. Autumn foliage is harder to find in SW Colorado now, but I hope you aren’t getting tired of fall scenes … I still have more to come! As always thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment or let me know if you have a favorite.

A long lens picks up the beautiful warm light on a distant slope of aspens in deep orange and gold.

‘Warm Light On Distant Aspens’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A delicate set of aspens show off  golden fall color below a ridge receiving the first light of day.

‘Young Aspens Below Ridge’ © Denise Bush

Some dry grasses strike a pleasing sihouette before an autumn pond reflection.

‘Pond Silhouettes’ © Denise Bush

Aspen trees have small round leaves which can remind one of Pointellism art.

‘Pointillistic Aspens’ © Denise Bush

Autumn oak brush makes a colorful statement in the mountains of Colorado.

‘Autumn On The Rocks’ © Denise Bush

Aspen Trees, Gambel Oaks and Spruce Trees create an ensemble that resembles a tapestry.

‘Slopeside Tapestry’ © Denise Bush

Colorful aspen trees circle around the base of and outcropping near Gunnison Gorge.

‘Ring Around The Rock’ © Denise Bush

Autumn Roads


‘Autumn Roads’ is an on-going theme that always attracts me. Some with this subject from the past are among my favorites. I never tire of meandering along a country road searching for scenes to capture. When I include the road in a scene it takes me back to that experience. Here are some from this year, to add to my growing collection.

An old-fashioned fence adds interest to this beautiful autumn scene along a country road.

‘Fence Along Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

An autumn road invites a investigation to look at the beautiful, colorful foliage.

‘Along An Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush

A red mountain peak lights up as the sun filters through holes in the clouds in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

‘Mountain Peak Highlight’ © Denise Bush

A winding dirt road makes an inviting scene among the vibrant aspen trees.

‘My Favorite Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush

A back-country road takes a pleasant turn into an autumn aspen grove.

‘Passage Through Aspens’ © Denise Bush