Crystal Mill has been on my bucket list since moving to Colorado. Apparently it has been on many other photographer’s lists as well. It is one of the most photographed subjects on the Western Slopes. Yes … it has been done but that didn’t discourage me … I wanted to shoot it for myself!  Only accessible by jeep or hiking 4 miles, I had to wait for an opportunity. At an elevation of almost 9,000 feet, hiking uphill with an assortment of heavy camera gear and a tripod would be out of the question for me (unless I could hire a sherpa)! As luck would have it my good friend, having access to a jeep invited me and another friend on this long awaited adventure. We were grateful to have overcast skies which allowed us to capture the scene without harsh shadows and highlights. Spending over 2 hours shooting at the location, I tried many different compositions and camera settings, to make sure I had what I wanted. It was a great day, with good company and I’m happy to be able to check it off my bucket list. Presented here are some of my favorite compositions … I hope you like them!

‘Crystal Mill I’ © Denise Bush
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‘Crystal Mill III’ © Denise Bush
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‘Crystal Mill IV’ © Denise Bush

‘Crystal Mill V’ © Denise Bush

A recent two-night camping trip with my husband, Brent took us northeast from home. We traveled through four mountain passes and breathtaking Colorado scenery. We stopped at Twin Lakes in Lake County on our second morning, and later decided to camp there. They are some of the prettiest lakes I have ever seen and I was happy to be able to shoot there on three occasions. The clouds and wind rolled in and out quickly so catching the reflections on still water, and skies with nice cloud patterns required moments of luck. In many places the spring aspens added welcome bright accents. It was fun to explore a little further from home and using our son’s truck camper made it affordable too. We also visited a couple of ghost towns which I will feature in an upcoming post. Thanks for visiting!

‘Mountain Greens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Last Light Lakeside’ © Denise Bush

‘Rocky Mountain Mirror’ © Denise Bush

‘Dam At Days End’ © Denise Bush

‘Backlight On The Dam’ © Denise Bush

‘Cloud Cover’ © Denise Bush

‘Rippled Mountains’ © Denise Bush

In my last post I talked about exploring many different photographic subjects before coming full circle … back to landscapes and Americana, which includes abandoned places and artifacts. My fascination with little shacks, old barns and abandoned Americana goes all the way back to childhood. I’ve accepted these subjects as well as landscapes as my niche. My interest is authentic and I am quite content. There is still exploration to find these subjects … it’s a big part of the process. My work expresses what calls to ‘me’. Of course the subjects I photograph are popular ones but I have stopped seeking something more uncommon. It seems we are all inundated with photography these days … especially if you engage in social media (like this blog, Facebook or Instagram)! I like to appreciate my colleagues work without being influenced by it … a particular subject, location, vantage point, or composition for instance. In the end, I believe that a true artist’s inspiration needs to come from within. What do you think? How much are you influenced by the photography you see on social media? What is your authentic niche?

‘Abandoned Bunkhouse’ © Denise Bush

‘Grounded’ © Denise Bush

‘True Grit Moon Rise’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Mountain Cabin’ © Denise Bush

‘Colorful Truck In Fall’ © Denise Bush

‘Yankee Girl In Winter’ © Denise Bush

‘Corner Cabin’ © Denise Bush

‘Miner’s Commute’ © Denise Bush


Rides through the country and my curiosity in seeing what was around the next curve developed a love for the landscape, as well as Americana, at a young age. As an art student and through the years I found myself being attracted to landscape paintings and artwork, more-so than other subjects. Early in my photography I experimented with many different subjects to come full circle … back to the land! That was when I finally accepted it as a big part of my niché, instead of trying to force subjects that were not authentic to me. Now, so many years later I haven’t wavered in my love of Mother Earth’s beauty and how she can present it in such wonderful ways. I seek not to just represent, but capture a unique moment while composing and exposing to record and express the beauty I see. Just being out in the landscape can be rewarding … exploring, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the quiet. I hope you enjoy these recent landscapes … I loved being there!

‘Dancing Clouds’ © Denise Bush

‘Ridgway Reservoir In April’ © Denise Bush
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‘Sunset Row’ © Denise Bush

Iconic & Remote


A recent trip to canyon country with my husband, Brent and dog, Augie included a visit to iconic Monument Valley in addition to exploring less traveled remote areas. I have always wondered what Monument Valley was like so while in the area we paid the $20 fee to drive the Navajo Tribal Park loop. It was a bumpy, dusty road and a cloudy afternoon with a fair amount of tourists and tour jeeps. My favorite images captured the iconic Mittens. I thought them to be the most attractive ‘monuments’ in the park and can understand why they are so popular. The rest of our three days were spent exploring areas outside of the popular and often crowded national parks near Moab. Borrowing our sons truck camper we camped for free on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Land below our very own pinnacle one night. It was fun to be on location to shoot it at sunset and then again at sunrise. Other roads revealed rock forms just as wonderful as those found in the parks. While on the road with my husband I’ve learned to curb my shooting (somewhat) and I am looking forward to going back for what I may have forfeited. My friends and I have joked about a support group for the spouse’s of photographers! We realize it’s not easy, so I appreciate my husband’s patience very much.

‘North Butte’ © Denise Bush
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‘Desert Sunburst’ © Denise Bush

‘The Mittens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Monument Valley In B&W’ © Denise Bush

‘Purple Sky In The Canyonlands’ © Denise Bush

‘Canyon Country Pinnacle’ © Denise Bush

‘Sunrise In The Canyonlands’ © Denise Bush
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‘Moon Over Rock Temple’ © Denise Bush
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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
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‘Last Light Near Hayden’ © Denise Bush

‘Sun Lighting Willows’ © Denise Bush

‘Minimal View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Distant Winter Mountain’ © Denise Bush



twi•light |ˈtwīˌlīt| noun
the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun’s rays from the atmosphere

No matter how cliche´one might think, I’m a sunrise/sunset photo junkie and always will be. With this post I’m thinking about ‘twilight’. Twilight can occur before sunrise and after sunset and I always appreciate being out in the landscape at either of those times. Twilight inspires a peaceful and somewhat surreal feeling when I watch it enveloping the scenery around me. Glowing skies before sunrise, periwinkle blues, pink alpenglow and lingering sunset colors, are all twilight treats. In winter I love the way the snow-capped mountains contrast so beautifully against the darker sky. Twilight is when everything is about to change … the bright, hopeful sunrise of a new day or, the dark, secret happenings at days end.

‘Broken Fence At Twilight’ © Denise Bush
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‘Wintry Mountain After Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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‘Lavender Sky In The San Juans’ © Denise Bush

‘Twilight Over Low Horizon’ © Denise Bush