In the winter my attention often turns to the mountain peaks. It’s when I find them most beautiful, coated in white, the snow accenting their rugged beauty. When the clouds roll in, usually from the west, or lift after a snow storm I think, ‘this is what heaven must look like’!

A peak revels its fresh coating of snow, high above lifting storm clouds.

‘Above The Clouds’ © Denise Bush

The top of Chimney Rock peeks through the clouds at sunset near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Peeking Through’ © Denise Bush

Distant mountains, blanketed in fresh snow create a beautiful winter scene.

‘Snowbound Beauty’ © Denise Bush

Rocky outcroppings reveal their winter coating as a snowstorm clears.

‘Winter Forms’ © Denise Bush


Winter Wonders


In this post I’m displaying some winter images that caught my eye while reviewing. Getting a closer look by processing them helps me determine how much I like them and if they make the cut. And sometimes they don’t! I think that I am both selective and critical of my own work. A photo club I belong to offers critiques, and that got me thinking out loud here. At this stage in my photographic journey I have no interest in participating. I enjoy what I do and if I am proud of a piece, that is what pleases me most. The club wants us to challenge ourselves by trying different kinds of photography. For beginners who have not yet found their niché it’s a great suggestion. However, I feel that I’ve been there and done that, to come full circle with confidence. I have settled into my niché but that is not to say that I don’t have goals and aspirations! My goal is to stay the course … to continue to create interesting and captivating imagery, always open to and looking for that next favorite photograph. The images below were captured between late November and early January. We’ve had fairly steady snows this winter, keeping things wintry, white and wonderous!

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

‘In The Clearing’ © Denise Bush
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A stream flows happily along, among a beautiful snow-covered forest.

‘Stream In Winter Forest’ © Denise Bush

A mountain stream flows along, surrounded by a snow-coated evergreen forest.

‘Wintry Stream’ © Denise Bush

Five bare trees look lovely in the soft winter light at day’s end.

‘Party Of Five’ © Denise Bush
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An open field and distant hill anchor a surreal sky in winter.

‘Minimal Landscape In Winter’ © Denise Bush
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A snowstorm clears to reveal a beautiful winter wonderland!

‘Under Lifting Clouds’ © Denise Bush


Most Favorite!


In my last post I shared a link to my website and ‘2019 Favorites’ gallery. However, my most favorite image was not among them because I added it to my ‘Home Gallery’ instead. Running across it in one of my folders I realized I never shared it on this blog either. Surely my most favorite should have a place here! I printed and framed this for a show last summer. It didn’t sell so I am including it in an exhibit at our Ridgway Public Library where I will be showing along with a potter. I will have about 20 framed pieces on display. Note the title … I amused myself with that one!

‘Pink Peak Peeking’ © Denise Bush
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Ridgway Library Exhibit – Jan. 11 – Mar. 13

2019 Favorites


Here we go again … Happy New Year! 2019 was a great year and I have a lot to be grateful for. Best wishes to all for a wonderful 2020 and thank you for visiting!

You are invited to view my ‘2019 Favorites’ Gallery … in keeping with a 17 year tradition! I like to organize images by year on my website, as an alternative to my store where they are organized by subject. Each of my sites serves a purpose. My website serves as a hub for all I do with links to my store, blog, stock photography and more! Many of the images in ‘2019 Favorites’ have appeared in posts here, where I show my most current work and thoughts about photography. If you’d like to see some of the posts click on ‘Denise Bush’s Photo Blog’ at the top (to return home) and scroll down.

On October 16th I had quite a surprise when I looked out our front window and saw a stream of smoke, rising from the forest in our Cimarron view. It looked like it had just started so I called to report it. They had learned of it just minutes before. Hunters, plentiful in the forest this time of year made the discovery. The investigation lead to a walled tent with a wood-burning stove. Part of the roof material was charred and consistent with some found nearby. This area of the forest is known as Cow Creek and there is just one rough, dirt forest road to gain access. Watching it for a bit I realized I should get out my camera and document it. I took this first shot about an hour after I spotted the fire. I posted it on a local residents Facebook page, alerting people who didn’t have my ‘watch tower’ view. Feeling like a photojournalist, I watched, worried and photographed the fire as other, nearby spot fires started in windy conditions. After a few days we received some very welcome snow which helped to minimize the fire, until another snow put it out completely. I am showing the images as I shot them, in chronological order.

A fire in the Cimarron Mountains near Cow Creek was discovered early in the morning on October 16, 2019. It is spreading quickly.

‘In The Beginning’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire burns in the National Forest of Southwest Colorado.

‘Growing Wildfire’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire burns in the National Forest near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Smoky Plume’ © Denise Bush

The last light of day illuminates a forest fire in the mountains near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Smoky Last Light’ © Denise Bush

Flames can be seen on a ridge in a wildfire in the National Forest of Colorado.

‘Flaming Ridge At Twilight’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire burns through the night in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Wildfire At Night’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire burns throughout the night and into the pre-dawn hours in the Cimarrons of the San Juan Mountains near Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Cow Creek Fire At Sunrise’ © Denise Bush
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A forest wildfire burns through the night and into the pre-dawn hours.

‘Sunrise Fire & Smoke’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado grows larger by the minute!

‘Smoky Mountains In Colorado’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire in a mountainous national forest takes on an ominous look at night.

‘Fire In The Sky I’ © Denise Bush

A wildfire in a mountainous national forest takes on an ominous look at night.

‘Fire In The Sky II’ © Denise Bush

After some welcome snow a wildfire smolders in the Cimarron Mountains near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Smoldering Cimarrons’ © Denise Bush

A fire smolders under Precipice in the Cimarron Mountain area near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Smoldering Alpenglow’ © Denise Bush

Side-tracked with autumn images I had forgotten some of these, just waiting in the wings. Once I process images I like to gather them into sets and post them here on my photo blog. It’s one of the ways I archive my work. I can look back and see what I’ve done. Just some of the images posted might make it into my year-end favorites, as organized on my website. I’ll be working on ‘2019 Favorites’ soon! The photos here are still more from a summer trip to South Dakota and Wyoming. And there’s one image from Colorado … see if you can guess which one it is!

An old grain elevator sits conveniently beside the tracks in an old abandoned town in South Dakota.

‘The Other Side Of The Tracks’ © Denise Bush

A cow peeks around the corner of an old shoolhouse in South Dakota.

‘Peek-A-Boo Cow’ © Denise Bush

Distant grain bins and a gentle green landscape combine for a pleasing rural scene.

‘Distant Grain Bins’ © Denise Bush

This horse has made itself at home in an old schoolhouse.

‘When Horses Go To School’ © Denise Bush

An old-fashioned windmill spins in the breeze atop a grassy hill.

‘Windmill In Motion’ © Denise Bush

A backwoods cabin has all the makings for off the grid living.

‘Rustic Find’ © Denise Bush

This old facade is full of diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines, then enhanced further by the weathered texture.

‘Lots Of Lines’ © Denise Bush

An old building is reflected from across a deserted town in Wyoming.

‘Reflections Of The Past’ © Denise Bush

Autumn Encore!


I’ve already displayed several fall images in my last 2 posts, ‘Autumn Assembly’ and ‘Accented By The Moon’. In those posts I showed how I dealt with a bald, blue sky by eliminating it, including very little, obscuring it (like in the first image here), or capturing the moon for sky interest. This post is more of a mix … intimate and grand, sky and no sky. Considering how the season played out, I had more to work on more than I predicted. Processing and posting my photos is not only a way to share them, and my thoughts about photography … it’s more. I like to learn what speaks to others and why. It’s a way for me to see my successes and failures. It’s a way for me to learn what worked and what didn’t work, and what I want to work on.

A unique view of Mt. Abram in Ouray, Colorado, as seen through the autumn forest.

‘Abram Through Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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A young and healthy aspen grove shows off fall color in all its glory!

‘Aspen Glory’ © Denise Bush
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An October snow storm clears over Hayden Peak of the Sneffels Range in the the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Clearing Storm Over Hayden’ © Denise Bush

The road leading to Chimney Rock displays some beautiful,

‘Road To Chimney Rock’ © Denise Bush

Aspens make a beautiful arrangement by highlighting the curves of the mountain slope.

‘Slopeside Beauties’ © Denise Bush

A beautiful cottonwood tree enjoys a distant mountain view.

‘View Beyond The Cottonwood Tree’ © Denise Bush

A group of young and healthy aspens glow in the warmth of the morning sun

‘Aspen Youngsters’ © Denise Bush

A hole in the clouds illuminates the colorful foliage on the other side of the River in Silverton, Colorado

‘Lit From Above’ © Denise Bush
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I’ve been saving a few images that include the moon to one day make a set of them … and here it is! In my last post I wrote about the bald, blue skies dominating fall. One plus … a little accent, was the presence of the moon on more than one occasion. I like to include the moon in all its phases in landscapes whenever the opportunity presents itself. It just adds that ‘certain something’ for me!

On this evening Mount Abram, an icon of Ouray Colorado receives a little accent from the moon.

‘Setting Moon Over Abram’ © Denise Bush
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A rising moon enters the scene beside Chimney Rock of the Cimarrons during the golden hour.

‘Moon Beside Chimney Rock’ © Denise Bush

A setting moon makes an appearance as the sun goes down over a quiet Colorado landscape.

‘Moon Over Quiet Landscape’ © Denise Bush

The moon rises just above a mountain peak as if to puncuate it!

‘Puncuated By The Moon’ © Denise Bush

The super moon of January 31st rises brightly against the silhouette of the Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Super Moon Over Cimarron Ridge’ © Denise Bush
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A setting moon floats above snow-covered mountains across Molas Lake near Silverton, Colorado.

‘Moon Over Molas’ © Denise Bush

When wildflower season ended late this year I took a short shooting break before the fall colors were upon us. I had worked the season so rigorously in previous years I thought … what can I possibly do, that I haven’t done before? The colors were late but just as beautiful as always. However there were other conditions that did not favor the photographer this year. With high winds many days it meant boosting up the ISO to obtain a faster shutter speed, without sacrificing depth of field. In addition, the wind created bare branches before their time. And to top it off, bald blue, uninteresting skies, day after day, during the peak foliage display were dominant. This had me looking for compositions that did not include the sky, as shown in this post. So, in this way the conditions forced me to create some more intimate and perhaps different results. A cold snap put an early end to peak foliage but even so, there will still be more autumn images to show in upcoming posts.

Fall reflects its bright colors in a small pond in the mountains.

‘On Golden Puddle’ © Denise Bush
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Aspen foliage lights up with the suns backlight for a striking look at nature.

‘Backlit Beauty’ © Denise Bush

The beginning of autumn along a mountain road displays gold with the promise of more to come.

‘Path Of Brilliance’ © Denise Bush

Looking down upon some aspens provides a different pespective for tree lovers!

‘Aspens Below’ © Denise Bush

Colorful foliage flanks the banks along a river reflecting the sky above.

‘Autumn Banks’ © Denise Bush

Aspens arrange themselves in a natural and beautiful display on the side of a mountain in Colorado.

‘Aspen Arrangement’ © Denise Bush

Standing at the top of the falls while enjoying the view is a thrill especially so, surrounded by colorful foliage.

‘Waterfall & Fall’ © Denise Bush

An old fence and aspen foliage attract the photographer’s eye in this autumn scene.

‘Old Fence & Aspens’ © Denise Bush

An old homestead near the Dallas Divide and the borders between Ouray and San Miguel Counties, Colorado display both winter and fall.

‘Winter In Autumn’ © Denise Bush

An October snowfall combines beauty from two seasons … autumn and winter.

‘Fall Snowfall’ © Denise Bush

The first snow comes to the San Juan Mountains in October in a Autumn/Winter display.

‘Season Combo’ © Denise Bush
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Barns & Buttes


I’m still going through images from a June road trip to South Dakota and Wyoming. The goal was photography and it surely provided a lot of material for this blog! If you scroll down (after clicking on Denise Bush’s Photo Blog above) you’ll see some of the other posts. Amazing scenery kept my camera busy, filling one card after another! Now working on images from the end of the trip, the fall foliage I’ve shot during the past couple of weeks will have to wait a bit longer. The first image here presented a predicament … should I create a post about barns or buttes? My solution, as you see from the title was to combine the two. If you have a favorite in this set I’d love to know… just click on ‘comments’ at the end!

First light illuminates a photogenic gable barn near Bear Butte in South Dakota.

‘First Light On Barn & Butte’ © Denise Bush
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A pink stripe hovers above Bear Butte at sunset as if to accent days end.

‘Streak Above Bear Butte’ © Denise Bush

An intense rain storm rolls over the countryside near Bear Butte.

‘Bear Butte Storm’ © Denise Bush
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An old farmhouse and barn make one wonder what it was like in its prime.

‘From Days Gone By’ © Denise Bush
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An ominous storm cloud appears above Devils Tower to create a dramatic Wyoming scene.

‘Right Before The Storm’ © Denise Bush

Devil’s Tower in Crook County, Wyoming is an awe-inspiring sight!

‘Devil’s Tower & Clouds’ © Denise Bush

The sight of Devil’s Tower is even more dramatic against a sunset sky.

‘Close Encounter At Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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A famous and preserved barn in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, lights up at days end as long shadows from trees creep closer.

‘Approaching Shadows’ © Denise Bush
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