Autumn Roads

22Oct17

Most of roads in my area are dirt and I traveled on a lot of them this fall looking for photos. The roads themselves became a subject of interest and I worked on forming a collection. Using a road or path can be an effective way to lead viewers into a landscape. The curves and colors in these scenes made them all the more inviting to me and I hope to you too! Here are some of my favorite photographs featuring autumn roads.

‘Road With Leaning Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Into The Mountains’ © Denise Bush

‘Into The Shadows’ © Denise Bush

‘Road To Autumn’ © Denise Bush

‘Autumn Tunnel’ © Denise Bush

‘Backcountry Road’ © Denise Bush

‘Road To Mears Peak’ © Denise Bush
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With autumn being both beautiful and fleeting I made it my job to get out there with my camera … an enjoyable job. Chasing the color here and there I covered a lot of ground. It was the time to shoot … I knew I could process later. Now, being a bit overwhelmed with the number of new images I decided to break it down. Upcoming posts will include mountain scenes, country roads and more but this post is ‘all about autumn aspens’.

Aspen trees (Populus Tremuloides) are native to cooler areas in North America and are commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, Quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, white poplar, popple, and even more. They propagate through root sprouts, and extensive colonies are common. All trees in the clone have identical characteristics and share a root structure. They are sometimes considered the world’s largest organism by mass.

‘Autumn Line-up’ © Denise Bush
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‘On A Hill’ © Denise Bush
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‘Happy Aspen Grove’ © Denise Bush
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‘Swaying Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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‘Aspens In Gold, Orange & Green’ © Denise Bush

‘Backlit Aspen Group’ © Denise Bush

‘Forest Through The Trees’ © Denise Bush

‘Aspen Pattern’ © Denise Bush
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The Durango to Silverton Train Ride is about 45 miles each way … at an average speed of 18mph, that’s an all-day round trip. A friend and I signed up for the Fall Photographer’s Train Special months in advance and had been looking forward to this day. With only photographer’s aboard (and a few patient spouses) the train made some stops so we could get out to capture the historic locomotive chugging by in the San Juan Mountains scenery. There was one photo stop on the way to Silverton and four on the way back to Durango. It was a lot of riding and looking at the beautiful mountain views along the Animas River. An open car and windows allowed some access to shooting from the moving train and drinks, donuts and lunch were included. But wouldn’t you know that on this late September day Mother Nature was at it again, and much of the day was rainy. On the good side, the weather made the autumn colors saturated, and harsh mid-day lighting was not a problem. On the bad side, it was difficult to keep my lens dry even though I was equipped with a rain sleeve for my camera. Another obstacle was the 80 some other photographers vying for a good place in the line-up behind the orange tape. Once you had a spot there was no room to move around and it was difficult to stay out of each others’ way. Those with longer limbs seemed to fare better! In the end it was a fun experience, I’m glad I did it and I got a few shots I like … in spite of the challenges.

‘Full Steam Ahead’ © Denise Bush

‘Bridge Crossing’ © Denise Bush
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‘Coming Through’ © Denise Bush

‘Number 473’ © Denise Bush
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‘The Last Bend’ © Denise Bush
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‘Stream Crossing’ © Denise Bush

‘Caboose No. 0540’ © Denise Bush


Staying overnight in an area not too far from home recently I enjoyed some geological studies … with my camera. A prominent rocky outcropping created an interesting subject to study from different angles and at different times of the day. Here are the results of my studies. Feel free to leave a comment … and let me know if you have a favorite!

‘Rocky Outcrop At Dawn’ © Denise Bush
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‘Clouds Over Rocky Outcrop’ © Denise Bush

‘Rock Reflection’ © Denise Bush
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‘Pastoral View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Rock Silhouette At Sunset’ © Denise Bush

‘Starry Night Colorado’ © Denise Bush


Nighttime Fun

20Sep17

I’ve been brushing up on my night photography the last couple of months and have included a few favorites in this post. It’s not just the Milky Way and stars that interest me but moonlit and cloudy night skies too. Working with different settings and locations, it’s a work in progress … with several attempts ending up in the trash can! For me one of the biggest challenges is finding a spot with something more than just the sky … an interesting silhouette or foreground. Using a wide angle lens I need to be very close to the mountains for them to be large enough in the scene. Another challenge is of course seeing and focusing in the dark. Testing my lens in daylight to confirm infinity focus and depth of field turned out to be worthwhile. And I use an astronomers red LED light to help my eyes adapt more quickly to night vision. Yes, it can be quite dark out there! When I’m not with a friend I like to make some noise by playing my itunes … so as not to surprise any nearby bears, mountain lions or coyotes!

‘Milky Way Ranch’ © Denise Bush
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‘Red Lights Under Moonlit Sky’ © Denise Bush

“Teepee Under Night Sky’ © Denise Bush

‘Shooting Star Over Rocky Outcrop’ © Denise Bush

 


Another opportunity came up to photograph at a history museum and I grabbed it! This time the shoot was at the Pioneer Museum in Gunnison, Colorado which houses a massive collection of artifacts … from trains to dolls, and everything in-between. I enjoy photographing these everyday, obsolete subjects … they have an interesting history and story to tell about the people who used them. There was so much to see in fact, it was a bit overwhelming searching for the right objects, and finding angles that would work. Here the items were mostly displayed as collections, neatly lined up, one next to another. Like all museums a hands-off policy as well as signs and tags on many items made it difficult to find subjects that I could isolate in an artistic way. The overhead, fluorescent lighting left a bit to be desired but the ability to use a tripod was a big plus. I started with my macro lens in an area full of typewriters and captured a few close-ups to add to my collection. Old dusty mason jars and milk bottles caught a little bit of light in the barn loft and my eye too. It took some time to pick out favorites from the day and I had fun processing them in black and white, adding in a dash of drama. I hope you enjoy looking at them. Feel free to let me know what you think by clicking the comments link at the end of the post!

‘Milk Bottles Geometric’ © Denise Bush

‘Good Luck Atlas’ © Denise Bush

‘Sewing Machine With Cobwebs’ © Denise Bush

‘Faulty Diction’ © Denise Bush

‘Tricycle In B&W’ © Denise Bush

‘Portrait Of Dolly’ © Denise Bush

‘Royal Keys’ © Denise Bush
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‘Old-fashioned Letters’ © Denise Bush
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‘Train Car Lantern’ © Denise Bush

‘Suspicious Baggage’ © Denise Bush
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Comments at a recent art show referring to the ‘rule of thirds’ have me thinking a lot about composition. In my humble opinion the ‘rule of thirds’ is simply one ‘formula’, not deserving of so much attention or strict adherence. After all, there are many other formulas for composition such as the golden ratio, the golden spiral, the triangle and yes … centered. Centered, symmetric compositions can invoke a peaceful, balanced feeling and are sometimes the best solution. A centered subject with an off-centered element often works for me. I like to consider all of the elements in a composition … how are they juxtaposed? Some of my favorite images break the bounds of traditional composition rules. In landscape photography I’m drawn to images with a very low or very high horizon. And I don’t believe we need a foreground element every time. If I don’t find an interesting enough foreground element or think it clutters the scene I won’t include one. Sometimes open ground serves as my foreground. I read an article not too long ago that talked about doing ‘what feels right’ when it comes to composition and I agree. When I’m out in the field I am not thinking about composition formulas but tapping into my artistic sensibilities to frame ‘what feels right’. I am going stick to my belief, that there are ‘no rules in art’! Here are some recent landscapes that may or may not follow composition rules … they just felt right.

‘Adobe Rainbow’ © Denise Bush
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‘Chimney Rock & Stream’ © Denise Bush

‘Fence Post Highlights’ © Denise Bush

‘Lupine Road’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Pond Reflection’ © Denise Bush

‘Indian Paintbrush In The San Juans’ © Denise Bush

‘Favorite View’ © Denise Bush
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‘Evening Gratitude’ © Denise Bush
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