Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen

Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
Trinity River near Weaverville, California. The late afternoon sunlight was washing out the hillside across the river, and the river was shaded. This was an exercise to see if I could get both exposed nicely for an artistic, dreamy image.

Photographer: Denise Dethlefsen

Amateur Photographer

Photographic Specialties:

  • Landscape
  • Wildlife
  • Travel
  • Macro
  • Other


I’m an amateur photographer working toward becoming a part-time professional. I learned photography only after my husband bought an SLR camera as an anniversary gift several years ago. I’m discovering that I really like abstract landscapes and details as well as the artistic elements of abandoned structures. The camera and the tools of post-processing allow me to express myself creatively because “some of us just can’t draw!”


Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
The elk in Rocky Mountain National Park are a little too acclimated to humans. This big bull brought his harem to a meadow just across a road from a busy campground for the night, then, on the morning I captured this image, he moved them through an area of cabins. He completely ignored us as he moved the cows and calves into the timber, crossing an access road and passing our vehicle within 10 or 20 yards. He seemed to be paying more attention to a younger, smaller 5-point bull that kept following them at a distance and bugling. Just before he disappeared, he paused to look back, and this seemed to be the most attention he paid to us during the entire time.
Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
We saw this foursome by themselves near Cheyenne, Wyoming, just before sunset. The challenge was to get a decently sharp image of them at the very limit of my 70-200 mm lens without scaring them. Pronghorn are extremely curious, so once the babies noticed us, they moved closer. However, they were completely obedient to their mom, and did not go beyond the point where she was no longer comfortable. The youngster that is closest to the camera was also the smallest of the three, but clearly the most fearless.
Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
As always, with flying insects, the challenge is to catch the insect and keep it sharp, like this honeybee on almond blossoms. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, aperture f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 200.
Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
Sunrise at West Spanish Peak, Colorado. I wanted to frame West Spanish Peak with this limber pine, but the sun was rising along the flank of the mountain in a way that was not putting any light on the peak. However, I was rather pleased with the moody feel the shadow provided in contrast to the brightly lit meadow. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, aperture f/20, 0.6 sec, ISO 100.
Photographer Profile: Denise Dethlefsen
Sunset on Molas Pass, Colorado. This view of Snowdon Peak is one of my favorite images of the Colorado Rockies because it speaks to the mystery and the draw of high country. The golden slopes make me want to keep exploring further, while the shadowed areas and deep timber remind me of the many creatures that call the mountains home. The contrast of the golden light and moody sky felt so totally ‘right’ that evening. The challenge in the Colorado Rockies is to find something that hasn’t been photographed thousands of times already; this is not the common image of autumn in Colorado, which virtually always features aspen trees. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, aperture f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 200.

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